Are you in the mood for something a bit more complex and labor-intensive? No? Too bad – you really ought to try this! You see, sometimes it's alright to indulge and savor the luxury of setting time aside to create a complex dish. The payoff can be very rewarding – not just in terms of the way your belly feels, but also in the way that others will regard your skills in fashioning something utterly delicious. Then, of course, there is the feeling of satisfaction from having accomplished something wonderful!
This dish may be a bit more intimidating – but that's only because it uses a lot of pots and pans - and I mean "a lot!" Overall, there isn't much technical skill involved – it's a simple as mushing a some ingredients together to get a tasty dumpling that you, then, place on a bed of Sherry-braised wild mushrooms.
So, let's see what we can do to make your mostly beige picky eater happy!
Oh, and if you are wondering what, exactly, I mean by lots of pots and pans – the answer is SEVEN.
2 Hard Rolls/Chicago Rolls or ½ a French baguette or 1 crunchy Hoagie Roll – these can be a day old but don't have to be.
¾ Cup Milk.
1 small Onion, finely chopped.
3 Tbs. chopped Parsley.
7 Tbs. Butter.
3 – 4 Tbs. All-Purpose Flour.
A pinch of freshly grounded Nutmeg.
1 small Leek, carefully washed and cut into thin slices.
1 small Onion, finely chopped.
2 Garlic Cloves, minced.
1 lb. mixed Wild Mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced.
2 Tbs. Olive Oil.
2 Tbs. Butter.
3 – 4 Tbs. Dry Sherry.
2 tsp. chopped fresh Thyme.
Let's get started:
Thinly slice the bread rolls or tear them into small chunks with your hands.
Add the bread to a small bowl, preferably one for which you have a cover.
Add the milk to a small pot and heat over medium heat until it begins to boil.
Remove the pot from the stove and pour the milk over the bread.
Cover the bowl and let the bread soak for 10 minutes.
Heat a small pan over medium heat.
Add 1 Tbs. butter and let dissolve.
Add the chopped onion.
Stir and sauté for 2 – 3 minutes.
Add the chopped parsley.
Stir and sauté for another minute.
Add the onion/parsley mixture to the bowl with the soaked bread.
Add ½ tsb. sea salt.
Mix all the ingredients.
Let rest for 10 minutes.
Heat water in a large pot.
Add salt – you don't have to be conservative in terms of the amount of salt you add.
Bring to a boil.
Once the water has started to boil, it is time to make the dumplings.
Moisten your hands with some water, scoop a bit of the bread mixture out of the bowl, and roll the mixture between your hands until it forms a ball. You should end up with roughly eight dumplings – give or take a few! Some people prefer big dumplings, others like them smaller – do whatever feels right.
Everything you have formed a dumpling, gently slide it into the pot of boiling water.
Reduce heat to low and let all the dumplings steep for about 10 minutes.
Carefully remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon and put aside while you prepare the vegetable bed.
Heat a large pan over medium heat.
Add 2 Tbs. olive oil.
Add 2 Tbs. butter.
When the butter has melted, add the onion.
Add the leek.
Stir and sauté for about 3 minutes.
Raise the heat to high.
Add the mushrooms.
Add the garlic.
Stir and sauté for another 3 minutes.
Reduce heat back to medium.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the Sherry.
Add the fresh Thyme and stir.
Turn heat off, cover the pan, and keep warm.
In yet another large pan (see, I told you that lots of pots and pans were involved!), heat 2 Tbs. of butter over medium heat until melted.
Carefully add the dumplings and gently brown on all sides until they are that golden hue that we all love so much.
In a small sauce pan (Hah!), heat the remaining butter over medium heat until it starts to slightly brown – about 2 to 3 minutes.
Spread part of the mushrooms on your plate(s), add two dumplings, and pour a bit of the slightly browned butter on top of the dumplings.