My friend Heath Dill over at Dillicious ran a crowdfunding campaign last year to write a cookbook called “Medium Rare and Back Again: Food from the World of Middle-earth.” based his love of Tolkien and food. The other week, I was in the kitchen with Heath shooting a segment for Hobbit day 2013 joined by folks from the Middle-earth Network, Corey Olsen (Mythgard Institute) and Ethan Gilsdorf (Geekdad/Wired).
I’ve seen all the Tolkien movies, but wouldn’t consider myself a hardcore Tolkien fan. However, I thought Hobbit Day was so fun that I wanted to participate and support Heath’s upcoming cookbook launch. I was inspired to create a new dumpling recipe with ingredients from the shire!
Hobbit Day Dumplings
For dumpling wrappers:
- 2 C unsifted whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 Tsp arrow root or cornstarch
- 1/2 C + 2 to 3 Tsp boiling hot water
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Hobbit’s shire-inspired filling:
- 1 leek
- 2 medium peeled potatoes, cut into large cubes
- 1/2 red onion for stock, + 1/8
- 3 parsnips + 1/2, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 Tsp kosher salt
- 1 Tsp black pepper
- 2 gloves of fresh minced garlic
For wrappers: Mix all the dry ingredients together. With a spoon slowly add in water and combine until the mixture is slightly crumbly and the water is absorbed. If there’s not enough water to, add in 1 tablespoon more at a time. It shouldn’t be mushy, but slightly crumbly. The amount of water can vary due to the quantity of flour used since using non-weighted measurements can vary.
Form the dough into a ball and roll out on a floured surface until it’s about 1/8 of an inch thick. Use either a round cookie cutter or a water glass to cut out circles. Once you have all your wrappers, place a damp cloth towel or paper towel over the wrappers so they don’t dry out.
For the filling: Using a medium cast iron or regular pot, fill it half full of water. Add in chopped leek, 1/2 red onion, chopped potatoes, turnips, salt, pepper, garlic and bring to a boil, then turn the stove to simmer for about 20 min.
While the filling is being infused, dice 1/8 of the red onion and 1/2 a turnip and either fry or bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit tossed with vegetable oil until they are crispy.
After 20 minutes of simmering on the stove, strain all the ingredients and mash together. Add in 1 Tsp of salt and fold in the crispy turnips and red onions.
For the dumplings: Take one wrapper and place it on the palm of your hand, put about 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of filling in the center and rim the edges of the wrapper with water. Then fold one side over to form a crescent moon shape and press the edges together. You can either boil the dumpling in water until they float to the top, pan fry, or deep fry. Serve alone or with other middle-earth dishes.