It’s like everything I make lately is stuffed into a wonton wrapper! I actually made these dumplings last week, but the new steaming method I used didn’t quite work out so I didn’t want to post the recipe. I thought about it a little more and decided that didn’t matter because the stuffing and sauce were a hit.
Where did I go wrong? Well, my new microwave has a “steam” button and even came with a special dish for steaming. I thought that would be better than the pan-steaming I usually do. Nope. Wrong. The wrappers dried out and became too chewy, which was really sad!
For the stuffing, I browned Merguez sausage (no casing) with some green onions, then added some raisins and pine nuts. Dumplings are no fun without a dipping sauce, so I blended some greek yogurt with mint leaves, garlic cloves and pinch of salt because lamb and mint are a match made in heaven.
They had a great Middle Eastern flavor, and if you’re not into mass-producing dumplings, the sausage stuffing would be perfect tossed with pasta. If you go that route, I’d skip the yogurt and sprinkle some mint leaves over the top right before serving.
Merguez Dumplings with Mint Yogurt Dipping Sauce
20 wonton wrappers
2 Merguez sausages, casings removed
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup greek yogurt (I used 0%)
leaves of 5 – 6 sprigs of fresh mint
2 cloves garlic
pinch of salt
Heat a large skillet over medium high. Once it’s hot, add the Merguez to the dry pan. (You don’t need oil because the fat in the sausage will render out.) With a wooden spoon, begin breaking up the ground sausage. Once the fat has rendered a bit and it’s beginning to turn brown, add the scallions. Continue to cook until the sausage is almost cooked through, then add the raisins and pine nuts. Keep stirring until the pine nuts toast and turn a golden color, then remove from heat.
While the Merguez is cooling a bit, make the sauce. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve in a couple of ramekins with a mint leaf garnish. Set aside.
Place a large heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat and add a 1/2 inch of water. Cover with lid. You’ll use this to steam the dumplings.
Place a large piece of parchment paper on the counter and begin making the dumplings. If you’re not going to steam the dumplings right away, prepare some damp paper towels so the dumplings won’t dry out. Fill a small bowl with some water.
To assemble the dumplings, place a wonton wrapper in your palm and spoon a bit of the mixture into the center. You want to make sure you don’t over-stuff them or they won’t seal properly. Dip your finger in the bowl of water and run it along the edges of the wonton. The water will make the edges sticky, allowing them to seal well. Pinch the edges together in whatever way you see fit (diagonally is probably easiest). Line the dumplings on the parchment as you go.
Once you’re done making the dumplings, gently place them into the boiling water. You want to make sure they’re not touching (or they’ll stick together), so you might have to do this step in batches. When they’re all in, replace the lid and let them steam for 4 – 6 minutes, or until they’re slightly translucent. Remove with a slotted spatula and serve with the dipping sauce.