In the search for a traditional three cornered food to make for Purim this year, I decided to try something I have never made before…kreplach. I always like to challenge myself to try new things, so I jumped right in and took off. But true to form, I couldn’t just find a recipe and make it, I had to come up with my own spin on kreplach. Since this is my first time venturing down this path, I started by doing a little research on this particular dish (thank you, as usual, Google).
Basically what I found was that kreplach is made up of a pasta dough stuffed with meat and served in soup. Well, I stopped my searching right there; I can make a pasta, that’s easy enough. But what to fill them with…I decided I wanted to try something a little different than the usual meat filled version. I looked all over the place, but I just didn’t find any recipes for kreplach that weren’t filled with meat. Even when I looked for vegetarian recipes, what I found said to use some kind of meat substitute. That wasn’t quite what I was looking for, and I don’t know why, but mushrooms sounded so much tastier to me anyway. As for the soup…these were plenty filling on their own, so I just skipped that altogether.
To make the dough, I followed my usual pasta recipe. I thought about going a more traditional route and rolling them out by hand, but since I have a pasta machine, I decided to use that to save on time. Besides, I enjoy rolling out pasta with this little machine. It doesn’t take long to get the dough made and fresh pasta is so much tastier than anything store bought. I cut the dough into three pieces and rolled each out separately. Each one ended up about six feet long and I had to cut them in half to fit them on my counters all laid out flat.
I took each length of the dough and cut that into squares that were a bit on the large size. I should have cut them at least about half the size I made them, and if you are thinking of putting these in soup, I would definitely keep to the smaller size. However, making them big did have one advantage…there was less cutting, filling, and so on, so it saved me a little time.
In the end, I had a good time making these. My kids got into the kitchen with me, and things got a little switched around when the kids picked up my camera and took some of the pictures. It is always a lot more fun when the kids get involved in my culinary adventures with me. Although I guess this really isn’t a traditional kreplach, it was great to share the experience with my kids of making something special for the holiday.
I still need to make some hamantashen though, because that will always remain my favorite Purim treat.
Mushroom Kreplach: A Purim Adventure
- 8 ounces white mushrooms diced small
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms diced small
- 1 red onion minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 4 tbsp butter (for a pareve version, substitute 2-3 tbsp. oil)
- Salt & pepper
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ cup flour
- 3 eggs
- Pinch salt
- 1 egg mixed with a splash of water
Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat and add 2 tbsp of butter (or oil). Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sauté until they are soft. Add two more tbsp butter to the pan and add the mushrooms. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are cooked down and there is no moisture left in the pan. Add the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another minute and then remove from the heat and let them cool.
To make the dough, combine the flour, eggs, and salt on a work surface. Slowly mix with a fork, incorporating more of the flour as you go along. Continue mixing until it is well combined, then knead by hand until all the flour is incorporated and you have a smooth dough. Divide the dough into three pieces, flatten it out, and run it through a pasta maker set at its widest setting. Fold the dough over and run it through the rollers again. Repeat another 5 or 6 times until the dough is smooth and elastic. Set the rollers one setting smaller and run each piece of dough through one time. Set the rollers to the next setting and run them through again. Repeat until you have reached the smallest roller setting.
Lay out the sheets of pasta dough and cut into squares. Spoon a bit of the mushroom mixture into the center of each square. Brush the edges of each square with the egg wash and fold over into triangles. Pinch the edges together and set them out to dry a bit. If you want to save some for another day, you can put them in the freezer at this point. To enjoy them right away, bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the kreplach in the water in batches and boil for just a few minutes. Drain and enjoy them with a little salt and pepper…or drop them in some soup if you like.