Kreplach

Purim is the day that celebrates the salvation of the physical existence of the Jewish people, Purim is the most physical of the festivals. Its observances include giving gifts of money to the poor, sending food portions to friends, and eating a sumptuous meal accompanied by plentiful drink in the closing hours of the festival.

Called Jewish wontons or raviolis, kreplach are pasta dumplings, usually triangular in shape, filled with minced meat, onion-spiced potatoes, or cheese. Kreplach carries a lot of lofty symbolism; its triangular shape represents Judaism’s three patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Apparently, if you don’t roll your kreplach dough paper thin your kreplach will taste like “craplach.”  However, you can just purchase wonton wrappers in a Chinese food store or supermarket, and making kreplach becomes a cinch. There’s even a kosher brand called Nasoya, available in many supermarkets; look for it near the tofu.

Kreplach

Makes about 30

Wrappers
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten
3 Tbs cold water
1 egg, beaten, for binding kreplach
1 Tbs salt

Meat filling
2 Tbs corn oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 lb chopmeat
1 egg yolk
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Potato filling
2 Tbs corn oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp finely chopped or crushed fresh garlic
1 egg yolk
1 cup cooked, mashed potato
2 Tbs minced fresh parsley
1 Tbs minced scallions
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Cheese filling
1 cup farmer cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten

Prepare 1 of the 3 fillings and refrigerate before you begin preparing dough:
Meat Filling

Heat corn oil in a skillet; sauté onions until nicely browned, remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Add meat to the pan and sauté on high heat, stirring frequently until all meat is browned. Put the onions back in, and sauté with meat, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Let cool.

In a bowl, thoroughly mix meat-onion mixture with all remaining ingredients.
Potato Filling

Heat corn oil in a skillet, and sauté onions until nicely browned. At the last minute, add garlic, which browns quickly.

In a large bowl, combine onion-garlic mixture with all other ingredients, and blend thoroughly.
Cheese Filling

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and blend thoroughly.

Make wrappers and cook:

Sift flour and 1 tsp salt into a large bowl, and create a well in the center.

Pour eggs into the well, and, wetting your hands, knead into a dough. Add water, and continue kneading until dough is smooth. Roll dough into a ball, place it in a bowl, cover the bowl with a damp cloth, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a well-floured board, roll dough as close as possible to paper-thinness with a floured rolling pin. Cut into 2-inch squares. You can roll each individual square a bit thinner before you fill it. Have bowl with beaten egg, a tsp, and filling at hand.

Place a flatware tsp of filling in the center of the square and fold diagonally to create a triangle. Seal sides with egg mixture.

Bring a pot of water to a vigorous boil, add 1 Tbs salt, drop in the kreplach, and cook for 20 minutes. Serve in chicken soup or, for dairy fillings, with sour cream and fried onions.

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