Thursday, February 10, 2011

Corn Flour Dumplings (with cheese!)

I've been on a dumpling kick lately. First, I put them in my soup. Then I decided to put dumplings on top of my chili. Yes, chili. But this time around, they were cornier and denser. More like floating islands of cornbread, really.

One thing I learned, though, is that dumplings are hard to photograph. Bread, I can move and slice and take my time with. Dumpling need to be eaten hot, so there's just so much time for photos before it's time to serve.

And even the best dumplings are sort of blobby looking. There's not a lot of texture that makes the photos interesting. And while they look immensely appetizing while they're floating in the soup or stew, the photos I took didn't have the same appeal.

So, yeah forgive the photo quality on this one.It's the best I could do. And now we're out of chili, so I won't be making them again for a while.

Keep in mind that these dumplings aren't light and fluffy like normal dumplings - they're a lot more like cornbread, which is great for something hearty like chili. Also keep in mind that whatever you're cooking them on needs to simmer for a while, so if you've got something thick and prone to sticking to the bottom of the pan, maybe you want to add a little extra water so it won't burn on the bottom.

Corn Dumplings with Cheese

2 1/2 ounces (by weight) corn flour
2 1/2 ounces (by weight) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ounce cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil

In a small bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, and cheese. Stir to combine. Add the milk and oil, and stir to combine. Don't overmix - it just needs to be evenly moist.

Drop dumplings by spoon fulls onto bubbling chili (or these would be nice with a hearty stew as well). Cover the pot, reduce the heat to keep it just as a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes.