Well, we have been housebound for a few days now and we are a bit tired of mystery meals from the freezer. It was time to dig into supplies and actually COOK something!
Lucky me found some ground lamb in the freezer! We could make up some Manti or turkish dumplings filled with ground lamb & spices.
We still have plenty of eggs from our chickens, so I whipped up some dough and dug out the pasta maker. Back in the day, we would have used a special turkish rolling pin called an “oklava” to open the dough. [Yes, the literal translation to roll out dough from turkish is to “Open the dough”] It really takes a crazy long time to roll out the dough and I couldnt ever get it thin enough to consistently work with. Using the pasta maker means I can work in batchs at the same thickness level. So much more efficient! That coupled with a pizza cutter to cut the dough into pieces and I am ready to go.
My go to recipe is from the Saveur magazine. I use this only for the dough and meat mixture only. After both are prepped, I roll out the dough to the thickness of #3 on my pasta machine, cut into about 1.5 in squares, and add small dollops of meat on each.
Pinch opposite corners together to create a little pouch and toss onto a cookie sheet lined with parchement paper. Once you have filled your cookie sheet with these little darlings, pop the cookie sheet into the freezer and begin another batch.
By the time you are done with the next batch, the first batch will be frozen enough to put into ziplock back and pop back into the freezer.
Now it’s time to cook them up and eat the yummies!
Growing up, mom made it different than I do now. Coming from Adana in South Eastern Turkey, the recipe is slightly different.
It was more like a soup. Mom would heat up beef broth, add some frozen dumplings and a can of drained chick peas. Toppings would include garlic-y yogurt, mint, hot pepper and sumac.
Mina and I have our own way of making Manti. Heating up some broth, I add a good helping of tomato paste to it, then add the dumplings to cook. Our verision is more of a heary meal than a soup. Good helpings of garlicy yogurt, tomato butter sauce and spices top it all off for extra flavor. Give me all the toppings!!
This batch makes about 300 dumplings so it usually lasts us a season for those last minute don’t want to cook but still want to eat healthy nights.
Since it seems we are going to be home bound for awhile, might as well enjoy it and do some cooking!
Here is a sweet video showing how it’s usually made at home: