Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

eGCI Demo: Meat Kreplach


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 Pam R

Pam R
  • manager
  • 6,837 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg, Canada

Posted 26 June 2006 - 02:49 PM

Meat Kreplach
Like the knish, a kreple (singular of kreplach) is a product of a peasant people trying to stretch ingredients they had on hand.

Older chickens (mature/soup/stewing) provide more flavour to chicken soup but once boiled are drier and tougher than young chickens. So after the chicken has been used to flavour the broth, it made sense to find another use for the meat. My grandmother would have never considered throwing out the meat. To make this dry, taste-reduced meat into something that was tasty and filling, the solution was to mix in some flavour and moisture, wrap it in a dough and add it to the broth. Adding boiled potato to the ground up chicken works as a stretcher - but also adds some moistness and binding properties.

As is often the case with peasant foods, kreplach were first made to save money and use what was on hand and available. Now they are made for those reasons and because they are so well-loved. There is no question that it takes some time to prepare these - but they are worth it.

The dough recipe creates an almost silky mouth-feel in the end-product. Cut into a kreple and you expose an oniony, meaty filling. The finished product far out-weighs the time it takes to make these - and they freeze beautifully, so you can make a large batch and enjoy it over a couple of months.

You should make two dough recipes for one batch of filling.

Dough
This is a simple dough. You'll need:
  • 3 C. flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 C. canola/vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 C. warm water
Posted Image

Place the flour, salt and baking powder into a stand mixer or a food processor:
Posted Image

Place the lid on and turn the machine on, combining all of the dry ingredients.

With the machine running, slowly add the oil:
Posted Image

And then the water:
Posted Image

At this point the dough was a little too wet and sticky, so I added about 3 Tbsp. of flour (which is sprinkled on top of the dough in this photo):
Posted Image

After adding the flour, I let the machine work until the dough formed a ball. The final dough should be moist, but not wet or sticky.
Posted Image

I also made a batch in my stand-mixer with a dough hook:
Posted Image

Both doughs - place each one on a piece of parchment and cover with plastic wrap. The dough should relax for at least an hour. These doughs rested for about 2 hours on the counter before I used them. There was no discernible difference between the two doughs:
Posted Image

Filling
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. boiled chicken - mixture of white and dark
  • 2 small or 1 large red potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. schmaltz
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 to 1 C. chicken stock
Posted Image

First thing to do is cook the onions. The best thing to cook the onions in is the schmaltz that I reserved from making the chicken soup (though you can use a mild vegetable or canola oil). Melt the schmaltz in a frying pan:
Posted Image

Add the onions and sweat over medium-high heat:
Posted Image

This process can take a little while (25-30 minutes). If you find that they're browning too quickly, lower the heat. They should cook long and slow. In a couple of minutes these onions will be done:
Posted Image

The ingredients are ready to be put through the grinder. The potatoes were placed in a pot, covered with cold water and placed over high heat. They simmered until they were fork-tender then drained and set aside.
Posted Image

Use a grinder (with coarse blade) to grind the chicken, potato and fried onions. You can do this in the food processor, but I prefer the texture achieved by the grinder.
Posted Image

Ground up and ready for some moisture and seasoning:
Posted Image

Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock and mix together. At this point I generally abandon the spatula and knead the filling with my hands. It should stick together and be moist, but not wet. Taste and check for seasoning.
Posted Image


When the filling is ready, I use a small ice-cream scoop to form equal size balls of filling. The scoop is approximately 1 Tbsp.
Posted Image

Assembly:
Dough
A very relaxed dough, ready to be rolled on a floured table with a floured rolling pin:
Posted Image

Rolled out to approximately 1/8 to 1/4 -inch.
Posted Image

Cut with a 2" round cutter:
Posted Image

The scraps can be used again. Gather the scraps together, wrap them in plastic wrap and let them rest a minimum of a 1/2 hour before using.

Place one ball of filling on each circle of dough:
Posted Image

Pick up one piece of dough with the filling and fold it in half:
Posted Image

Pinch the dough all the way around the edge. If the dough doesn't stick together you can try one of two things. Either flour your fingers before you pinch, or brush the inside of the dough with some water (or both).
Posted Image

Once pinched it should look like this:
Posted Image

Then bring the two ends together, forming a circle and pinch them together:
Posted Image

Continue with the rest of the dough and filling until all have been assembled. Place them on a well-floured baking sheet as you go:
Posted Image

Cooking:
Bring plenty of water to boil with some salt and a splash of oil:
Posted Image

Before you start cooking the kreplach, get a bowl, colander/strainer and a slotted spoon ready:
Posted Image

Once you've added them, the kreplach will float to the top of the pot almost immediately. After they have all floated to the top, simmer another (1) minute:
Posted Image

Use a slotted spoon to pull the kreplach out of the water, and place them in the colander. If you are eating them right away, add to chicken soup and serve.
Posted Image

Because the batch makes so many, you'll probably want to freeze at least some of the kreplach. Rinse them in cold water and toss with a little oil. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment and freeze. Once frozen you can transfer them to freezer bags.
Posted Image

If you've frozen the kreplach, when you ready to eat them, thaw and then rinse to remove the oil. They can then be warmed up either in a pot of boiling water or right in the chicken soup.

A bowl of chicken soup with meat kreplach:
Posted Image

#2 UnConundrum

UnConundrum
  • participating member
  • 300 posts
  • Location:Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania

Posted 26 June 2006 - 06:42 PM

Thanks for going to all this work Pam.... This is one of our favorites that I'm designated to make for the holidays every year, usually beef. I have a question for you. Why do you add baking powder to the dough? I always just make a pasta dough, eggs, flour, salt, and maybe some oil...

#3 mizducky

mizducky
  • participating member
  • 2,407 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 26 June 2006 - 07:39 PM

Ahhhhh ... memories of me as an eight-year-old, watching my maternal grandmother methodically churn out dozens and dozens of kreplach ... she very seldom visited, and even less often cooked for us, but my mom was in the hospital giving birth to my kid sister, so Grandma showed up and started making like a bubbe :biggrin: , and I got to see whole bunches of really cool cooking.

I can't for the life of me remember what kind of filling she made, nor her recipe for the dough. I do recall that she went with cutting the dough into squares, and then pinching them closed into simple triangles. I think I helped pinch and close a few myself. But mostly I recall just watching in fascination. My mom was a fine cook, but she never made this kind of stuff from scratch. Gotta try this someday (though it'll have to wait until the weather cools off a bit around here...)

Edited by mizducky, 26 June 2006 - 07:40 PM.


#4 Gifted Gourmet

Gifted Gourmet
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 9,587 posts
  • Location:Atlanta, Georgia

Posted 26 June 2006 - 07:58 PM

My one foray, and a brief one it was, was joining a friend in making our first kreplach ... it took us nearly a full day and then our husbands came home and downed the soup with the kreplach in mere minutes ... very labor-intensive ... never tried it again ..

Another reflection: but with a wonton wrapper? Maybe it is worth the effort .. you have inspired me yet again, Pam! When the fall comes, with the High Holidays, I think I will approach this task with your wonderful enthusiasm!!
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#5 LaurelH

LaurelH
  • participating member
  • 22 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Posted 26 June 2006 - 08:38 PM

I was getting tired just looking at the pictures. I am not sure when I will work up the energy to make these but at some point I will have to do it, for the nostalgia of eating them. Although, I could probably just hop in the car and make the trip down Corydon for a container of the lovely dumplings. Do you sell them in the shop?

I am thinking from the photographs that my Baba must have made hers with wonton wrappers because hers had thinner wrappers and looked like little wrinkled up paper bags, if that makes any sense.

Hmm, I'll have to dig through her recipe collection to find out.

#6 Pam R

Pam R
  • manager
  • 6,837 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg, Canada

Posted 26 June 2006 - 08:40 PM

Why do you add baking powder to the dough?  I always just make a pasta dough, eggs, flour, salt, and maybe some oil...

This is a new addition actually. The dough recipe never used to have baking powder, but a wonderful woman who works for us picked up the addition of b.p. from her daughter-in-law. I like the results with it - almost a silkier finished product - I don't know the chemistry, I just know I like the results! :wink:

Oh - I forgot to mention, there is often some scraps of beef thrown into the chicken soup - and of course, it would be added to the mix. Though I've never made them with beef alone - I imagine it would be richer.

Ahhhhh ... memories of me as an eight-year-old, watching my maternal grandmother methodically churn out dozens and dozens of kreplach ...
<snip>
I can't for the life of me remember what kind of filling she made, nor her recipe for the dough. I do recall that she went with cutting the dough into squares, and then pinching them closed into simple triangles.
<snip>

It's all about memories isn't it?

I must admit that at work, we cut the circles and then fold them over, but leave out the final fold and pinch. So really.. it's just like a perogie.

We call perogies stuffed with potato verenekes and those stuffed with cheese or meat kreplach - but really, the names apparently refer to the shape. Those left in half-circles are verenekes and those shaped in circles are kreplach.

Another reflection: but with a wonton wrapper? Maybe it is worth the effort .. you have inspired me yet again, Pam! When the fall comes, with the High Holidays, I think I will approach this task with your wonderful enthusiasm!!

View Post

Melissa, a little Chinese-Jewish fusion sounds perfectly appropriate to me. :wink: I'll look for your report come September!

#7 Pam R

Pam R
  • manager
  • 6,837 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg, Canada

Posted 26 June 2006 - 08:43 PM

Although, I could probably just hop in the car and make the trip down Corydon for a container of the lovely dumplings. Do you sell them in the shop?

We have them occasionally, but they are sold frozen.
They actually just made a batch last week.

But I think you should try making them! :biggrin:

#8 ohev'ochel

ohev'ochel
  • participating member
  • 68 posts
  • Location:Montreal, Quebec -- CANADA

Posted 07 July 2006 - 06:18 PM

wow! GREAT tutorial. now i'm REALLY hungry :)

i've only seen/made kreplach with the traditional square piece of dough folded over and pinched to make the triangular krepl shape. hmmm...yom kippur and purim food!

are the rounded shape ones (which we would call varenike or perogie) common in the Prairies? by this i mean the meat kreplach you made.

my friends from Winnipeg also have things like kasha filled knishes which i had never heard of before.

anyway, thanks for your hard work. will definitely try your method -- something to freeze and throw in the soup on Friday nights!

#9 Pam R

Pam R
  • manager
  • 6,837 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg, Canada

Posted 07 July 2006 - 09:40 PM

are the rounded shape ones (which we would call varenike or perogie) common in the Prairies?  by this i mean the meat kreplach you made.

my friends from Winnipeg also have things like kasha filled knishes which i had never heard of before.

anyway, thanks for your hard work.  will definitely try your method -- something to freeze and throw in the soup on Friday nights!

View Post

Welcome to eGullet ohev'ochel - I love your user-name! Very appropriate :wink:.

Round ones are very common around here. Though mostly the Ukrainian version. Jewish populations in the Prairies are not what they used to be - but we're doing what we can to keep the traditional food going. There's a large Ukrainian population in these parts - and there are several stores/restaurants in the city that make perogies. I even have a picture somewhere of a huge perogie statue (?) that I took somewhere between Winnipeg and Jasper!

We love kasha knishes. There was some filling discussion in my knish demo. They aren't unheard of elsewhere though. I had one last year in New York.

I'm glad you enjoyed - thanks for the note!

#10 Dorine

Dorine
  • participating member
  • 123 posts
  • Location:Center City Philadelphia, PA USA

Posted 07 July 2006 - 10:40 PM

Wonderful tutorial! Excellent pictures!

I didn't know what kreplach are, but now I see they are just like pelmeni--just a different filling. And pelmeni wrappers don't have baking powder. Are kreplach from Polish tradition?

I make pelmeni with a mixture of meats, usually beef, pork and lamb. Seasoned diferently, too. In Russian/Ukranian tradition, where I learned them, they are served with great dollops of sour cream. Varenyki, which are similar but more than twice as big, can contain cheese and fruit.

Thanks for sharing. I plan to try your filling.

#11 Pam R

Pam R
  • manager
  • 6,837 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg, Canada

Posted 09 July 2006 - 05:49 PM

I didn't know what kreplach are, but now I see they are just like pelmeni--just a different filling.  And pelmeni wrappers don't have baking powder.  Are kreplach from Polish tradition?

Baking powder isn't typical in the dough. We've only been using it for a few years - on a suggestion from the daughter-in-law of a lady who works for us. I just added some to my regular recipe and it just seemed.... better :wink: .

I can't tell you exactly where the kreplach come from. In my family, they were made by family members from both Poland and Russia. They're a version of the Eatern European/Russian perogy - Jewish food has a strong tradition of learning from their neighbours and adapting recipes to fit in the kosher kitchen. There's also a tradition of Jewish cooks introducing items into other cuisines, so I don't know if we'll ever know!

In Russian/Ukranian tradition, where I learned them, they are served with great dollops of sour cream. 

View Post

We would never eat the meat kreplach with sour cream - there's no mixing of milk and meat in a kosher home. But - fill them with potato, cheese or blueberries - and then they turn into a garnish for a bowl of sour cream.

#12 ohev'ochel

ohev'ochel
  • participating member
  • 68 posts
  • Location:Montreal, Quebec -- CANADA

Posted 09 July 2006 - 07:29 PM

[QUOTE]I can't tell you exactly where the kreplach come from. [QUOTE]

Pam & Dorine,

I am/was pretty sure it IS from the German word for crepe. When I checked, I found this:

The word for the Jewish ravioli known as Kreplach comes from the German word Krepp, meaning crepe. The similarity of the noodle dough which is rolled and folded and stuffed in a large variety of ways does resemble the French crepe in some ways. The Kreplach is a triangular-shaped dumpling and is usually filled with minced meat or chicken, and often added to chicken soup.

[http://www.islandfoo...m/kreplach.htm]

and,

I have always been told by my wise elders that "kreplach" means "little hats" -- and these dumplings are indeed shaped like little, three-cornered hats. But I think that etymology is just a bubbe meiseh -- an old wive's tale -- and that the Yiddish word "kreplach" is probably derived from a German word meaning "pastry".

Another bubbe meiseh surrounding the origin of the word "kreplach" is that it is actually a made-up word taken from three letters of the three Hebrew holidays on which kreplach is traditionally served: Yom Kippur (K), Rosh Hashanah ®, and Purim (P)=KR'P(lach)


[http://www.behindthe...iew.php?id=888]

*****

decide for yourself; and, in any case they taste GREAT! :laugh:

#13 scubadoo97

scubadoo97
  • participating member
  • 2,070 posts
  • Location:Dunedin, Florida

Posted 20 September 2006 - 07:45 AM

I'm feeling very ambisious in my meal plan for Erev Rosh Hashanah and may attempt to make these. I still don't know if I'll have 6 people or 14 :wacko: Pam, in most recipes I've seen, there is egg in the dough. I remembered your eGCI demo and your kreplach look fantastic. Have you ever made the dough with egg? What does it bring to the table in the way of texture or workability? You mentioned yours having a silky texture which sounds good enough for me but just wondering.

#14 cakewalk

cakewalk
  • participating member
  • 1,567 posts

Posted 20 September 2006 - 09:18 AM

A kreple? :smile: What a wonderful word. (And what a wonderful tutorial.)

I guess it makes sense that the word kreplach would come from the German. The "lach" ending is usually an affectionate ending meaning "little," so kreplach would be "little crepes." (Just as "kinderlach" means "little children.")

Pam -- have you ever made kreplach using lung meat? (From a cow, I guess.) Every time I see an old recipe for kreplach, they mention lung meat as the stuffing. It makes perfect sense with the explanation of having to make use of all parts of the animal so that nothing is wasted. But whenever I think of "lung meat" I tend to cringe. I've never made kreplach. I keep thinking, "maybe next year." Continuously. :rolleyes:

#15 Pam R

Pam R
  • manager
  • 6,837 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg, Canada

Posted 20 September 2006 - 10:44 AM

I've never used an egg in the douhg (though I know that some people do). My dough is very easy to work with - and I like the final result, so it's mostly one of those 'don't mess with success' issues. The baking powder I now use does add something to the mouth-feel that I like.

And I've never used lung meat because... well, I've never used lung meat (I can't get lung meat). I've used beef or chicken or beef and chicken mixed - and I prefer using just chicken. But I would suggest using whatever you use in your soup. It's the perfect way to use up the chicken meat from the soup - and some people throw some beef into their soup, so I'd throw that in too.

Hope that helps. Shana tova!

#16 scubadoo97

scubadoo97
  • participating member
  • 2,070 posts
  • Location:Dunedin, Florida

Posted 20 September 2006 - 01:47 PM

Thanks Pam. My kreplach got preempted for this Friday. My brother's MIL likes to make her matzo ball soup and is bringing it. I have to much to do already for Friday to argue. Maybe Erve Yom Kippur I'll give it a try. Sunday should give me a lot of time to prepare.

#17 Jmahl

Jmahl
  • participating member
  • 816 posts
  • Location:On the Tex Mex Border

Posted 22 September 2009 - 04:48 PM

Thank you for a great thread. Brings back memories of another time in the Bronx. Thanks again.

Jmahl
The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.