Mexican-style dumplings made from milkweed buds, stuffed with cheese and simmered in a rich dried chili sauce inspired by the traditional dish made from green lamb's quarter seeds. Makes approximately 7 huazontles. Feel free to make them smaller or larger if you like. They're a great project for the whole family to participate in.
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Keyword: Huazontle, Lamb's Quarters
10ozmilkweed budsany large leaves removed
Small rectangles of queso Oaxaca or queso frescoroughly 5-7 g each
Pinchof kosher salt
A good handful of fresh cilantrooptional
All purpose flourabout ½ a cup for dredging, plus an extra spoonful or two if needed (see step forming the huazontles)
Pasilla Chili sauce *see note
1medium yellow onion5 oz
4large cloves of garlicskin-on
4-5dried pasilla or guajillo chilisroughly 25 grams or a scant ounce
2cupschicken stock or waterplus another 1/4 cup or so for finishing
½teaspoonground cuminor more to taste
½teaspoonkosher saltplus more to taste
Sour cream seasoned with a pinch of salt, lime juice and thinned with a splash of heavy cream or water in a pinchYou can also use Mexican Crema, available at most places that sell similar ingredients, or creme friache.
Cilantro flowers or chopped cilantrooptional
Toast the chilis in a dry skillet for a few minutes until aromatic and lightly colored, then remove and cool, which will make them crisp. Break the stem end off of each chili, discard as many seeds as you can, then crumble into a small 1-2 quart sauce pot or similar.
Cut the onion in half horizontally. In a dry cast iron skillet, heat the onions, cut side down, along with the garlic cloves for 20 minutes on medium heat then turn the heat off and allow to cool in the pan.
The onions should be blackened on the cut sides, but not carbonized and should be tender after cooling. Remove the skins from the garlic and onions, chop roughly, and add to a small pot along with the stock or water and the crumbled, toasted chilis, cumin and salt. If you use seasoned stock, omit the salt.
Cover the pot and bring it to a simmer and cook for a few minutes, then transfer to a blender and carefully puree, starting on low speed and moving up to high (making sure to use a lid that has a vent) drizzling the oil in at the end to reduce the friction of the blades and yield a smooth puree. Double check the seasoning of the sauce for salt, adjust as needed and reserve.
Steam the milkweed buds for 3-4 minutes, then lay out on a tray and cool. It is important you remove as much water as possible, squeeze them in your hands to do that. When the buds are squeezed dry, chop the buds and tender stems until they have an even texture, then transfer to a mixing bowl.
Add the yolks to the chopped milkweed, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper and the cilantro.
Beat the egg whites until they hold soft (not firm) peaks and reserve.
Forming the huazontles
Attempt to ball up some of the chopped milkweed buds to make sure they will hold together. If you find it difficult or the mixture threatens to fall apart and not hold its shape, add a spoonful of flour to help stay together.
Take a golf ball size (35 g) portion of chopped milkweed buds and form it into a ball in your hand. Take a small (5 g) rectangle of cheese, press it into the center, then close your hand to form the milkweed mixture around the cheese, enclosing it in the center. Form the milkweed mass into a rustic, tubular huazontle dumpling as pictured.
Roll the dumplings in flour, then gently dip in the beaten egg white and fry in at least a thin layer of oil in a 10 inch non-stick pan, turning occasionally to brown every side. Push the dumplings to one side of the pan, then press a towel into the pan to soak any excess oil, if any.
Add 1 cup of the chili sauce and bring to a gentle simmer, spooning the sauce over the dumplings as they cook. If the pan gets dry, add the additional chicken stock or water to keep the sauce nice and smooth.
Serve with a spoonful of sour cream, garnish with the cilantro flowers and serve with lime wedges on the side if using.
Chili SauceThe chili sauce will make a little more than you need as it's difficult to make a smaller batch than I share here. It's good on all kinds of things.Timid palettes Pasillas are typically less spicy than guajillos, so don't be scared of them if you can't do spicy food. You can always cut the sauce by pureeing a roasted bell pepper into it instead of half the dried chilis, too.