When the fates conspired to have me miss Thanksgiving festivities this year, I vowed to make up for it afterward by fitting a feast of flavors into a holiday-inspired dumpling, a jam-packed shot of turkeycranberrysagerosemarythymepumpkinpie, a bite for which to be thankful.
But shopping for Thanksgiving-themed foods the day after Thanksgiving is a crapshoot. Scouring three separate grocery stores, I spied thai chili peppers, sea beans and durian fruit in abundance, but oh, what I might have done for one bunch of fresh sage.
At the third stop of my sage-hunting safari, a sales clerk stumbled on me shoulder-deep into a shelf of the produce aisle, on my tippy toes reaching into the very, very back, surrounded by little bundles of sealed, unmarked plastic bags all askew and filled with not sage.
What was I doing, ma’am? Looking for sage. The sign says sage, but it looks like oregano. The sign says sage, ma’am? The leaves really do not look like sage at all. But the sign says sage, ma’am? If I could maybe open a bag, I could probably confirm the aroma, and… You can’t do that, ma’am? I mean, I guess it could maybe be something like baby sage.
I should not have said that. Given this excuse, the clerk insisted that was correct. And I went home with a bunch of fragrant, fresh and decidedly not-sage oregano.
Holiday Feast Dumplings
A Thanksgiving feast in one bite, these dumplings are herbaceous with a little kick. A dollop of jellied cranberry sauce adds a hint of fruity sweetness that makes these dumplings unique. You’ll find canned jellied cranberries for a steal after Thanksgiving, but, for goodness sake, buy your sage early. Makes 100 dumplings.
1 pound spicy ground turkey
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced*
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced*
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced*
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced*
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 packages of square wonton wrappers
1 can of jellied cranberry sauce
*If you are using dried herbs, half these quantities.
Combine all ingredients, except cranberry sauce, in a bowl and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
To wrap dumplings, add slightly less than 1 teaspoon of mixture to center of dumpling wrapper. Top with a small amount of cranberry sauce. Total filling should be about 1 teaspoon. Then fold into your shape of preference. I learned a new shape today by following this great pictorial.
To cook dumplings, steam for 15 minutes. (You can find more information about using a bamboo steamer here.) Alternatively, toss your dumplings into some boiling soup.
J likes his dumplings plain, but I like mine with dipping sauce. To pair with these holiday feast dumplings, I combined a minced clove of garlic, fresh rosemary and black Chinkiang vinegar (i.e. my personal black gold, for which there is no substitute).