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Posts Tagged ‘dumplings’

by Caitlin Saniga

We served a couple of huge trays of Al’s chicken paprikash at my sister Holly’s graduation party a few years ago. The food was a fan favorite among guests and is widely popular at the restaurant. Gourmet magazine wrote an article about the restaurant and related meat market in 2007.

I visited the restaurant the day Barberton was holding its annual Christmas lighting festival and parade. The place was packed with families trying to warm up with a hearty meal, but the service was fast-paced and friendly. Beth even made time to catch up with me and Mom. How do you like her festive, pink camo reindeer antlers?

I visited: Al’s Corner Restaurant, a lunch-only Hungarian restaurant open since 1932 in Barberton, Ohio, that serves stuffed cabbage rolls, pierogies, sausage, halushka, strudels, beer bread and, of course, chicken paprikash. Its sister business is Al’s Quality Market, which cranks out Hungarian, Slovenian and other sausages, as well as hams, smoked bacon, headcheese and more. My mom’s cousin Denny Gray and his wife, Beth, own and operate  both businesses.

Chicken paprikash also comes with a slice of bread and butter. My mom ordered stuffed cabbage (seen on the back plate) on our trip to Al's.

Chicken paprikash also comes with a slice of bread and butter. My mom ordered stuffed cabbage (seen on the back plate) on our trip to Al’s.

I tried: Chicken paprikash with dumplings. I had a choice of white, dark or mixed meat, so I chose white, which included a bone-in breast, wing and drumstick.

Why it stood out: Everything I’ve tried at Al’s has been spot-on. But I love that you can make a meal out of this plate of chicken paprikash. Like I mentioned, each serving includes several pieces of your choice of chicken meat, plus a number of golf ball-size dumplings drenched in a creamy paprika sauce.

It cost: $6

Al's is set up sort of like a cafeteria. Food is ordered from a display case of steaming hot trays, and diners sit at booths or a central horseshoe of barstools.

Al’s is set up sort of like a cafeteria. Food is ordered from a display case of steaming hot trays, and diners sit at booths or a central horseshoe of bar stools.

Find out more:

Al’s Corner Restaurant
545 West Tuscarawas Ave.
Barberton, OH 44203
330-475-7978
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Al’s Quality Market
563 West Tuscarawas Ave.
Barberton, OH 44203
330-753-7216

*$6 Snacks is a recurring feature that reviews an area eatery’s snack — for $6 or less. Look at a map of the places we’ve tried. Help our map grow by submitting your own review. Find out how!

Al's Corner Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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by Caitlin Saniga

These Korean-style fried dumplings are called mondu. They’re similar to pot stickers, wontons or gyoza.

For dumplings:

  • 1 (14 ounce) package firm tofu, rinsed and drained and cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cup fermented kimchi
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 pound ground lean pork
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 packs 40-count wonton wrappers
  • canola oil

For dipping sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper

The tofu in this recipe acts as a bonding agent, mellows the kimchi flavor and gives the filling a smoother texture than a meat-and-kimchi-based filling would. For stronger flavor, add more kimchi to the mix.

Working in batches if necessary, combine the tofu, kimchi, garlic and sesame oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the tofu has broken down and the mixture is a pale pink color from the kimchi juice, 15-20 seconds.

Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl, add the pork, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Use your hands or a spoon to thoroughly combine everything.

Before frying the dumplings, set out a cooling rack and set 1 or 2 paper towels on top. Once they’ve been cooked, let them cool on the rack for about 5 minutes before serving them.

Add the green onions and give the mixture another good stir.

To assemble the dumplings, scoop a rounded teaspoonful of the mixture into the center of a wonton wrapper. Working from a small bowl of water, wet the edges of the wrapper with a fingertip. Fold the wrapper lengthwise, creating a rectangle, enclosing the filling. Seal the top edge, press the air out of the sides, and seal the sides. Re-wet the top edge of the wrapper. Fold the top edge on itself as you would with a fan, creating three or four small folds. Seal the folds once more with water, if necessary. The dumplings should resemble a purse shape. Line up the assembled dumplings on a baking sheet.

Once all of the dumplings are assembled, pour just enough canola oil into a frying pan to cover the bottom. Warm the oil over medium heat. To test whether the oil is warm enough for frying, wet your fingertips and fling the water over the oil, careful not to burn yourself. If the oil is ready, the water will bubble and make a popping sound when it touches the oil.

This recipe could easily be halved to serve 4 to 6 people as a dinner course. I liked making the big batch because I could freeze the extra dumplings for later use, and, my, are they addicting! You’ll want more later.

Working in batches of 6 to 8, use metal tongs to place the dumplings in the oil. Cook for about a minute, or until the bottom of the dumplings are golden brown. Flip the dumplings onto another side, and cook until that side is golden brown. Repeat with the remaining side. Use the tongs to transfer the dumplings to a paper towel-lined cooling rack. Repeat this process with the remaining dumplings, or transfer the raw dumplings to a sealed container or freezer-safe zip-top bag and store in the freezer for up to 1 week.

To make the dipping sauce, combine the soy sauce, vinegar and cayenne pepper in a small dish.

Serve the warm dumplings alongside the sauce.

Makes 80.

Gyoza

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by Caitlin Saniga

These dumplings were pretty good when they were warm, but then again, they were good the next day when they were cold, too.

Dumplings:

  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 20 square or round wonton wrappers
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup water, divided

Dipping sauce:

  • 2 tablespoon chopped green onions
  • 2  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Keep the edamame filling on one half of the wonton wrapper. There's better distribution that way.

Cook edamame according to package directions and drain. Rinse edamame with cold water; drain well. Combine edamame, juice, sesame oil, cumin, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth.

Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to prevent drying), spoon about 1 teaspoon edamame mixture onto one half of each wrapper. Moisten edges of dough with water; fold opposite corners to form a triangle, pinching points to seal. Place dumplings on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Arrange half of dumplings in a single layer in the pan and reduce heat to medium. Cook 1 minute or until bottoms begin to brown; turn. Add 1/4 cup water to pan; cover. Cook 30 seconds and uncover. Cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates. Repeat procedure with remaining dumplings and water. Serve immediately with sauce.

To prepare sauce:

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Makes 20.

Recipe adapted from: RecipeGirl.com

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

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