Blueberry Port Slumps with Almond Dumplings
So you've charred the Angus beef filet, underproofed the potato herb rolls and couldn't find the truffle oil to finish the amuse bouche? Not to worry, despairing dinner party thrower - blueberry port slumps to the rescue! I know your first thought is "What the heck is a slump? And why would I feed it to people I like and want to respect me the next day?" Well here's a quick rundown: A "slump" is like a "grunt" which is merely a charming Midwest way of referring to dumplings, or biscuits cooked by the steam created by a hot liquid. In this case, the liquid is something sweet, namely a combination of wild blueberries, port wine, and various other ingredients that comprise the hot tub of deliciousness that will cook the almond dumplings. Did I mention it's a crazy easy recipe that one could do quickly and without too much thinking? I mean, you've got other things going on, so make it easy on yourself. Use this dessert to add simple closure after an elaborate meal, or just make it to have around when the snow starts falling. Believe me, it's up there with a big bowl of macaroni and cheese as far as comfort food goes. FOR THE BLUEBERRY PORT HOT TUB: 4 cups of blueberries (fresh, frozen, preferably wild and untamed like Chef Jack likes 'em) 1/2 cup of sugar 1/4 cup of ruby port 1/2 cup water 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (or 1/2 a tsp if you like more) 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg FOR THE ALMOND DUMPLINGS:3/4 cup all purpose flour 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds (very import to toast!) 4 tbsp. sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 3 tbs unsalted butter, chilled and diced 1/4 cup buttermilk or milk (I prefer buttermilk for its flavor) EQUIPMENT 12 - inch skillet pan with cover food processor From here, it's pretty simple. Take all the blueberry ingredients and bring to a boil in skillet over medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes to soften the berries. While this is going on, put the flour, almonds, sugar, baking powder and salt into your food processor bowl, and pulse until combined. Add the butter, just a few chunks at a time, and pulse until mixture forms soft dough. Now here comes the fun part. Drop heaping tablespoons of the dough into the blueberry hot tub, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer until the dumplings are firm and they pass the toothpick test (comes out clean after insertion),which will take about 20-25 minutes depending on the size of your heaping tablespoon. Once they're done, deposit into eating vessel of choice and eat 'em while they're hot! You'll thank yourself and so will your happy guests - the dumplings will melt in your mouth and the port-infused blueberries will make you forget your troubles. Slumps rule!