I've never met a dumpling I did not love. In all their manifestations, they are the epitome of comfort food. Whether a Knish (kosher or not) Russian Pelmeni, Italian Gnocchi or Ravioli, Chinese Egg Rolls or Dim Sum, Polish Pierogi, Half moon shaped shrimp Vietnamese Dumplings, Japanese Gyoza and Argentinian Empanadas.
Mention Puerto Rican pastellillos, rellenos de papa, alcapurrias, pasteles, hayacas or empanadillas, Mexican Tamales, Apple dumplings, Chicken dumplings, German dessert dumplings and I'm in an instant trance. Name a dumpling and most probably I've tried it, have eaten it with gusto, gone for seconds and have attempted, many times miserably, to reproduce it at home.
Between the visit to Portland's Market, my fascination with all things dumpling, goat and cheese and a soft spot for the turnovers at Lola, I recognized immediately that I shoul give this a go for this month's latest installment of IMBB? No 7: You're Just the Cutest Little Dumpling!, hosted this month by Jarrett of Life In Flow and Food Porn Watch.
Sweet Goat Cheese Turnovers with Pistachios and Honey have fast become one of my favorite sweets ever and one of the must order dessert menu items (along with the Sweet Goat Cheese Pie) at Seattle's own Tom Douglas's new restaurant Lola.
My version is a last minute adapted (an understatement) one, as I, all of a sudden, wanted to try shaping the dumpling a bit larger with more of an empanada shape. I also wanted to bake it instead of fry it, just to see how flaky the dough (pâte brissé and not Tom's recipe) would come out.
The cheese used in this recipe is a Monteillet Fromagerie Larzac, an aged Chèvre. Its not as creamy or soft as the Chèvre the recipe calls for (more of a Laura Chenel soft cheese or even a Fresh Chèvre). It is neither white as snow (ash runs through the center). But having sampled this beauty while browsing the stands at the wonderful Portland Farmers Market I had to incorporate it into this recipe.
The Raynblest Dark Wildflower Honey used to drizzle the turnovers with was also purchased at the Portland Market. The pistachios (unsalted) came from Trader Joe's and the mint from one of our favorite Sunday stands at Pike Place Market.
The results? A grey hued filling, a color not as attractive to the eye (yet another understatement) as Tom's creamy white but still delicious. The dough, flaky and light. In the end, this was not Tom's turnover anymore but my very own wannabe turnover. Mind you, I ate the whole thing. Only now I love Lola's version even more and I can't wait to go back to have it again. If you can swing by Lola, order the turnovers. Dumplings, I've found, are always better when someone else, an expert (which i am not) especially, makes them. If you can't, then use the recipe link below, follow it to letter and let me know what you think. ;-)