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Steamed Túró Dumplings with Creamed Spinach

Steamed Túró Dumplings with Creamed Spinach
Bar Tartine makes these light dumplings with Hungarian túró (farmer’s cheese), but ricotta also yields wonderful results. Be sure to use ground white rice flour, and not glutinous sweet rice white flour. All components may be made ahead of time.
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DUMPLINGS
  1. 1½ cups plus 1 teaspoon túró or ricotta, room temperature
  2. 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sour cream
  3. ¼ cup plus 3½ tablespoons white rice flour
  4. 2 large eggs, room temperature
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
CREAMED SPINACH
  1. 5 tablespoons kefir butter
  2. 1 sweet white onion, sliced
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. ½ cup dashi or chicken stock
  5. ½ cup túró or strained ricotta
  6. ½ cup sour cream
  7. ¼ teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted and ground
  8. Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
  9. ¾ pound fresh spinach
  10. 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  11. Fresh dill, to garnish
Instructions
  1. DUMPLINGS: In a food processor, blend together túró, sour cream, rice flour, eggs, and salt until smooth.
  2. Lay out four 8-inch-square sheets of plastic wrap. Place equal mounds of cheese mixture at center of each sheet and gather together ends, twisting down until cheese is in a tight ball. Tie ends in a knot; the tighter the package, the more evenly the dumplings will steam.
  3. In a bamboo or metal steamer inside a pot with approximately 1 inch of water over medium- high heat, steam dumplings, knot side down, just until batter sets, 10 to 12 minutes. Dumplings should feel soft but slightly buoyant when pressed, and skin should begin to form under the plastic wrap (so that dumplings stay firm on the surface yet creamy in the middle).
  4. Prepare an ice bath by filling a small bowl with roughly one- quarter ice and the rest water. Transfer cooked, wrapped dumplings to ice bath (this makes them easier to unwrap and re-heat). Once dumplings have cooled completely, remove from ice bath. If using right away, cut away plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature. If using later, refrigerate in plastic wrap until ready to use.
  5. CREAMED SPINACH: Heat saucepan over medium heat until warm enough for a drop of water to sizzle gently. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add dashi and simmer about 15 minutes to soften onions further. Remove from heat and let cool.
  6. In food processor, blend onion mixture and túró until completely smooth. Pass through a sieve and into a bowl. Fold in sour cream. Season with caraway, salt, and pepper, to taste. Sauce will keep, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to a week.
  7. TO ASSEMBLE: Cut knots from plastic wrap and remove dumplings. Set in a steamer basket, and steam over medium heat until warmed through, about 6 minutes.
  8. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat until warm enough for a drop of water to sizzle gently. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter.
  9. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir in cheese mixture and cook until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  10. Divide warm spinach and sauce among four shallow serving bowls. Top with a dumpling, a drizzle of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh dill.
culture: the word on cheese http://culturecheesemag.com/

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