During most of the year, I eat my breakfast while checking e-mails in the morning: a couple slices of toast, or something sweet left over from the week’s In the Kitchen With column (yes, I do try almost every recipe which appears here so that I am sure the recipes work!). When I am back in the US for the holidays, however, breakfast is a family tradition and we all sit down together and share a nice meal. These orange ricotta breakfast dumplings, brought to us by Monika Kotus, author of Crumpets and Cakes blog, are perfect for those breakfasts where you’d rather spend more time with the people around you than preparing the food. -Kristina
CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!
Monika picked up her first camera at the age of 10, torturing neighborhood kids by ordering them to stand still, while she chronicled daily “tough life at the playground”. Later, this passion transformed into street, portrait and most recently food photography, which you can read about at her Crumpets and Cakes blog. She is currently working on a book exploring childhood’s favorite foods, while living, cooking and photographing in the beautiful city of San Francisco.
Orange Ricotta Breakfast Dumplings
(Makes about 44 small dumplings, serves 4 people)
For the dumplings
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup all purpose flour divided in half
1 medium egg lightly beaten
1 teaspoon orange zest plus more for garnish
For lavender butter
3 tablespoon sweet cream butter
2 teaspoons lavender sugar
¼ teaspoon dried lavender
Small piece of orange rind (optional)
Prepare the dumplings:
In a medium pot bring to a gentle boil 2 quarts of lightly salted water.
In a large bowl mix the ricotta with the egg, add ½ of flour and mix it with a spoon to form it into a ball, add orange zest and then more flour little by little as needed. The dough will be very sticky, but not wet, and the amount of flour you use will depend on how much moisture is in the ricotta cheese you use. However, one cup is about right, so don’t add too much flour as it toughens the dumpling.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and cut in half. With your palms, gently roll it into two long strands about ½ inch thick. With a knife, slice each strand on diagonal into about half inch wide dumplings. This will make approximately 44 dumplings. Transfer all the dumplings to a large pot and boil until all float to the surface, about 10 minutes.
Prepare the lavender butter:
In the mean time in a frying pan or small sauce pan, on a medium heat, melt butter with lavender sugar, dried lavender and orange rind. Cook for few minutes, being carful not to brown the mixture.
Arrange cooked dumplings on a serving platter or divide into small bowls. Top with lavender butter, garnish with orange zest and some fresh lavender petals, serve immediately.
Why Monika chose this recipe:
Orange ricotta dumplings are the ultimate comfort food to me, bringing great memories of summers spent at the lakes, at my grandma’s house. She would treat my sister and I to these little dumplings for breakfast, before we were off to the beach. She made them with farmer’s cheese and cinnamon butter and, if we begged long enough, she would make them for dinner too. This is my “grown-up” version with ricotta cheese, orange zest and lavender.