Friday, August 11, 2006

RCE Garlic & Sapphires: Aushak!

This time, Christine chimes in with a great story of her dumpling obsession and making Ruth Reichl's aushak recipe! Sounds pretty good and turned out pretty well!

Hi Eric I made the aushak this past weekend! (I turned it into a "dumpling day" while I was at it, and decided to make Korean fried mandoo too). Note that I have never made aushak before, though I've had it at an afghani restaurant here in the Bay Area. So I can't really compare it to other recipes, but I will observe the results.

This is a remarkably straightforward recipe, I think. I researched other recipes on the net, including one at "cooking with amy's blog and the ingredients and their ratios in Reichl's recipe seem very much in line with other recipes I saw. The variations that did exist involved supplementing the scallions (green onions) with leeks. In terms of process, some recipes sauteed the dumpling filling beforehand, and Reichl's recipe involves no pre-cooking of the filling.

I chopped the scallions and in hindsight I would have chopped them finer (unless I precooked them)--the dumplings, while delicious, needed to boil a WHOLE lot longer to soften the green onions. I don't like green onions mushy, but as a filling I prefer them thoroughly cooked and not crunchy. I imagine if I'd chopped the onions finer (like nearly minced), they would have cooked faster in the 5 minute submersion in boiling water.

Otherwise the dish was GREAT! I am partial to dumplings of course, but the scallion filled dumplings, yogurt, and meat sauce were great balancing complements to each other. The yogurt and meat sauce are crucial to this dish as just the dumplings alone might be a bit bland. The meat sauce was easy to make, as was the yogurt sauce. The most time-consuming part of this recipe as you might expect, is making the dumplings, which I find soothing. If you find the edges of your wonton/gyoza wrappers not sticking, try using egg white instead of water as a "glue."

I just want to note that if you're not going to immediately boil the dumplings, you definitely want to place them on a flour coated surface with plenty of space between each dumpling (like 1/4") so that they're not touching. Otherwise, you'll end
up with dumplings that STICK to the plate, and fall apart if you try to separate them from the plate! (which is what happened to me because i forgot about the flour).
Oh well, there went about 15 aushak dumplings!

If you want to preserve the dumplings, leave them on the flour coated plate/baking sheet and stick them in the freezer until they're frozen. Then put them in a ziploc

I've also got the gougeres story from Christine, the roasted rhubarb, the Sort-of Thai noodles and I think I might take the Matzo brei on this weekend as well. If you've done your recipe, let me know what you think!


At 5:51 p.m., Anonymous gourmet traveller said...

I made these tonight and they were fantastic! I cooked my scallions beforehand though and it worked really well.


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