Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Soup #42 / Kreplach, our attempt


When I was a kid Christmas Eve was always so magical. We would get dressed up and go to church, see our friends and be a part of this amazing service. And then we would go out to eat. Being that it was Christmas eve, it was slim pickings for dinner because, well, everyone was closed. Everyone except Jerry's Famous Deli. So we would celebrate Christmas Eve with family and friends at a Jewish deli, eating the most delicious Kreplach soup. Since then, I've found my favorite Kreplach joint - a non-Jewish, Jewish deli in Glendale, and I've turned my husband on to the amazingness of these meat filled dumplings.

So, on thinking of what soups to make now that the weather is cooling off, I've realized this soup had to be on the list. Now, I've been crazy busy with work and so has he, so while reading recipes, I learned you can sub out making your own dough, and use wonton wrappers. So, naturally, I wanted to time save.

Below is how to make what I made. Which is, a form of Kreplach, I suppose, though I am not Jewish and can only compare this recipe to Jerry's, Billy's, and Canter's. All I can say is it doesn't, really compare, that is. But it did taste good, and it was a solid, time consuming attempt after a very long day at work, so it deserves to be posted. This was made following this recipe. If you've never had Kreplach soup before, I highly recommend you try this recipe FIRST, and then head over to Billy's Deli on Central in Glendale (by the center theater) and be amazed.

Kreplach Soup (our attempt)

What you will need:

1 packet of wonton wrappers (keep refrigerated until you need them to avoid sticking)
2 tbsp vegetable/grapeseed oil
1/2 pound ground beef
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp dried parsely
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Already made Chicken/Veggie soup to add your kreplachs to
1 egg
Flour for your work space.

How to make it:

In a skillet on medium heat, warm your oil. Add in the onions and saute until clear and lightly browned. Remove the onions from the skillet with a slotted spoon or fork, retaining some oil in the pan. Add your ground beef to the same pan and cook until browned, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, and using the end of the spoon to sort of "mash" the meat into smaller pieces. When the meat is finished, add the onions back in and continue to cook for another minute or two to let the flavors mix. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl, mixing in the parsley, salt, and pepper. Allow to cool until it is warm to the touch.

Now for the wrapping...
Flour your clean work surface and open your wonton wrappers. Crack and egg into a small bowl and mix with a fork as if to make scrambled eggs. This will be the glue that holds your Kreplach together. In the mean time, place your soup or broth or whatever you will be adding your kreplachs to (we used boxed chicken stock and added in some celery and carrots. The veggies will be cooked and soft by the time you add in your dumplings) on the stove in a large pot on medium -low heat. You will want the soup to be boiling by the time you are ready to add the kreplach in, but you don't want it to be boiling for so long that there is no more soup left.

kreplach wrapping

Back to the kreplach - Place one wrapper in front of you on your floured surface so it looks like a diamond facing you. Place a small flatware teaspoon sized scoop of the meat mixture onto the middle of your wrapper. Dip your finger into the egg "glue" and rub some egg on two adjacent sides of the diamond so they are wet but not gooey. Fold the "dry" side of the wrapper over onto the "wet" side, and press gently so the sides seal together. Make sure to close up the dumpling completely, otherwise, broth will get in and the kreplach will pop when you cook it. Set your dumpling aside to dry, and continue until you have finished your meat mixture, or until you have made enough dumplings. We found that making that many was too much, and we had to cook a few batches separately. If you have enough kreplach and more meat left over, you can save it for tomorrow, re-season it and make tacos!

When your kreplachs are finished, ensure that your soup is boiling on the stove. When it is, place your dumplings into the soup (be sure not to overcrowd them!). Partially cover the pot and allow them to cook for about 15-20 minutes, and say a prayer that they'll stay as kreplachs and not giant wonton noodles with tiny meat balls (which is what we got).

When time has passed, turn off the stove and serve up your soup. Even if they burst open, don't be disappointed, it happens. Close your eyes and enjoy a's still yummy!!

The Verdict:
Success?  It was a tasty soup but a long process, especially after having worked all day. And then the end result was not quite (or anything) like we had anticipated. BUT! And that's a very important but... it tasted pretty good... and we actually ate it for a few days after (like I said we had a LOT of kreplachs to cook). So all in all I guess it really was a success.

What we would do differently:
Uh.... not use wonton wrappers. I want to go speak with the cook at Billy's and find out the secret to their amazing dough-ball-ness that surrounds their kreplach. It's just that good. We would definitely do this again with perhaps a more authentic recipe, or at least one that resembles something we're familiar with in the kreplach realm. And definitely make our own dough next time.


Please let us know if you've tried one of our soups, or if you have a soup you'd like us to make! We'd love to hear from you!