06 Sep Trout “Little Ears” dumplings in “rosół” broth
Since becoming a mother a few things have changed undoubtedly. Not only in my life as a whole (which is to be expected), but also in my personality and my preferences. I have become a better version of myself in many ways – I am more patient, calmer, more grown-up (it was time, believe me). I am also more anxious and cautious, as all mothers are. What I wasn’t expecting were changes to what I like, my preferences. I used to always love the heat. Hot, balmy, sweaty days in London’s east end were something I dreamt of the whole year long – the hotter the better! Since becoming pregnant, I have had an aversion to precisely these kinds of days. I thought it was just pregnancy thing, but no, 8 months after pregnancy the aversion continues. The heatwaves last week nearly did me in. I don’t mind this kind of heat if I am by the sea, that’s another proposition altogether, but if there isn’t a massive body of water just steps away, then no thank you. I am aware that I now sound like an old person. A warm but grey day like today is far more preferable. I have always liked early Autumn, but now I am positively excited about welcoming this melancholy-for-some time of the year. I am welcoming it with dishes such as this one. It was meant to be for the Guardian Cook magazine (I will be in residency all October), but as it has been edited out of the final selection, I thought I would share it with you here, because it’s such a wonderful dish – light yet warming, healthy yet filling, it’s what I call soul food. It takes a little bit of time to prepare, but it’s all very simple really. Rosół is the famous Polish chicken broth, here I have made a rainbow trout version and the typical “Little Ears” dumplings we eat for Christmas are stuffed with a mixture of trout and dill, rather than the traditional mushrooms and sauerkraut. You get a quite a few portions from this recipe – feel free to freeze both the dumplings and the broth, they won’t suffer for it.
Rosół broth and dumpling filling
1 trout, cleaned and gutted with head and tail still on
2 litres water
1 parsnip, peeled
1 carrot, peeled
½ celeriac, peeled
½ on onion with skin on
A Handful of celery leaves (optional)
5 black peppercorns
5 allspice berries
2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Dough for “Little Ears” dumplings
200g plain flour
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon salted butter
80ml warm water (approx.)
Splash of mild oil
Rinse the trout and place in a large pan of cold water (approx. 2 litres) along with the parsnip, carrot, onion, leek, celeriac, celery leaves, bay leaf, peppercorns and allspice berries.
Bring the water to the boil, then bring the heat down and allow to simmer for 7-8min, before removing the fish.
Once you have removed the fish, separate the head, tail and spine from the body and put them back into the pan to simmer for a further hour and a half, or more, while the fish cools.
Now we make the dough – Combine all of the dough ingredients in a big bowl and knead until it all comes together. Transfer to a floured surface and knead for a further 15min, then place it back in the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 20min, better yet half an hour if you have it.
Make the filling by flaking into a bowl and removing any visible bones. Add the finely chopped dill, breadcrumbs and half the lemon juice.
Whisk the egg slightly and add to the filling mixture. Season well.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface, as thin as you can get it.
Cut it into equal squares (about 6-7cm each side). Place a teaspoon (or half if you find 1 teaspoon too difficult) in the middle of the square and seal the edges into a triangle.
Take the two corners that are the furthest apart and roll them towards one another over a finger. Stick them together. You now have a “little ear” – repeat until all the filling and dough are used up.
Once the broth has finished cooking (this is for you to decide, as the longer you cook it the better it will be, up to a point. Anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours works well) sieve it into a fresh pot. Season it to your own taste. Add the remaining lemon juice and the chopped parsley.
Cook the dumplings in a large pan of salted water – we wait for them to rise to the top, then give them a further 2-3 min.
Serve the “uszka” in a bowl with the “rosół” poured on top.