Thursday, October 16, 2014

More Georgia (But still not the state)

Georgia Flag
(Note, I am posting this without my "editor" Kevin looking it over.  I finally decided if I didn't post it I never would, so I'm just going with it.  Welcome back to blogging?)

As I was looking for something to make for Georgia, I decided I couldn't stop at one dish. Sometimes certain countries just have foods that speak to me and I want to keep trying.  Khinkalis came up repeatedly in my searches as definitively Georgian.  Plus they sounded good.  Meat dumplings?  I am in!  After looking at a number of recipes I went with this one.  The directions made sense and there were pictures!

I'm pretty sure I halved the recipe, although I could be wrong.  But at least this one is halve-able, unlike last time!

With some fancy Google converting, 1.1 kilos equals 2.4 pounds.  Yay internet!  And food scales!
The dough, which was just flour, egg, and water was pretty sticky, but not the worst thing with which I have worked.
Then there was a lot of kneading.  Lots and lots of it.  The dough was supposed to be very firm.  That takes a lot of work.
Unfortunately I hadn't gotten my rolling pin rings for Christmas yet, so I had to rely on Kevin's estimate for 1/3 inch thick dough.  I think it is his least favorite part of me cooking.  Then I got to cut the dough into circles - just like pierogi!  Don't worry, we'll get to you, Poland.

The filling wasn't very difficult.  Like the people who wrote the recipe, I chose not to use onions.  Instead it was meat, spices, and water to create a soupy mixture.
Caraway seeds!
Helping me cook.
Meat soup.
When you make the khinkali, you are supposed to put the mixture in the middle of your circle of dough and then fold it up around it.  If you get 19 folds, you are a good potential wife.  Or something like that.

I had a hard time keeping track of how many I was doing, nonetheless controlling it.  What counts as one fold?  And how do you get it to all stay together without making a bunch of uncountable folds at once?  Should Kevin have not married me?

Anyway, similar to other dumplings from the area, then you boil!  Unlike others, though, you are supposed to serve with only a sprinkling of pepper.
Only one exploded!  Make sure you don't let them get stuck to the bottom of the pot.
There is apparently an art to eating these.  You are supposed to pick them up by their top nubbin and eat the rest.  Then you put down the doughy part.  That way you have evidence of how many you have eaten.  Not for dieting purposes, but bragging ones, I believe.

That isn't a bad practice, because that part was a little dense anyway.  It didn't quite get fully cooked when the rest did, so you may not want to eat it.  As for the rest, it was still pretty dense.  Very very heavy.  Both Kevin and I agreed that it would have been better with the onion, actually.  Not a normal decision for us.  But we lived and learned.

We did actually eat some of these leftovers though, which was good.  It was just difficult to eat more than around three in any one sitting.  I don't know if this is intentional or because I'm not a good khinkali folder.  Don't worry, Kevin didn't seem to mind that there weren't 19 folds in all of them.

Next time: Germany

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