Kasha Kreplach with Toasted Garlic Challah Crumbs

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Yield: about

    50

    Kreplach

Appears in

This will probably make more kreplach than you need for this dinner, but it is difficult to prepare less than one cup of kasha (since it is mixed with a whole egg). And leftover kreplach (uncooked) can be frozen. Arrange them, unwrapped, in a single layer on a baking sheet, place in the freezer until solidly frozen, then wrap in freezer packaging. You can also use the filling to make “lazy kreplach:” boil the wonton wrappers as you would pasta squares and drain them. Grease a rimmed baking sheet or pan and on it place one or two wrappers for each guest, in a single layer, sides not touching. Spread some of the filling on each wrapper and cover with another wrapper. Continue adding a few layers of filling and wrappers to each with the remaining filling and wrappers, creating a stack or two of kreplach for each guest. Add some broth to the bottom of the pan, and drizzle each stack with gravy and a bit more broth. Bake at 325°F until everything is heated through. Serve guests the stacks of lazy kreplach, topped with the challah crumbs.

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Ingredients

For the Kasha Kreplach

  • 1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup kasha
  • 2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade, or Vegetable Stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion(about ½ pound)
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes(leftover is fine)
  • About 100 wonton wrappers (it’s a good idea to have extra in case of tearing)
  • Egg wash (1 or 2 large eggs as needed, each beaten with 1 teaspoon water)

For the Challah Crumbs

  • 2 slices challah, about
  • ¾ inch thick
  • tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Method

Prepare the kasha: in a medium bowl, beat the egg with a fork. Stir in the kasha and mix until each grain is thoroughly coated with egg. Bring the broth to a simmer. In a heavy medium skillet with high sides or a wide heavy saucepan, toast the kasha over medium heat, turning and breaking up the kasha constantly until the egg begins to dry and the grains separate, about 3 minutes. Add the simmering broth and salt and pepper to taste, then cover and cook over very low heat until tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until speckled with deep bronze. Add the onions to the kasha. Stir in the mashed potato, and combine well. Taste and adjust seasonings: it should be well salted and peppery. Add the egg yolks and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until cold.

Make the challah crumbs: preheat the oven to 325°F. Arrange the challah on a rimmed baking sheet and toast on both sides until dry and crisp. Or toast lightly in a toaster oven. Let cool, then tear into pieces and pulse in a food processor until coarsely ground. Measure out 1 cup; use any extra for another purpose. In a medium skillet, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and crumbs, and cook, stirring, until golden brown. Season well with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley, if using.

Fill and trim the kreplach, using 1 tablespoon of filling and 2 wonton wrappers for each krepl and sealing them with the egg wash.

Poach the kreplach: in a large, very wide pot, bring at least 5 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil. Slip in the kreplach, one by one, being careful not to overcrowd the pot (if necessary, cook them in batches, or use two pots). Lower the temperature slightly (the kreplach might explode if the water is boiling furiously) and poach until tender, 3 to 6 minutes (exact time will depend on the brand of wonton wrapper used). Lift the kreplach out, a few at a time, with a large skimmer, gently shaking the skimmer so the water drains back into the pot (the kreplach are too fragile to pour into a colander).

The kreplach are now ready to be sauced.

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