I am hoping, now that I have finally got this blog started, that I will be able to get some momentum going and post on a regular basis.The novelty factor is working at the moment and I have a little cache of recipes that only need an excuse and a willing guinea pig to try them out.
The victim tonight is my sister who works nearby and has been offered supper and a fire in return for her services.The weather which had been relatively good for the last few days has become cold and damp with that drizzly mist that gets in under even the warmest coat, so she agrees. As for me, well I'll take any chance I can get to eat dumplings.
I had better point out now that I do'nt eat meat and only rarely cook with it (my daughter is still semi-carnivorous) so the recipes here will be largely vegetarian.While I try not to use ingredients just to replace meat I did get some pleasure from taking a bubbling casserole out of the oven full of rich earthy stew and airy dumplings. This recipe is pure comfort food and is perfectly suited to being eaten from shallow bowls in front of the fire.I found it on one of those pull out recipe cards from a magazine and it is to meant to serve 8.I halved the recipe for myself but I have put the original quantities here because it would make a great winter weekend meal to share with friends.
I do'nt have a casserole that is suitable for the hob and the oven so I just used a large saucepan initially and tranferred the ragu to the casserole which I preheated in the oven.
MUSHROOM RAGU WITH DUMPLINGS
- 25g (1oz) dried mixed mushrooms (I just used porcini as they were what I had to hand)
- 150ml Marsala wine
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lge onions, peeled and sliced
- 1kg (2.2lb) mixed mushrooms;shiitake, chestnut and white cap
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 900ml (1.5 pt) vegetable stock
- 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g (2oz) butter, diced, chilled
- 4 tbsp fresh mixed herbs; parsley chives and thyme, chopped
- 6 tbsp natural yoghurt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 200 C/180 C fan/Gas 6 (You will know your own oven so you may want to adjust up or down as you see fit.Mine is a very lazy fan oven that does'nt need the reduced temperature often recommended). Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl. Gently heat the Marsala and pour over. Put aside for 30 minutes.
- During this time heat the oil in an ovenproof pot. Add the onions and cook gently until they begin to caramelise; about 20 minutes. Discard stalks of shiitakes and halve the fresh mushrooms. Add to the onions with the garlic and cook for 10 minutes.
- Lift the mushrooms from the wine. Chop finely and add to the pan of fresh mushrooms. Strain the Marsala, then our into the pot. Cook for 3 minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate. Add the tomato puree and stock and bring to the boil. (This is where I transferred to the casserole I had preheated in the oven) Cover with wet parchment paper and a lid. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Sift flour and baking powder together. Season. Rub butter into the mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the herbs. Make a well in the centre, beat the yoghurt and egg together the add to form a dough (do'nt overwork the mixture). Shape into 8 to 16 dumplings.
- Remove pot from the oven. Place dumplings on ragu, and bake for 20 minutes until dumplings are golden. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.