KREPLACH

Kreplach are small pasta dough triangles filled with ground meat or mashed potatoes. Similar to dumplings, they are sometimes called Jewish ravioli or Jewish wonton. Sometimes kreplach is boiled and served in soup. Other times kreplach is fried and served as a side dish. It is customary to eat kreplach before the Yom Kippur fast, on the last day of Sukkot, and on Purim.

Why do Jews eat kreplach on Purim?

Some say that kreplach, stuffed cabbage and other foods with fillings are eaten on Purim because the hidden filling is reminiscent of the surprises and secret meanings wrapped up inside the Purim story.

Another explanation for the Purim kreplach eating tradition centers on the chopped meat in the kreplach. Jews in Eastern Europe began to eat food that had been chopped or beaten on Purim to be consistent with the Purim tradition to make noise, stomp feet, clap hands whenever Haman’s name is mentioned during the reading of the Book of Esther.

A final explanation for why Jews eat kreplach on Purim comes from Alfred J. Kolatch’s The Jewish Book of Why. Kolatch writes that the kreplach’s triangular shape symbolizes the three Jewish patriarch (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). And it was from her antecedents that Esther derived the strength she needed to save the Jews from annihilation in Persia.

KREPLACH
by Sharon Lebewohl and Rena Bulkin
From The Second Avenue Deli Cookbook

Ingredients
Wrappers:
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons cold water
1 egg, beaten, for binding kreplach
1 tablespoon salt

<Meat filling:
2 tablespoons corn oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 pound chopmeat
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Potato filling:
2 tablespoons corn oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon finely chopped or crushed fresh garlic
1 egg yolk
1 cup cooked mashed potato
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced scallions
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

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

Preparation: Prepare 1 of the 3 fillings and refrigerate before you begin preparing dough:
Meat Filling
1. 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.
2. In a bowl, thoroughly mix meat-onion mixture with all remaining ingredients.

Potato Filling
1. Heat corn oil in a skillet, and sauté onions until nicely browned. At the last minute, add garlic, which browns quickly.
2. In a large bowl, combine onion-garlic mixture with all other ingredients, and blend thoroughly.

  • Cheese Filling
    1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and blend thoroughly.

    Make wrappers and cook:
    1. Sift flour and 1 teaspoon salt into a large bowl, and create a well in the center.
    2. 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.
    3. 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 teaspoon, and filling at hand.
    4. Place a flatware teaspoon of filling in the center of the square and fold diagonally to create a triangle. Seal sides with egg mixture.
    5. Bring a pot of water to a vigorous boil, add 1 tablespoon salt, drop in the kreplach, and cook for 20 minutes. Serve in chicken soup or, for dairy fillings, with sour cream and fried onions. Makes about 30.

    Variations:
    Easy Kreplach
    Kreplach is much easier to make if you start out with commercial wonton skins for wrappers.
    Ingredients:
    1½ cup cooked chicken
    ¼ cupchopped onion
    2 tablespoons schmaltz
    Grivens, (if you have any)
    Salt and Pepper
    1 pack Won ton skins

    Directions:
    Place 1 teaspoon of meat filling in center of each won ton skin and fold into triangles. Pinch sides together. It helps to moisten the edges so they will form a better seal. Let stand on floured surface for 15 minutes to prevent sticking or opening during cooking. Drop into boiling salted water or soup. Cook about 15 minutes. Also good deep-fried. Makes about 15.

    Cherry Kreplach
    These are traditional at Shavuot, which happily occurs when cherries are in season. Instead of using canned cherries, stew a pound of fresh cherries in 1 cup water and sugar to taste. Don’t overcook them.
    Kreplach are given different shapes in different places. Polish Jews often fold them into ear-shaped pieces (uzhki), while others shape them like ravioli. When the dough pockets are made in half-moons, they are called cherry varnishkes. To make pareve cherry kreplach, boil the cherry syrup with 2 teaspoons cornstarch until thickened, then let cool before using.
    dough: pareve; filling: dairy

    Ingredients: (serves 8)
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup water
    about 5 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon sugar

    Filling and topping
    1 can (16 ounces) pitted sweet cherries
    1 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup confectioners sugar

    Method:
    1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the water until smooth. Gradually add 3 cups of the flour and the salt and sugar, beating constantly to form a stiff dough.

    2. Sprinkle your work surface generously with flour. Turn out the dough, and knead thoroughly, adding more flour if necessary, until it no longer sticks to your hands or the work surface.

    3. Cover dough with a damp cloth and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
    4. Roll out dough on a floured surface and use a wine glass or cookie cutter to cut out 3-inch rounds of dough.
    5. Drain the cherries and place 2 cherries on each round. Fold the dough in half like a turnover.
    6. Moisten the edges and pinch them together, or press with the tines of a fork to seal.
    7. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the kreplach and bring back to a boil.
    8. Reduce heat to prevent the water from boiling over, then increase heat again and cook for 5 minutes.
    9. Drain the kreplach, then serve with sour cream and cinnamon. If pareve, serve sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar.

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  • Posted on March 2, 2012, in 2012, March, Ram's Horn, Recipe. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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