Thursday, November 6, 2014

"Russian" Gnocchi (remake of Russian Dumplings)

I lived in Bellingham, WA, for many years while my husband and I went to school. Bellingham has great food because the city is full of organic hippy foodies. Things grow well for local farmers and I am spoiled to have lived there. One restaurant that exists is a hole in the wall- no frills- Russian dumpling place called Pel'meni. (1211 State Street, Bellingham, WA 98225) (SIDE NOTE: You can listen to THIS song about Bellingham and here the "Hot Russian Dumplings" mentioned.)

All you can order is meat (ground beef) or potato pelmeni (aka dumplings). (They're a little smaller that a traditional perogy.) They are made locally, and frozen. Once you order, they pull the selected dumplings out of the freezer and boil them in either the meat water pot or the potato pot. When they're cooked through, they put them in a little box, add melted butter, a sauce made of Sriracha hot sauce--watered down with some white vinegar and water, sprinkled with dry curry powder, cilantro, and served with a side of sour cream--oh, and a slice of rye bread (a weak version). It's $7. You can buy canned soda if you want to splurge but that's all the options (as of now). It tastes so good. I prefer the potato. It's just perfect easy uncomplicated food. 

Outside the restaurant.

In August, we went on a trip to Bellingham, and ate at the dumpling restaurant and were soooo happy. We sounded like crazy people with all the "mmmm"s and "ahhhhh"s we let out as we ate it slowly. 

Last week, I was sorely missing my favorite Russian dumplings and noticed a package of pre-made gnocchi at the grocery store. Knowing that they're made largely out of potatoes, I pondered over the replacement potential the gnocchi could have if standing in for the dumplings. Well, I did it and it was perfect. It tasted the same as the potato dumplings from Bellingham. Here's what I came up with as the "recipe" below. It's flexible to changes for preference. If you like more or less of something, play around with the amount you top the gnocchi with until you get your perfect bowl.

"Russian" Gnocchi 
  Serves 4

1/4 cup Butter, melted

2 TBPN Sriracha Hot Sauce
1 1/4  TBSN White Vinegar
1 -2 teaspoons warm water 
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
Curry Powder, as desired (about 2 big shakes--2 teaspoons or more per serving)
Gnocchi, 2 16 oz. packages of prepared
1/4 cup Sour Cream (or more if desired)
4 slices Rye bread (optional)

Boil a pot of water to cook your gnocchi as package directs. Drain when done.

Mix Sriracha, white vinegar, and water together. Set aside. (To make it spicier, add less water or more Sriracha.)

To serve: Put gnocchi in a bowl. Spoon about a tablespoon of melted butter over gnocchi. Spoon hot sauce/vinegar/water mixture over the gnocchi. Then shake about 2 teaspoons of curry powder over gnocchi. Top with cilantro and serve with sour cream (about 2 tablespoons--more if desired) on the side to dip your gnocchi into. Traditionally, it comes with a slice of rye bread to soak up any leftover butter and curry powder in the bowl.

Eat immediately while warm.

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