This is a riff on a dish taught to me by one of the best home cooks I know: Mrs. Brame. That's my best friend's mom and grandmother to my goddaughter. She came over to the kitchen one day and showed me how to make two Brame family staples: Pizza Chiena and Cabbage with Dumplings. I'm so grateful that she shared these recipes with us.
Here's the idea of serving cabbage and dumplings and added a little twist. I stuffed the dumplings with vegetables and spices. They are meant to remind the tastebuds of little self-contained chicken and dumplings.
Stuffed Dumplings + Caraway Cabbage
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/4 cup crumbled firm tofu
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup finely chopped green peppers
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
about 30 square wonton wrappers (like Frieda's)
butter and canola oil for pan frying (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup green peas (warmed for one minute in the microwave)
1 bunch chives (for garnish)
If you have a wok, now is a great time to bust it out. If you don't, a 12-inch frying pan will do just fine. Heat the pan over high heat. Add the canola oil. Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the crumbled tofu. Believe it or not, you want the tofu to stick a little. Allow it to cook for three minutes and then scrape it off of the bottom of the pan using a metal spatula. Allow the tofu to cook another two minutes or until nicely browned. Add the sage, thyme, garlic, peppers, carrots, celery, and vinegar. Cook for another three to four minutes, just enough to take the rawness out of the vegetables.
Stuffing the dumplings is simple. Have a small bowl of water handy. Dip two edges of the
wonton wrapper into the water and place the wrapper flat in the palm of your hand. Place about a teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half of the cooled filling in the center of the wrapper. Now fold the wrapper on the diagonal like making a paper football. Set the dumpling upright in the palm of your hand. Crinkle and pinch the edges to seal them. Place the dumpling on a very well floured piece of parchment. Repeat.
Choose a pan with a tight fitting lid and have a 1/4 cup of water at the ready. In a 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, add 1/2 a tablespoon of canola oil and 1/2 a tablespoon of butter. Place 10 dumplings into the hot pan and allow them to brown on the bottom. (This should take about a minute.) Pour the 1/4 cup of water into the pan and close the lid. Allow dumplings to steam for about two minutes. Repeat. Makes about thirty dumplings. Serve on a bed of Caraway cabbage garnished with green peas and chives.
(This dish freezes well. Just freeze uncooked dumplings on a sheet tray and then store them in a container in the freezer until ready to serve.)
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced onion (one large)
10 cups shredded cabbage (one large head)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
In a dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the onions in the olive oil until they start to brown. This should take about five minutes. Add the cabbage, red pepper, garlic, caraway, and vinegar. Toss to incorporate. Reduce heat to low. put the lid in place and continue to cook for at least 15 minutes, stirring on occasion until cabbage is wilted. Season with salt and pepper.