The Oxford Companion to Food aptly describes a dumpling as a food with few social pretensions. Almost every cuisine features a dumpling of sorts. The epitome of comfort food, dumplings are warm and filling (and economical as they will stretch a meal) with perfect texture to soak up gravies and sauces just like a sponge. DUMPLINGS Makes 8 -10 depending on the size Ingredients: 120g (1 cup) cake flour 5ml (1 tsp) baking powder 2.5ml ( tsp) salt black pepper 15ml (1 tbsp) butter or margarine 15ml (1 tbsp) fresh parsley, finely chopped 125ml ( cup) milk Method: Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter. Add the parsley and the milk and use a round-bladed knife to bring the dough together. Bring your prepared soup or stew to a rolling boil and place spoonfuls of dough on top of the boiling liquid. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Don’t be tempted to take a peek as this may cause the dumplings to flop. Serve immediately. VARIATIONS Replace half the cake flour with wholewheat flour. . Replace the parsley with another herb, finely chopped. For a cheesy option, add 85ml ( cup) grated cheddar cheese to the dry ingredients, plus a dash of cayenne pepper and mustard powder. Add a red chilli, seeded and finely chopped, to the dough before the milk is added, or instead of the chilli add 45ml (3 tbsp) creamed horseradish, which is particularly good in a beef stew.
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