Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Non-traditional Dumplings

After Thanksgiving, I always suffer from an overabundance of particular foods. Try as I might, within a week I am SICK of turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce. And sweet potatoes. This year I ended up with a tray and half of sweet potato casserole. Nathan and I are only two people... we can physically only eat so much sweet potato casserole!

We did manage to eat the half--it was made more like a pumpkin pie filling with this carmelized deliciousness on top and lots of spices and sugar in the potatoes. I mean, I guess I could have remade it into actual pie... but that seemed redundant.

The second was a more traditional sweet potato casserole with mashed sweet potatoes on the bottom and marshmallows on top. The potatoes themselves weren't too heavily seasoned (they tasted like they had butter in them) so I thought I could work with it and make it into a snack.

And thus:

Savory Sweet Potato Dumplings

Sweet potato casserole
pinch of: thyme, oregano, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, pepper
1/4 cup feta cheese
Gyoza skins or Wonton wrappers
Pam or other cooking spray

soy sauce (for dipping)

Preheat your oven to 375

First scrape all those pesky marshmallows off the top of the casserole. Maybe it's my upbringing or maybe it's my Canadieness, but I just don't get the whole marshmallow potato thing. Dispose of the marshmallows.

Mix your spices and crumbled feta into your potatoes... I did this to taste, amounts of spices will be determined in large part by the amount of casserole you have leftover. I would say that I had about 3 cups of mashed sweet potatoes. Regardless, taste your potatoes and if they taste good you have the correct amount of spices.

Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of your gyoza skin or wonton wrapper (these are pretty much the same thing. The gyoza's are round and are what I used). With these wrappers as well as most doughs you will use for dumplings, there is going to end up a "right" and "wrong" side of the dough. The wrong side will be more floury than the right. Keep the wrong side down towards your counter as the extra flour will make it hard to seal your dumplings.

Fill a small bowl with a little water. Dip your finger in (or use a pastry brush if you're super germophic) and spread a little water around the edge of your skin/wrapper. Fold in half and pinch to seal--the water will help the dough stick to itself.

Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and line up your dumplings. They are not going to rise or spread, so you have them pretty close together. Spray each dumpling with a 1 second of cooking spray. This helps them get crispy.

Bake for 5 minutes, flip, and bake for an additional 3 minutes. Serve with soy sauce for dipping.

The other leftover that I end up throwing out every year (and you would think I would learn to make less of...) is cranberry sauce. My friends aren't crazy about it so they don't eat much of it... which I feel is more a compliment to my gravy (which is always entirely consumed) than an insult to the cranberry.

Regardless, even after making some delicious turkey and cranberry sandwiches, I still had a good amount leftover. As I was making the sweet potato dumplings, I thought that a sweet dumpling would be a good compliment. Cranberry sauce itself seemed a little watery to fill a dumpling with so I added cream cheese (because what doesn't that make better?) and sealed them up within a wonton wrapper.

These didn't crisp as much and also got kind of explody in the oven their first batch. I think that while baking is healthier, these would probably be better if I had chilled them in the fridge and actually fried them. Next Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Rangoon


Half a cup of cranberry sauce
8oz cream cheese (I used the reduced fat kind)
40 wonton wrappers
Pam spray
powdered sugar (optional for dusting)


Preheat oven to 375
Mix cranberry sauce with cream cheese. I was lazy and used my food processor.

Put about 1 tsp of filling in the center of each wrapper. Use your tiny bowl of water to seal the edges. I folded mine into a triangle, and then took the two corners along the fold and folded them in to make what looked like an open envelope.

Place folded dumplings on a baking sheet sprayed with pam. Spray each dumpling for 1 second with cooking spray. Bake 4 minutes, flip, and bake an additional 3. Some of them will explode... they will still taste good.

While still warm, dust with powdered sugar if desired (this is more for prettiness).

These were both delicious (though I heavily preferred the sweet potato). They are, however, fairly time consuming to make as each little dumpling has to be assembled. I think this filling of savory sweet potatoes would also be super delicious in a ravioli form or even served on its own in lieu of a traditional sweet potato casserole. The cranberry sauce cream cheese mixture would also be tasty as a dip with crackers/fruit.

We are headed to the Renaissance Faire next Sunday, so it will be a Saturday snack with (perhaps) a faire theme!

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