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Nov 23, 2011 09:44 PM

SOS: Tis the Night Before Thanksgiving & I Have a Food Emergency!!

Help!! I'm hoping some Chowhounds who can answer my questions might actually be online right now!

My usual computer died on me - using an older laptop that someone was kind enough to donate to my sad circumstance (lol). However, it is SO slow I can't do a search - I even have to type this offline, cut & paste... but it's food that's my current problem!

I have a Thanksgiving Day food emergency: it is now 12:30 am and as I am finishing up my cooking for tomorrow (going to my daughters' future in-laws house for Thanksgivin - first time). I just discovered the eggplant I was going to use is almost all rotten.

Fortunately, I'm an adaptable & creative cook. I also prepared myself by buying a few items I usually don't have in the house. Portobello mushrooms, cabbage... Chinese dumpling wrappers & an assortment of various tofu from our local Chinese market. (the eggplant was planned so one of my kids, who is vegan, would have a main dish to eat).

Now - my question: as I prepare to make my inventive dumplings/pierogies/raviolis (all variations of dumplings), should I cook the filling first? (No dairy, such as cheese, will be used)

I plan to boil then pan fry... man I'm tired and I apologize if this has been discussed in the archives! Stupid computer...

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  1. I've filled many a dumpling with raw pork and never had a problem getting them to cook through. I imagine yours will cook through just fine. Although you could also grill the tofu a bit first to get a bit more flavour and texture in there.

    1. you might have to cook some of the ingredients. here are my two rule-of-thumbs when making dumplings:
      1) weeping - some vegetables weep when you cut them to make the filling. you'll then have a soggy mess at the bottom of the bowl or worse, soggy dumplings that might fall apart before you get to cook them. i don't know what kind of tofu you have but baked tofu or any of the denser/drier tofu would be more suited to dumplings than the soft jello-like varieties. so, pre-cook any weepers and avoid soggy ingredients.
      2) shrinkage - i guess related to the weeping problem, but some vegetables like mushrooms and cabbage shrink significantly when you cook them and then you'll end up with deflated, dense, and empty looking dumplings.

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        1. It''s morning here now, so I don't know what you ended up doing, as I am just reading this now....
          I know that all over my neighborhood there are supermarkets open for at least part of the day...
          If the dumplings didn't turn out and you have the time this morning, why not just go
          pick up a few eggplant?
          Or you maybe don't have time to get the dish ready this morning?

          In any case, happy Thanksgiving and I am sure all will be delicious and fun !!!

          1. Thanks so much for the replies. Had no time - and computer wouldn't connect til now...

            I decided to make them this morning (since I was up til the wee hours with the other stuff I was baking). Chopped the portobello mushrooms w/a bit of cabbage, scallions & two kinds of Asian tofu - seasoned w/lemon, soy sauce & a teeny, teeny bit of sweetener. Decided not to risk boiling first (pierogi-style), so I pan fried in sesame seed oil, then added a bit of water, covered & only cooked for a few minutes. Oh & I threw in a bit of flour to take care of the mushroom/veggie weeping. :D

            Had one that fell apart - success!!

            Thanks so much for everyone's fast response. (btw - I don't have a car so getting to yet another grocery store wasn't an option - besides, I have plenty of ingredients in my fridge so I can avoid that!)

            I also made my own version of a Martha Stewart stuffed pumpkin - guess I changed it so much I can call it mine, hahaha. Tasted it (kept to her seasoning) and it's delish. I'll write more after, if anyone's interested.

            Happy Thanksgiving!!