Back to Madrid 2 – ENGLISH

dav

Boy oh boy I am busy… Well, admittedly  last weekend was spent only watching movies and preparing cupcakes, but still. We are now close enough to the wedding that I have a proper to-do list for it (involving baked goods, the dress and such are taken care of!). This Thursday the baking course is over ( written and practical tests) and after that I am a free woman :). Come to me nail varnish! But let’s now go back to Madrid, ever so briefly!

I left you after our lovely dinner at Mad Café. We definitely needed energy for the following day…

Our third full day in the capital was spent walking a LOT. We woke up and had a lovely breakfast at Cookies and Dreams. Yes, this is Alma’s cupcakes shop! Alma! My mentor and Yoda, Alma! Hi Alma, I am here, waving at you from the Internet!!!! One day I will meet her 🙂 (she smiled, crazily). We had a lovely brownie and cheesecake and a couple of cupcakes, a coffee, and off we went.

It was Saint Jordi, or World Book Day. In Catalunya, it’s a tradition to buy a book and a rose for your loved ones and to honour it, we bought books and roses for ourselves. Here a snapshot of the outcome of this expedition:

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(for whatever reason, in the hostel room the light was very heavenly)

After that, we started our descent to Madrid Río. This park was built on top of one of the busiest ring roads in Madrid. The ring road now lies underneath the massive green area that was built on the banks of the Manzanares, Madrid’s river. On one end of it, we have Príncipe Pío, a train station / shopping centre. At the other end, we have Legazpi and the Matadero (an abattoir made exposition centre / hipster central). In the middle some kilometres of green spaces, “the beach” (fountains open only during summer where the poor madrileños go to fight the heat off), terraced bars and playgrounds. Madrid Río is neighbours another huge park, Casa de Campo. Casa de Campo is so big that it contains a zoo and an amusement park and it used to be THE place to find prostitutes in Madrid (apart from Calle Montera, straight in the city centre, of course). Now it’s closed to traffic and you can only enter on foot or on your bike. You have little hills, and mountain bike routes, and in the middle of it, you can forget that you are in Madrid. There is also a lake, which is currently being cleaned, close to Madrid Río’s entrance. You can easily hike there and have a beer at a table overlooking the water.

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We walked all the way to Matadero, stopping every now and then for refreshments (read: beer), taking a picture with the good old Calderón (if you are a football fan, it’s Atlético de Madrid’s former stadium) and enjoying the sunshine. By then we were very tired. We still managed to walk all the way up (again! Madrid is not a plain city, in any sense) to Huertas, where we found a bar and had some huevos rotos before collapsing on our bed.

Big day the one after that! Not from a touristic point of view, though. We started off with some lovely tostas con tomate (you may call them bruschettas for breakfast, but I like them better, since the tomato is not diced but grated and you assemble them yourself) and we went for a quick walk in the Retiro.

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Fun fact: in the Retiro you will find one of the few statues of the devil as the fallen angel Lucifer (wings and all). On we went and had a walk (not too much of a walk, though, since the day before we had been already good enough) around the Salamanca neighbourhood, home of the posh and the expensive. It’s very easy to get around, since the layout of the area is grid-like (thank you, Marquis of Salamanca). We were not there to admire the posh and the expensive, though, we were there for a concert! Arcade Fire were playing in the WiZink arena (Real Madrid’s basketball arena) that evening, so very soon we were sitting down in the nice square in front of the building, listening in surreal conversations happening all around us. The concert was amazing, thank you for asking. We had also had plenty of refreshments, which added to the excitement.

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There is no need to look at our sad selves on the morning after, leaving Madrid, hungover, having a burger at 8 in the morning at the airport. There is really no need for that.

Just go to Madrid and experience first-hand their welcoming attitude, the food, the bars, the strolls. You will love it 🙂


Back to Madrid 1 – ENGLISH

davIt’s very difficult for me to write a short post (or even two) about Madrid.
I lived there for ten years and I consider myself to be a “cat” (that’s how they call people from Madrid, “gato”. Of course I am not, since in order to be called gato, you have to be 3rd generation madrileño.). My formative years were spent there and I just love the place, as anyone who knows me could tell you. I never shut up about it. 🙂
We were in Madrid for 5 days, and I loved every second of it; I dragged poor Sergeant Lunch here and there and I was somehow able to avoid using the Metro for the entire trip (in Madrid even the Metro is bonito, have I ever told you? :D)
Sorry in advance for not having too many pictures, but maybe I can offer you some tips as a adoptive Madrileña.
We stayed in an Airbnb in Calle Fuencarral, (here), which is very nice if you don’t mind some noise  (it’s a pedestrian area and Spanish people stay out until late, bear that in mind). Now the good thing about staying there (apart from feeling weird because that building used to be a weird sort of market, a staple of the neighbourhood, now converted into a Decathlon) is that you are bang in the centre. From there you can walk anywhere, which we did.
On day one we stayed in the centre, just strolling around Calle Mayor, Plazuela de Santiago, Plaza Conde de Barajas and Plaza de Santa Ana, eating and drinking our way through the day, which is the Spanish way of enjoying life. All but Plaza de Santa Ana, which is a fairly big square, are lovely little corners of the city centre where you won’t find many tourists. Particularly the Plazuela de Santiago, at the end of the pedestrian Calle de Santiago, a little street just in front of the area where you can find the famous Mercado de San Miguel, is one of my favourite, quiet spots for a beer. davIf you want to visit a very Spanish bar, you have to go to Mesón Viña. It’s in a little street very close to Plaza de Callao (so again, bang in the city centre). On this little street you will find at least 4 bars, all of the “casposo” style (you could call them “old men’s bars”, if you wish). They look rotten, but people serving you are (usually) very nice, and food is (extremely) cheap and (again, usually) more than decent. With less than 20 eur we had plenty of cañas and 4 “raciones” to share between us. Sharing is essential in Spain, in every restaurant it will be considered normal to order food “para compartir” (to share). The lovely bartender gave us, besides our food, tapas with each caña we ordered. So much so that I had to refuse them twice (to Lunch’s bewilderment). We even got a slap on the shoulder each when they brought us a lomo sandwich. Which, anywhere in the world, is clearly a sign of “I like these davtwo, they are enjoying their stay”. The food is of course nothing out of the ordinary, but it’s nice, and Spanish, and typical. Bread, potatoes, eggs, you will always find comfort in dishes containing these ingredients.  That night, in order to digest the food, we went for a stroll to the Temple of Debod, an Egyptian temple gifted to Spain by Egypt. There is a nice view over the massive park of Casa de Campo, and on a warm spring night, it’s nice to sit out there listening to some dude playing versions of random songs. We then proceeded to go to José Alfredo, a cocktail bar near Plaza de la Luna. It’s so small you could miss it (Sgt. Lunch actually missed it when he was in Madrid the first time, without me, his experienced and gorgeous guide 😉 ). We made friends with the Italian barista, who prepared for us the most amazing cocktails we’ve had in a long time. One was a “special” Margarita with blue Curaçao and chilli, the other one, the one that really blew our minds, was a sweet whiskey and Laphroaig with lime and habanero oil… Just amazing!
To finish our night on a good note we went to Moloko, one of the few remaining “garitos” (“bar de copas”, we could call them just clubs), that survived the purge in Malasaña, the indie/alternative neighbourhood. Of course, around 2.30 Sergeant Lunch had to drag me home. I was unhappy at that moment, very happy the day after. Well, after I recovered from the hungover, that is.

Sunday was actually a very quiet day, since I wanted to see a friend of mine. We still walked a lot though, making our way all the way to the Canal area and Cuatro Caminos. It’s not a place you want to go to on a short trip, but it’s where my friend lives, and you can still find some good restaurants and bars. There is a nice residential area in between, where we stopped on our way back. In the Chamberí neighbourhood you can find the Anden Cero, a former Metro station now a Museum. Unfortunately, it was temporarily closed when we got there so we ended up going for beers instead at Plaza de Olavide. It is a very nice and closed to traffic square with playgrounds in the middle, where Spanish parents let their kids roam free while they drink and chat away. I prefer this lively square to thecrumble.pngchaos of La Latina, where we went for one before going for dinner. La Latina is a “hip”, “young” area (it’s never good when you see too many quotation marks around adjectives), but it’s also full of vultures fighting to steal your seat outside a bar and tables too close to cars to be able to enjoy being in the sun at 26 degrees. We stayed for one in Plaza de Olavide and we stayed for one in a bar in La Latina. Sergeant Lunch, the official visitor, said he would go back to the first one and never to the second one. But if you are “hip”, and “young”, then you will enjoy La Latina for sure 🙂
Our lovely Sunday finished with a lovely burger. It was one of the two concessions we made to non-Spanish food during our visit. Mad Café is a place I miss a lot, with its short menu, nice beers and nice dessert. We had nachos, burgers and a crumble that made me very happy, and very sleepy.
Next week, day 3 and 4, or “the day of the big long walk” and “the day of the concert”.


Un “sin parar”. Muffin alla Banana e Mirtilli.

“Qué tal?”
” Ay, no veas, es un sin parar.”
In Spagna si utilizza quest’espressione quando qualcuno ti chiede come va e tu rispondi che non ti stai fermando un attimo, letteralmente vuol dire “E’ un senza fermarsi”. Espressione molto appropriata in questi giorni per me!
Sono sopravvissuta questo fine settimana al mio primo “Hen Party”, o addio al nubilato, in quel di Kenmare (che in realtà non ho visitato per nulla, naturalmente), di cui vi mostro una diapositiva:

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Non si vede niente? Ecco, questa era anche la mia prospettiva :’)
Questa settimana è altrettanto caotica, e venerdì sono in partenza per Madrid di cui, ovviamente, avrete un reportage gastronomico al mio ritorno.

Non ho abbandonato il blog, non temete, ma purtroppo da qui a giugno gli impegni sono molti, il tempo poco e i cupcake da preparare per il matrimonio tantissimi.

Un pomeriggio di qualche settimana fa, ho voluto provare una delle ricette di Sinéad. Dopo il grande successo degli scone, di cui presto vi proporrò la ricetta, mi sono sentita ringalluzzita e volevo provare questa interessante e molto salutare ricetta. Forse un tantino troppo salutare per i miei gusti!

 


Muffin Banana e Mirtilli


Ingredienti

  • 300 g di farina self-raising
  • 1 cucchiaino di bicarbonato
  • 100 g di zucchero mascobado, di cui mettiamo da parte una cucchiaiata per il topping
  • 50 g di fiocchi d’avena, più un cucchiaio per il topping
  • 2 banane medie, mature
  • 284 ml buttermilk 
  • 5 cucchiai di olio d’oliva
  • 2 bianchi d’uovo
  • 150 g di mirtilli

Preparazione

  1. Accendiamo il forno a 180 gradi. Se non avete del buttermilk, potete tranquillamente utilizzare la ricetta che ho inserito tra gli ingredienti, o yogurt non zuccherato.
  2. In un contenitore, mettiamo la farina, il bicarbonato, l’avena e il grosso dello zucchero. Lasciamo un po’ di spazio nel centro (come quando facciamo la pizza).
  3. In un altro contenitore, schiacciamo bene le banane e a questo composto aggiungiamo il buttermilk, l’olio e i bianchi d’uovo. Mescoliamo bene.
  4. Aggiungiamo il composto di banane e buttermilk alla farina velocemente e mescoliamo fino ad ottenere un composto uniforme. Non è necessario mescolare troppo.
  5. Aggiungiamo i mirtilli e ancora una volta mescoliamo velocemente e senza esagerare, solo fino a quando si sono distribuiti nel composto.
  6. Prepariamo le capsule e le riempiamo (con abbondanza!!). Mescoliamo lo zucchero e l’avena che avevamo lasciato da parte e cospargiamo la cima dei nostri muffin.
  7. Inforniamo per 18-20 minuti come sempre fino ad ottenere muffin asciutti dentro ed  elastici.

Il risultato dell’assaggio è così così… Pur piacendomi la consistenza, ed adorando i mirtilli, mi son parsi fin troppo “salutari”. Mancava quel pizzico di dolcezza che fa si che siano irresistibili a mio avviso. Ma se non siete particolarmente attratti da prodotti troppo dolci, questi muffin fanno al caso vostro 🙂

PS: Non vedo l’ora di farvi vedere una ricetta DELIZIOSA di muffin nutellosi, ma purtroppo la prima volta che li ho fatti mi sono dimenticata di fare foto! Per cui dovrete aspettare la prossima volta… 😉


Weekend in Manchester

I hope you all had a lovely Easter! Let’s not delve too much into the weather subject, since I know it’s been bad basically everywhere (everywhere that matters to me, at least). I spent the weekend in Manchester and I am now ready to share my impressions of the city (mostly of its food, as always).

It was a weekend trip and its purpose was, primarily, football related.
A very noisy group of ladies, all suited up with the same shirt, welcomed us at the Cork Airport’s pub at 7 in the morning. I then discovered that a big percentage of people going to the Manchester-Liverpool area can be attributed to marriage or football related activities.
The spirits (pun intended) were high from early in the morning, yay! 😉

After a smooth trip, we dropped our bags at the hotel reception and made our way for the Old Trafford.

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[Brief digression here: Sergeant Lunch is a Man United fan and it turns out that I am too, now. I have three clubs of which I am a big fan of, Inter from my native Italy, Deportivo de la Coruña from Spain, and MUFC. If you asked me which one gives us most satisfaction at the moment, I would find it difficult to give you an answer in less than an hour. That’s the upside of living in different places I suppose 🙂 ]

I loved everything about that old stadium, and I loved to be there with the fans at the pub before and after the game (we won, in case you were wondering). My travel companions, Sergeant Lunch and Mayor Bennies know the city fairly well after years going to the matches, so I admit I hadn’t prepared at all for the trip, relying on them for everything. Saturday’s dinner was a Spanish feast in a nice tapas place, La Viña (not Juan Mata’s father, football lovers). We ate so much, and 99% of the food was so nice… I felt like a pint of Mahou Cinco Estrellas to honour the memory of my adoptive city, Madrid, to wash down the lovely chorizo and the dreadful tortilla. Do not order tortilla there, if you don’t want to be disappointed. The foto is slightly blurry because Sergeant Lunch did not want to be left behind while we were eating so it was taken in a hurry… 😉

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Sunday was our day to actually go and discover the city. Well, for me to discover the city, for the others to have a walk. Feeling somehow in debt with them, who were very kind as to show me around, I decided to ask Google the following question: “Best places to have breakfast in Manchester”. You should have known that was going to happen, Google. Thanks to that question, we managed to find a whole neighbourhood, the Northern Quarter, where there was a café every three hipster steps. We had a lovely savoury breakfast in Common (the nearby Home Sweet Home was too full) and then, after five minutes, feeling like we had walked enough already, we stopped at the Mackie Mayor food court.

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Mainly we wanted to have a look at the lovely job that was done there to refurbish the place, but we ended up having a coffee and a dessert each. I there discovered the existence of  friands (thank you Wolf House Coffee!!! ❤ ) and now I really, really, want to find a good recipe for those.

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After the second pit stop, we managed to actually take a walk. I must say I really liked Manchester. I love cities with character, and here you find one all right. From Industrial Revolution history, to football, to music, it’s a city that under that gruff appearance has got a lot to offer to different categories of tourists. And it’s cheap, way cheaper than London.

During the walk we were of course drawn by a little market where we were presented with an all-Manchester-Liverpool-musical stall (owned by a copycat Noel Gallagher), a “queer beer” stall, and this:

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Bunzels? Really, Manchester?! 😀

It was a very full and interesting day, finished with a nice dinner and an uneventful visit at the Temple underground bar (too crowded, we had a looked and went straight back to the hotel).

On Monday, we were going to come back. Of course I did not let the opportunity pass and I found another place to have breakfast before leaving. At quarter to eleven, there was a queue outside Moose Coffee. Thank you, Saint Google, once more you pointed me on the right direction… 😉

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I had lovely poached eggs on top o a ton of veggies and a delicious cappuccino. My companions had similar savoury dishes, and they were also very happy, and very nicely full afterwards.

I like to say “Always start a trip with a full belly”. Or wait, was that Bilbo Baggins?!

 

 


San Patrizio e la visita inaspettata…

20 giorni senza pubblicare un post :O

Oggi, devo ammettere, pubblico solo per far sapere al mondo che sono ancora qui e che presto tornerò con normalità. O questa è la mia speranza, dal momento che nei prossimi due mesi si susseguiranno, turbinosamente:

  • Un viaggio a Manchester
  • Un addio al nubilato
  • Un viaggio a Madrid
  • Una visita
  • Un matrimonio
  • Un’altra visita
  • Un altro matrimonio

Poi il corso da finire, il lavoro che è sempre lì, e i miei pasticci in cucina da registrare per la posterità! 😀
La mia scusa per non aver postato niente negli ultimi 20 (!!!) giorni è quella di una visita di mia sorella, che è venuta a presenziare per San Patrizio. Il tempo, naturalmente è stato orrendo, ma abbiamo mangiato cookie in abbondanza per cui tutto a posto… 😉
Ieri ho preparato un dietetico banana bread per le mie colazioni dopo le abbuffate vacanziere (particolarmente gradito alla Soldatessa Biscotto un ristorante chiamato, stupendamente, Son of a Bun – indovinate cosa ci fanno!)
Soldatessa Biscotto ha vissuto con me il primo San Patrizio in terra d’Irlanda! Qui i locali non lo vivono con l’entusiamo che lo viviamo gli altri comuni mortali negli altri paesi nel mondo, perché, a detta di Sergente Pranzo e altri, in realtà si tratta solo di un “Giant piss-up“. Siamo riusciti in realtà a trascorrere un bel Saint Paddy’s guardando le ultime partite della Sei Nazioni, e poi venendo a casa per una bella cena e una partita al Trivial Pursuit (che non ho vinto, come sempre).
Ieri poi, con somma soddisfazione, ho visto come la mia ultima creazione preparata al corso è stata divorata al Daffodil Day Cake Sale al lavoro (in Irlanda e Inghilterra esiste da sempre un forte impulso al collaborare con fondazioni e “charity” di vario tipo e genere, e ancora mi sorprendo vedendo quanto la gente ci tenga e partecipi alle varie iniziative):

nor

Genoise alla vaniglia con boiled buttercream al pistacchio e cioccolato fondente a decorare. Ehm… Le scagliette sul laterale non dovevano essere lì ma la buona Sinéad non è stata molto chiara per cui tutti, copiando da tutti, abbiamo utilizzato il cioccolato temperato un po’ a malo modo 😀
In ogni caso, è la prima volta che mi sforzo a creare qualcosa di decente al corso, e con orgoglio e soddisfazione vi confermo che era ottima e che è sopravvissuta al viaggio in bus e in treno fino al lavoro…
A presto con la ricetta dei muffin alla banana, mirtilli e avena (rimaniamo sul salutare… 🙂 )

 

 


Colpo di coda dell’inverno. Strawberry Cheese Cupcakes

Altro che Ophelia! Per un momento avevo creduto che la primavera fosse arrivata, e invece no cari miei! Neve, gelo, pioggia, e 5 giorni in casa, ecco cosa ci ha portato la fine di febbraio. Ecco un paio di diapositive della città in questi giorni:

 

Come mi piace passeggiare con la neve… Odio invece quando la neve si inizia a sciogliere, per cui sono contenta che subito dopo la grande neve, abbia iniziato a piovere a catinelle. Certo che adesso dall’allerta rossa per neve siamo passati all’allerta arancione per alluvione, ma non si può vincere sempre… 😉

La settimana scorsa, prima che quest’ultima botta di vita dell’inverno (o questo spero, ecco) si abbattesse sull’Irlanda intera, mi sentivo già in mood primaverile, per cui decisi di provare a fare questi cheesecake cupcake. Non sono vere e proprie mini cheesecake, come probabilmente avrete trovato in determinati negozi. Sono cupcake, ma un po’ particolari.


Cupcake di fragole e cheesecake


Ingredienti

  • 40 g di burro, ammorbidito
  • 120 g di farina
  • 140 g di zucchero
  • un pizzico di sale
  • 120 ml di latte intero
  • 1 cucchiaino e mezzo di lievito per dolci
  • mezzo cucchiaino di estratto di vaniglia
  • 1 uovo
  • 12 fragole grandi, tagliate a pezzettini
  • 100-200 g di biscotti digestive
  • Mezza ricetta di glassa al formaggio spalmabile, che potete trovare qui.

Preparazione

  1. Accendiamo il forno a 170 gradi e con la planetaria o con una frusta elettrica, mescoliamo farina, zucchero, lievito, sale e burro, lentamente, fino a ottenere un composto granuloso e uniforme.
  2. Aggiungiamo il latte e l’estratto di vaniglia e mescoliamo a velocità media, pulendo bene le pareti della ciotola con una spatola.
  3. Aggiungiamo l’uovo e mescoliamo bene un paio di minuti ancora, fino a quanto il composto è ben amalgamato.
  4. Prepariamo le capsule nello stampo e dividiamo le fragole tagliate in parti uguali per ognuno dei futuri cupcake. Aggiungiamo poi il composto sopra le fragole fino ad arrivare a due terzi dell’altezza della capsula.
  5. Inforniamo per 20-25 minuti e mentre aspettiamo prepariamo la glassa. I cupcake saranno pronti, come sempre, quando all’inserire uno stuzzicadenti questo esce pulito o se, al toccare col dito la superficie dello stesso, questa è elastica.
  6. Una volta raffreddati i cupcake, possiamo decorarli con la glassa e i biscotti digestive spezzettati.

 

Un paio di appunti. Tanto per cominciare, nel mio caso, al momento di comprare le fragole sono stata un po’ troppo ottimista, per cui probabilmente ne avevo all’incirca la metà di quante indicate dalla ricetta. Questo ha fatto si che ci fossero meno fragole negli stampi e di conseguenza che i cupcake venissero un po’… striminziti. 🙂
Sono cupcake quindi molto molto fragolosi! Abbondiamo pure quindi con le fragole, dal momento che il composto non è tantissimo, in proporzione. O dovremo aumentare leggermente le quantità di questo se vogliamo meno frutta.
In secondo luogo, il composto è praticamente liquido, per dare la sensazione di “cheesecake”. Questo significa che i cupcake sono molto delicati, e tendono a “smontarsi” leggermente all’uscire dal forno. Quindi, stiamo attenti alla cottura. Per preferenza personale, tendo a lasciare i miei dolci abbastanza appena appena cotti. In questo caso, penso che sia meglio dorare i cupcake un pochino di più di quanto faremmo normalmente, per garantire che non siano troppo morbidi.
Quando arrivi, primavera?!


Bao-zi – Dumplings!!! (ENGLISH)

No, I have still not had time to bake bread. Maybe I can try this weekend… We all know very well that, at times, you can’t just do all that you want. These days are just very busy (I don’t really know why, they just are) so I am always onto quick bakes. I would have liked to try and make croissants again but, same as bread, you need to have time and love and care to spare for that. I will keep you posted 🙂
Now… Do we consider bao-zi to be bread? I do! So we could almost think that I baked bread yesterday… And following my mentor’s recipe. Ibán Yarza, my life would be so boring without you 😀
Yesterday was Experiment Night. Both me and Sergeant Lunch love dumplings and I happened to have a recipe there from Ibán’s book that turned out to be a winner. This will be a recurrent feature at dinner from now on, I reckon 😉


Bao-Zi with meat filling


Ingredients

    Filling
  • 500 g minced meat (pork and beef mix)
  • 1 big onion (or 2 small ones)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • A splash of sunflower oil
  • A splash of vinegar
  • A splash of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Pepper
  • 2 ground cloves
  • Dough
  • 400 g of flour
  • 200 g of water
  • 20 g of sugar
  • 4 g of salt
  • 10 g of fresh yeast (or 3 g of dry yeast)

Preparation

  1. We start preparing the dough. We mix all the ingredients and we knead for 5-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. It is a fairly dry dough, very different from the pizza one, for example, so don’t worry if it’s not fluffy and soft. We leave it to proof 30 to 45 minutes. It’s not necessary that it doubles its size, you just need to see that it’s started to ferment correctly and it’s bigger and fluffier.
  2. Meanwhile, we prepare our filling. We put the onion in the pan with the oil, and we fry it for a while, until golden. We add the meat, and we fry it for a moment on high heat; we add the rest of the ingredients, we lower the heat and we leave it there for 15-20 minutes. We put aside to rest once we are done.
  3. Once the dough is ready, we start preparing the dumplings. It’s actually easier than it looks like… Or so I thought 🙂
  4. We weight the dough, dividing it into little balls of 30-35 grams each. Of course, you can make them bigger. I am giving you the standard recipe that we also followed for the first time. With a rolling pin, we stretch each ball to a disc of about 10-12 cm, trying to leave the edge of the disc thinner than the central part. We put a tablespoon (be generous, I though I was already putting too much but I ended up having not enough filling) on the centre of the disc and we start folding its hems on top of the filling, pressing hard after each fold. Since it’s more complicated to describe than to do, I will leave you a video at the end of the recipe.
  5. Once the dumplings are ready, we leave them to proof another 30 to 45 minutes. Again, they don’t need to double the size, just to get a bit “spongier”. We can leave them proof in the steamer. You can use either baking parchment or salad/cabbage leaves so that they won’t stick to the bamboo.
  6. We are now ready to bake them. We place the steamer on top of simmering water, close the lid, hope for the best and leave them there for around 10 minutes. Once they are cooked (try and not peek too much into the steamer), we remove the bamboo container from the water and we will leave it to rest for a minute or two. We don’t want all the steam to escape at once, with the effect of leaving crumpled buns behind. We open the lid carefully and… Voila’, we are ready to eat!

As promised, look at this beautifully easy to follow video:

Of course, the filling can vary. I will report any new flavours added to our collection 🙂