Photo by by Annaliese Bischoff
Provenance of Dish
Inspired by a wonderfully layered Afghan lamb dish (known as aushak) I am offering a vegetarian mushroom dish. I first made Katie Morford’s original lamb recipe in 2011 after it won a weekly dumpling contest on the website Food52. My version features different ingredients and steps.
½ cup plain, thick Greek whole milk yogurt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of Maldon salt flakes
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3 cups of shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
Up to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon butter, divided
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sumac, optional
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes, or hot red pepper flakes, optional
1 cup tomato sauce (mine includes fresh oregano, some grated carrots and a bit of roasted red pepper)
2 oz. dry red wine
1 inch of a leek bulb, finely minced
¾ cup of chopped scallions (bulbs and leaves)
@ 10-12 square wonton wrappers
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon of chopped scallion greens
1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro leaves
To make ahead, stir together the yogurt with the extra virgin olive oil and add a pinch of Maldon salt flakes. Set aside.
For the ragu-goulash: You can also make this ahead and reheat, if you like. In a large pan, in @ 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, sauté the chopped shallot over medium heat until tender and translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté until cooked through. Add half the butter and @1 teaspoon of the salt, the paprika, turmeric, cumin, sumac, black pepper, and optional red pepper. Cook for a minute or two more. Add the tomato sauce. Stir in the wine. Cook over low heat, stirring regularly for 10-15 minutes. Keep warm. Taste and adjust seasoning.
While the red sauce mixture stays warm, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat; add the leeks and the ¾ cup of scallions with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Add the rest of the butter. Turn heat to low and sauté until tender, 5-7 minutes. You’ll need about 1/2 cup for the filling. Set aside.
To assemble the dumplings, first get a small bowl of water and the stack of wontons. For the first one, set a square won ton wrapper on your work surface. Then spoon a teaspoon of sauteed leeks and scallions in the center. With a wet finger moisten all four edges of the wrapper. Then fold in half diagonally to make a triangle. Use your fingertip to press the moistened edges of the triangle together to seal tightly. Continue and make 9 or 11 more dumplings, until the green filling runs out. (I leave the dumplings as triangles with no further fancy folds, as some recipes suggest).
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the vinegar and whirl the water. Immerse the triangles in the boiling water to cook, about 4 minutes.
Scoop out the cooked dumplings with a slotted spoon, and serve 5-6 dumplings per plate. Ladle the red mushroom sauce on top and then a dollop of the yogurt. Garnish with fresh chopped scallions and cilantro. Serve immediately.