bowl of chicken soup with 5 dill-laminated kreplach

Dill-Laminated Kreplach

This is a really fun recipe that incorporates the traditional, comforting flavors of the kreplach I grew up eating, while also adding an element of whimsy with the dill-laminating dough. The laminated effect is achieved using thin sheets of rolled-out kreplach dough (using a pasta machine) and placing small dill sprigs between two sheets of dough. You then form the kreplach, and the result is a deliciously herbaceous, pretty little ghost of dill leaves in each dumpling. It’s a great way to get children involved in the old-world foods of our past so that we can hold onto those roots for the future.

Kreplach (from Yiddish: קרעפּלעך,‎ pronounced krep-lakh or krep-luh) or kreplers, as they call them in France, are small, typically meat-filled dumplings served in soup or fried and served as an appetizer or side- I prefer to serve them in Grandma Mala’s Chicken Soup. The original recipe is one that’s very dear to my heart indeed because it’s one of only a small handful of our family recipes that survived the Holocaust. For more information on the history of my family’s traditional kreplach recipe, visit Grandma Mala’s Kreplach.

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Heat a medium to large skillet on medium until hot, then add the schmaltz or oil. When it’s rippling, add the onion, garlic, and a Tbsp of kosher salt, and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the meat with the onion mixture, making sure to transfer as much schmaltz or oil as possible into the meat as well. Add the chopped dill, if using, and mix well until fully combined.

In another large mixing bowl, combine the flour, eggs, remaining salt, and water (or, to avoid cleaning another bowl, you can do this on the countertop by creating a mound with the flour and then making a well for the wet ingredients). Once the dough forms into a ball, knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough has become soft and elastic. Form it into a tidy ball, and rest under a damp cloth for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough ball into 4 segments. Place 3 of the pieces under the damp cloth, and begin forming the 4th piece into a rectangle. Using a pasta machine (ideally) or rolling pin, flatten the dough into sheets until they are thin enough to see through slightly (a 5 or 6 on a Mercato pasta machine). To get a really silky texture, fold it in half or thirds and start all over again, flattening it to a 4 or 5. Do this a couple times to soften the dough.

Lay a dough sheet out and place small sprigs of dill along one side of the sheet, then fold it over, pressing down where the layers meet to “seal” them. Press down all over so that there are no air pockets.

Run the dough back through the pasta machine one setting wider than you made the dough before (so if it was a 5, make it a 4), then reduce the thickness and run it through again.

Cut squares out of the sheet of dill-laminated dough, about 2″x2″ in size. Place about ½ tsp of the filling in the center of the square. Using a little water, wet the edges.

Fold one corner over to its opposite corner, creating a triangle. Press down all over to eliminate air pockets. Position the triangle so that the middle point is facing up, and wet the bottom edge (the one with the majority of the meat inside).

Press the two bottom corners into the center of the wet edge so that one overlaps the other. Skip this step if making kreplach for purim so that the shapes remain triangular. Repeat with the remaining kreplach.

If you’re serving the kreplach right away, skip to the second to last step. If you’re freezing the kreplach until you’re ready to serve them, lay them all flat on wax or parchment paper (on a sheet pan if possible- I often don’t have space for this). Leave a little room between them so they aren’t touching, or they will freeze together, and you won’t be able to select the precise amount you want at a given time. Chill for 10 minutes or so, then remove from the freezer and transfer to a container or bag all together. Because you took the time to chill them beforehand, they won’t stick together!

(These are my Grandma Mala’s traditional kreplach, not dill-laminated kreplach, but the freezing process is the same)

Just before you’re ready to serve the kreplach, bring a small to medium-sized saucepan full of aggressively salted water to a boil. Drop in your kreplach and stir so that they don’t stick to the bottom. Cook for about 5 minutes if frozen (2-3 minutes if fresh) or until they’re al dente.

Serve in piping hot chicken soup and garnish with dill (optional).

bowl of chicken soup with 5 dill-laminated kreplach

Dill-Laminated Kreplach

Becca Gallick-Mitchell
This is a really fun recipe that incorporates the traditional, comforting flavors of the kreplach I grew up eating, while also adding an element of whimsy with the dill-laminating dough. It's a great way to get children involved in the old-world foods of our past so that we can hold onto those roots for the future.
Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Resting & Chilling Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 58 mins
Servings 48 kreplach (about 10 servings)

Equipment

  • pasta machine (ideally)- either hand-crank or with a motor, or rolling pin

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp (6 Tbsp total) water
  • 3 eggs
  • Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz leftover chicken or turkey (cooked), ideally a mixture of light and dark meat
  • 2 Tbsp schmaltz, aka chicken fat (for an authentic flavor), or you can substitute with oil
  • 1 bunch dill, stems removed

Instructions
 

  • Heat a medium to large skillet on medium until hot, then add the schmaltz or oil. When it's rippling, add the onion, garlic, and a Tbsp of kosher salt, and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the meat with the onion mixture, making sure to transfer as much schmaltz or oil as possible into the meat as well. Add the chopped dill, if using, and mix well until fully combined.
  • In another large mixing bowl, combine the flour, eggs, remaining salt, and water (or, to avoid cleaning another bowl, you can do this on the countertop by creating a mound with the flour and then making a well for the wet ingredients). Once the dough forms into a ball, knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough has become soft and elastic. Form it into a tidy ball, and rest under a damp cloth for 30 minutes.
  • Cut the dough ball into 4 segments. Place 3 of the pieces under the damp cloth, and begin forming the 4th piece into a rectangle. Using a pasta machine (ideally) or rolling pin, flatten the dough into sheets until they are thin enough to see through slightly (a 5 or 6 on a Mercato pasta machine). To get a really silky texture, fold it in half or thirds and start all over again, flattening it to a 4 or 5. Do this a couple times to soften the dough.
  • Lay a dough sheet out and place small sprigs of dill along one side of the sheet, then fold it over, pressing down where the layers meet to "seal" them. Press down all over so that there are no air pockets, Run the dough back through the pasta machine one setting wider than you made the dough before (so if it was a 5, make it a 4), then reduce the thickness and run it through again.
  • Cut squares out of the sheet of dill-laminated dough, about 2"x2" in size. Place about ½ tsp of the filling in the center of the square. Using a little water, wet the edges.
  • Fold one corner over to its opposite corner, creating a triangle. Press down all over to eliminate air pockets.
  • Position the triangle so that the middle point is facing up, and wet the bottom edge (the one with the majority of the meat inside).
  • Press the two bottom corners into the center of the wet edge so that one overlaps the other. Skip this step if making kreplach for purim so that the shapes remain triangular. Repeat with the remaining kreplach.
  • If you’re serving the kreplach right away, skip to the second to last step. If you’re freezing the kreplach until you’re ready to serve them, lay them all flat on wax or parchment paper (on a sheet pan if possible- I often don’t have space for this). Leave a little room between them so they aren’t touching, or they will freeze together, and you won’t be able to select the precise amount you want at a given time. Chill for 10 minutes or so, then remove from the freezer and transfer to a container or bag all together. Because you took the time to chill them beforehand, they won’t stick together!
  • Just before you're ready to serve the kreplach, bring a small to medium-sized saucepan full of aggressively salted water to a boil. Drop in your kreplach and stir so that they don't stick to the bottom. Cook for about 5 minutes if frozen (2-3 minutes if fresh) or until they're al dente.
  • Serve in piping hot chicken soup and garnish with dill (optional).

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