jewish ravioli: cheese kreplach

June 9th, 2008

Gevalt. My shoulders hurt, my back hurts. My triceps are no longer on speaking terms with me, and they’re whispering mutiny to the biceps. Yesterday, I made my own dumplings out of hand-rolled dough without the use of a pasta machine. Now I know what it must have felt like to be a housewife in a 19th century shtetl. All I need is a washboard for the laundry and a roof for my husband to fiddle on as he sings “TRADITION! TRADITION!

I know, I know. It sounds like hyperbole. But try it, you’ll see what I mean. Making the dough is fun at first. It involves mixing some beaten eggs into a mound of flour with a fork. At a certain point, you dispense with the fork altogether and use your hands. The joy of messiness, the kneading… it’s an adult version of play dough. After letting the dough rest, the rolling begins. If you’ve rolled your own pie crust, you may not think much of this part. Ah, but pasta dough must be thin, thin, thin—like paper, like silk. When you’ve been rolling a while and realize that your dough is still thick as pie dough, you begin to wonder how much longer. You throw yourself into it, using your weight to apply more pressure on the dough. You sweat through your t-shirt. You think “holy cannoli! What was I thinking?” Just when you decide to settle for
thick, lumpy kreplach, you roll just a little longer until the sheet of pasta is smooth and thin as it can get.

But you’re not done yet. You have to cut little circles with an upside down glass, being careful to place the circles as close together as possible so as not to waste too much dough. Then each circle must be brushed with water, filled with filling, and pressed closed. The pressing is an art in itself. The filling can’t be too much or too little, so that it fills the dough just enough without poking out the sides. The edges must be pressed together carefully around the filling without any air bubbles. Then the edges must be brought together, one side brushed with water, and pressed together firmly as though the dumpling is wringing its hands in front of its plump belly. But the dough must be soft and pliable enough that the belly doesn’t burst, spewing its cheesy contents. It’s painstaking work, alternately exasperating and meditative. But the result is that much more luxurious and tasty when you’ve worked so hard to make it yourself.

If you’re short on time and patience for hard labor, you could run your dough through a pasta machine. It’s probably best to run it through the highest to the lowest setting for a really thin, silky dough. You could use one of those plastic ravioli pressing gadgets that works like a waffle iron
, if you don’t feel like pressing the dumplings yourself. You could press the dumplings like kreplach (triangular wontons), or pelmeni (Russian tortellini). I gravitated towards tortellini style dumplings, as I thought they might better keep their shape and hold their filling (those wringing hands tend to hold the stuffing). But traditional kreplach triangles might be easier to make and certainly less time-consuming. (I’ve always felt that the triangular tips of kreplach or wontons are like delicate little pasta fins, the dumplings quietly swimming in your soup.)

I stuffed my kreplach with a cheese filling in honor of Shavuoth, the Jewish festival of the ten commandments. It is traditional to prepare all manner of dairy foods for this holiday, unlike most holidays where meat and fish are the festive foods. Jewish lore has it that the Israelites did not know how to keep kosher, as they hadn’t yet received the ten commandments. So they ate only dairy foods so as not to eat any animals that weren’t sanctioned by the law. (How did they know the law would prohibit the consumption of certain creatures? Good point. But again, this is lore…)

Back in Russia and Poland, Jews would prepare cheese kreplach served with fried onions or a dusting of sugar, sometimes sour cream or perhaps a bit of jam. The name, size and shape of the dumplings might vary depending on the region. I’ve prepared mine with a filling of goat cheese and za’atar, putting a Mediterranean twist on the Eastern European dish. As for toppings, I’ve used fried onions, leftover goat cheese instead of sour cream and plum jam. Yes, all three. The combination of flavors works surprisingly well.

Other traditional ways to serve kreplach include frying them with onions, or boiling them and then serving them in soup. Kreplach can be stuffed with potatoes, beef, chicken liver, or a combination of beef and pork if you want to make Ukrainian pelmeni (a non-Jewish cousin of the traditional kreple). You could alternatively make a sort of kreplach lasagne, layering sheets of fresh pasta with filling and toppings. How do you like your kreplach?

cheese kreplach for shavuoth

for the filling:
10 oz. soft goat cheese (chevre), or other cheese of similar consistency
5 stalks fresh za’atar, or other fresh herb such as dill, parsley, chives, oregano
salt and white pepper to taste
1 small egg

for the dough (adapted from a recipe in the NY Times):
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs
lukewarm water, if necessary

for the topping:
goat cheese or sour cream or smetana
1-2 diced onions
butter
good plum jam (should be a little loose—I used June Taylor’s Elephant Heart plum conserve)

Preparing the filling:

  • In a large bowl, crumble in the cheese.
  • Hold the top of a stalk of za’atar with the thumb and forefinger of one hand. With the thumb and forefinger of the other hand, gently slide your fingers down the stalk, catching the leaves as they fall. Repeat for the remaining stalks. (This works for oregano as well, but any of the other herbs should simply be finely chopped.)
  • Rip or chop the za’atar and throw it into the bowl of cheese.
  • Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Taste and correct seasoning. Add a beaten egg and stir to combine.

Making the dough:

  • On a large, clean flat surface (a wooden table would be good), make a hill of flour. Form a well in the center of the hill.
  • Beat the eggs lightly and pour them into the well. Begin mixing the flour into the eggs with a fork.
  • At some point, you’ll want to use your hands to mix the egg and flour. If the mixture appears dry, add a little lukewarm water (say 1 or 2 tablespoons). My dough was moist with just the egg.
  • Knead the dough well, then let sit covered with a bowl or plastic wrap for 30 minutes.

Rolling the dough:

  • Separate the dough into two parts, leaving one portion under the bowl. Take the other half and begin to flatten and stretch it a bit with your hands.
  • Flour your surface and start rolling. You can use a pasta machine for this part. Roll the dough into an oblong shape rather than a circle. Be sure to move your dough frequently so that it doesn’t stick to the surface. Flour your surface just enough to keep the dough from sticking. You can patch any holes or cracks.
  • Roll until you can’t roll anymore, and then roll a bit more. You want to get your dough as thin and smooth as possible. Remember, the pasta will absorb water and expand when cooked. Feel the thickness of your dough and try to imagine what it might taste like when cooked. If it tastes like a mouthful of dough, you need to keep rolling.
  • When finished rolling, you might want to sprinkle a little water on the dough if it looks a bit dry.

Cutting the dough:

  • Use a glass with a 3 inch diameter to cut circles of dough. Use a dull knife to help cut the dough if necessary. Try to minimize the space between each circle of dough so as to avoid excess scrap dough.
  • When finished cutting the circles, collect the scraps and mush them into a ball. Place the ball under the bowl of resting dough.

Filling and shaping the dumplings:

  • With a barely damp pastry brush, brush one circle with a little water, mostly around the edges.
  • Place about a teaspoon of filling in the center of the circle.
  • Bring one end of the dough over the other in a half circle sandwich of dough and filling. Use your fingers to press the edges of the dough from one edge of the semi-circle to the other, while gently smoothing out any air bubbles along the edge of the filling. Dance your fingers along the edges again to get a good seal.
  • You can stop here, or you can continue folding the edges tortellini style. To do this:
    • Brush a little water on one tip of the semi-circle.
    • Then gently wrap the tips over your forefinger, the wet tip under the dry one.
    • Use your thumb to squeeze the tips against your forefinger, sealing them together.
    • Remove your forefinger, and gently squish the tips the other way (vertically).
  • Place the dumpling on a lightly floured plate. (I used two plates for my dumplings, simply to avoid the hassle of stacking them on top of each other, in case they stuck.)
  • Repeat for the remaining dough circles.
  • Take out the second piece of dough and follow the rolling, cutting, filling and shaping instructions. You can ball up and roll out the scraps too, or slice them into jagged, randomly shaped noodles. These can be cooked briefly before boiling the kreplach. Drain and slather with butter for snacking on while the kreplach cook.

Cooking the dumplings:

  • In a large skillet, melt some butter and fry the chopped onions on a medium to low flame until golden brown.
  • Boil heavily salted water for the dumplings. When the water is boiling gently, tip the plates of dumplings into the pot.
  • Agitate the pot lightly so that the dumplings don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook until the kreplach float to the top.
  • Remove the kreplach with a slotted spoon, draining the water.
  • Top with fried onions, cheese or sour cream, and finally plum jam.

Serves 2-4

I picked up some great pasta making techniques from a class given by the inimitable Omnivorous Fish. Useful links here and here.

10 Responses to “jewish ravioli: cheese kreplach”

  1. creditos personales Says:

    creditos personales
    http://www.top10.lk/user/profile/38731
    http://blog.tbsmall.com/UserProfile/tabid/61/userId/683664/language/en-US/Default.aspx
    http://182.92.218.1:8082/home.php?mod=space&uid=666128&do=profile&from=space
    http://www.jinlianka.com/jl/home.php?mod=space&uid=6553507&do=profile

  2. tinder dating site Says:

    In fact when someone doesn’t understand then its up to
    other users that they will assist, so here it happens.

  3. creditos rapidos con asnef Says:

    creditos rapidos con asnef
    http://www.wbi360.com/bbs/home.php?mod=space&uid=3912613&do=profile&from=space
    http://www.okhair.cc/home.php?mod=space&uid=956227&do=profile
    http://www.yzggzs.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=127052&do=profile
    http://www.ourground.com:80/dicuz/home.php?mod=space&uid=386875&do=profile&from=space

  4. creditos rapidos gratis Says:

    creditos rapidos gratis
    http://rbhu.sw365sw.pw/home.php?mod=space&uid=367482&do=profile&from=space
    http://www.feifashion.cc/home.php?mod=space&uid=862188&do=profile
    http://toplist.haber24.site/index.php?a=stats&u=floreneschrantz
    http://www.housenews.cc/home.php?mod=space&uid=300862&do=profile

  5. creditos rapidos y sin papeleos Says:

    creditos rapidos y sin papeleos
    http://bbs.gdwomen.org.cn/home.php?mod=space&uid=1367723&do=profile
    http://primemusicschool.com/la_concert/5756595
    http://www.insportzknox.com.au/UserProfile/tabid/61/userId/1444145/Default.aspx
    http://www.xiaovirginhair.org/home.php?mod=space&uid=894842&do=profile

  6. prestamos personales Says:

    prestamos personales
    http://ch.visitjordan.com/ActivityFeed/MyProfile/tabid/133/UserId/139746/Default.aspx
    http://feifashion.cc/home.php?mod=space&uid=863732&do=profile
    http://fjjlscy.com/comment/html/index.php?page=1&id=24407
    http://www.fuerst-fastre.de/UserProfile/tabid/57/userId/725081/Default.aspx

  7. creditos rapidos sin nomina online Says:

    creditos rapidos sin nomina online
    http://signal102.cloud.rta.mi.th/home.php?mod=space&uid=1360404&do=profile&from=space
    http://hnzwh.com/space-uid-534127.html
    http://fashionwebsite.org/home.php?mod=space&uid=1217402&do=profile
    http://w8868868.com/bbs/home.php?mod=space&uid=737390&do=profile

  8. credito Says:

    T-Presta, un crédito para lo que quieras, reformas, refinanciación de
    deudas, imprevistos, comprar un coche incluso para montar un negocio si dispones de una vivienda inmueble que actuara como garantía
    aval.

    credito
    http://ch.visitjordan.com/ActivityFeed/MyProfile/tabid/133/UserId/140358/Default.aspx
    http://www.finelivingproducts.com/ActivityFeed/MyProfile/tabid/61/UserId/232182/Default.aspx
    http://www.inca.lombardia.it/UserProfile/tabid/64/userId/267527/Default.aspx
    http://www.mainelysites.com/UserProfile/tabid/61/userId/348960/Default.aspx

  9. creditos rapidos online Says:

    Dicho en otras palabras, al contratar uno de
    estos productos, el cliente no tiene que poner como garantía ningún bien en concreto, a diferencia de lo que ocurre con los préstamos
    hipotecarios en los que la hipoteca, es decir, el derecho de
    garantía, suele recaer sobre el bien inmueble que se va
    a adquirir con el capital que presta la entidad financiera.

    creditos rapidos online
    http://www.furscity.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=1203228&do=profile&from=space
    http://toplist.haber24.site/index.php?a=stats&u=kattiespeed0838
    http://www.mainelysites.com/UserProfile/tabid/61/userId/349734/Default.aspx
    http://my.mamacn.com/space-uid-17695453.html

  10. creditos rapidos y faciles Says:

    creditos rapidos y faciles
    http://okhair.cc/home.php?mod=space&uid=955719&do=profile
    http://shared.bluecentral.com/UserProfile/tabid/61/UserID/301015/Default.aspx
    http://esmithit.com/UserProfile/tabid/43/userId/592430/Default.aspx
    http://zq686.com/space-uid-1887739.html

  11. créditos rápidos urgentes Says:

    Con ello, hay que tener presente en que en un mes deberemos abonar la
    cantidad solicitada más los intereses aplicables.

    créditos rápidos urgentes
    http://bbs.tooodoo.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=910053&do=profile&from=space
    http://www.efy.com.vn/UserProfile/tabid/61/userId/125206/Default.aspx
    http://www.sabt-es.ir/Default.aspx?tabid=56&userId=66106
    http://www.hbmgmt.com/UserProfile/tabid/131/userId/176477/Default.aspx

  12. creditos rapidos con nomina Says:

    creditos rapidos con nomina
    http://read68.com/bbs/home.php?mod=space&uid=1144401&do=profile&from=space
    http://www.qcxrys.com/bbs/home.php?mod=space&uid=1140620&do=profile&from=space
    http://fms.xayoudao.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=518117&do=profile&from=space
    http://doubledubs.com/UserProfile/tabid/82/userId/1016140/Default.aspx

  13. Augusto de Arruda Botelho Says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely feel this amazing site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the information!|

  14. Katrina Says:

    I have read so many articles or reviews concerning the blogger lovers except this article is actually a good post,
    keep it up.

  15. Egli Diana Pinto Says:

    It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s
    time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I
    want to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions.
    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I wish to read even more things about it!

  16. tinder dating site Says:

    Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any recommendations?

  17. Celinda Says:

    Admiring the commitment you put into your blog and detailed information you present.
    It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed
    material. Great read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your
    RSS feeds to my Google account.

  18. creditos rapidos al instante Says:

    creditos rapidos al instante
    http://siwakong.org/home.php?mod=space&uid=127050&do=profile
    http://cocovivaldi.life24.co.kr/index.php?mid=board_UjMC91&document_srl=747247
    http://fans.kuanrf.com:80/home.php?mod=space&uid=3709777&do=profile&from=space
    http://119.167.218.104/home.php?mod=space&uid=618687&do=profile

  19. creditos rapidos sin aval Says:

    creditos rapidos sin aval
    http://www.uksportsbets.co.uk/youtop/index.php?a=stats&u=arthurr469710
    http://www.iassoft.com/UserProfile/tabid/61/userId/211034/Default.aspx
    http://ihumanhair.org/home.php?mod=space&uid=1446692&do=profile
    http://www.advantageelectronicsonline.com/UserProfile/tabid/61/userId/322633/Default.aspx

  20. Minicreditos con asnef Says:

    Normalmente, al no requerir de nómina aval el prestamista necesitará comprobar de alguna manera que el solicitante dispone de algún tipo de financiación common y que el
    préstamo rápido concedido no va a suponer un problema añadido
    para las dos partes.

    Minicreditos con asnef
    http://www.sptools.no/UserProfile/tabid/204/userId/71833/Default.aspx
    http://fashionwebsite.org/home.php?mod=space&uid=1225675&do=profile
    http://www.inca.lombardia.it/UserProfile/tabid/64/userId/272279/Default.aspx
    http://zq686.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=1892615&do=profile&from=space

  21. Leilani Says:

    What’s up, the whole thing is going perfectly here and ofcourse every one is sharing
    data, that’s actually good, keep up writing.

  22. creditos rapidos sin nomina Says:

    Es posible que algunas empresas varíoan algo su proceso de
    solicitud, pero teniendo en cuenta que son préstamos urgentes para conseguirlos rápido, los pasos a seguir son muy intuitivos.

    creditos rapidos sin nomina
    http://shzyijiaren.com/comment/html/index.php?page=1&id=74185
    http://www.xiaovirginhair.org/home.php?mod=space&uid=894160&do=profile
    http://feedingkids.tv/ranked/index.php?a=stats&u=olive62w605
    http://fashionwebsite.org/home.php?mod=space&uid=1222703&do=profile

  23. Itamar Serpa Fernandes Says:

    I have read several good stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how so much effort you put to create any such magnificent informative web site.

  24. top 10 free dating sites for women over 40 Says:

    Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I
    decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using
    WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, wonderful blog!

  25. veneers anthem Says:

    Nice blog here! Additionally your site loads up very fast!
    What host are you using? Caan I get your associate hyperlink for your host?
    I want my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

    My web page veneers anthem

  26. loss prevention Says:

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say
    that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you
    write again soon!

  27. 100% free dating sites in australia Says:

    Great post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Extremely useful information specifically the closing phase :
    ) I handle such info a lot. I used to be seeking this certain information for a very long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  28. typical travel Says:

    excellent publish, very informative. I ponder why the
    other experts of this sector don’t notice this. You should
    continue your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  29. Joseph Says:

    I really like what you guys are up too. This sort of
    clever work and reporting! Keep up the superb
    works guys I’ve included you guys to my personal blogroll.

  30. Itamar Serpa Fernandes Says:

    Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I
    will be waiting for your further post thanks once again.

  31. creditos rapidos online sin aval Says:

    creditos rapidos online sin aval

  32. Merissa Says:

    I think what you wrote made a bunch of sense. But, think about this, suppose you
    were to write a killer headline? I mean, I don’t wish to tell you how to run your website, but suppose you
    added a post title to possibly get people’s attention? I
    mean an open cupboard » Blog Archive »
    jewish ravioli: cheese kreplach is a little
    plain. You should peek at Yahoo’s home page and note how they create post titles to get viewers interested.

    You might add a video or a related pic or two to get people excited about everything’ve written. In my opinion, it would bring your posts a little livelier.

  33. madden 17 coins cheap Says:

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.

    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how can we communicate?

    my weblog madden 17 coins cheap

  34. minecraft free download Says:

    After exploring a handful of the blog articles on your web
    site, I seriously like your way of writing
    a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my website as well and tell me what you think.

  35. pesticide products Says:

    I simply could not leave your web site before suggesting that I really enjoyed the usual info an individual provide on your visitors?
    Is going to be again continuously in order
    to check up on new posts

  36. minecraft download Says:

    I have fun with, cause I discovered exactly what I
    used to be taking a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt!
    God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  37. madden mobile coins apk Says:

    What’s up to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this site, and your views are pleasant
    for new viewers.

    Check out my web blog :: madden mobile coins apk

  38. agrocotacoes.com.br Says:

    With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My blog has a lot
    of unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but
    it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement.
    Do you know any solutions to help protect against content from being
    ripped off? I’d definitely appreciate it.

    my blog mink lash extensions reviews – agrocotacoes.com.br,

  39. nba mobile coins buy Says:

    Nice post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I am inspired!
    Very useful info specially the remaining section :) I maintain such information much.
    I was looking for this certain information for a long time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

    Feel free to visit my web-site nba mobile coins buy

  40. creditos rapidos con asnef y rai Says:

    Con Préstamo10 puedes pedir minicréditos de hasta 600 euros sin aval y demostrando que dispones
    de capacidad para devolver el dinero.

    creditos rapidos con asnef y rai

  41. Itamar Serpa Fernandes Says:

    Awesome! Its genuinely amazing post, I have got much clear idea concerning from this piece of writing.

  42. fifa 17 coins cheapest ps4 Says:

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve visited this web site before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to
    me. Anyhow, I’m certainly delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking
    back often!

    Here is my page: fifa 17 coins cheapest ps4

Leave a Reply

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.
Creative Commons License