[Sca-cooks] al-Hafla breakdown ...

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Thu Feb 12 13:55:16 PST 2009

On Feb 12, 2009, at 3:50 PM, Christiane wrote:

> Things I would do differently: not freezing the manti (it was very  
> difficult to get them out of the layers of waxed paper and several  
> opened up when boiling, disgorging their meaty insides)

For future reference...

Something I've learned over the years regarding filled dumplings of  
various kinds, including mantee: you can freeze them on parchment- 
lined cookie sheets until they're completely, rock-hard frozen -- you  
may have to freeze them in several batches -- and then transfer them  
to ziplock bags to save space, and since they keep their shape and  
don't stick together to any appreciable extent, and those that do  
separate easily in the pot, they're pretty easy to handle.

In boiling them, I find that you can reduce the tendency to burst open  
by having _lots_ of boiling water; the more water, and the faster you  
can bring it back to a boil, the better; dropping 20 pounds of frozen  
dumplings into a 20-quart pot is a bad idea, tempting though it may be  
to get them all cooked at once.

Once the water comes back to a boil (after you've cooled it by adding  
frozen dumplings to it), you break with the traditional pasta wisdom  
and lower the heat to a simmer. Once the dumplings float, give them  
about five more minutes for the filling to cook through (an instant- 
read thermometer is helpful here), they're done. Since they're just  
done, and not heated to the boiling point, there's no steam buildup  
inside, and no internal pressure, so little to no bursting.


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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