Domplines, the little roll Cocolo
What would have happened to the Dominican Republic without the sugarcane? What would we be without these sugar mills, refineries or delicious “romo drink”?
Fortunately, the famous admiral Columbus, on his second voyage to the New World had the idea to load into his holds some cuttings of the precious and sweet plant. It was the autumn of 1493 and the sugarcane found a place to grow and be happy in the Caribbean.
Since then the sugarcane centered the Dominican life and economy; it painted its landscape of vast plantations and developed a cuisine with its own nature, a cuisine as rich as eclectic.
It is difficult to think of homemade cuisine without syrups and sticky Canquiñas or without the liqueur, shavings and all the goodies that exist anywhere in the country. But sugarcane was also guilty of one of the most profound influences of Dominican cuisine, that one of Cocolos.
It all began in 1840 when slavery was abolished and sugar price fell, a crowd of immigrants from the Lesser Antilles reached Dominicans sugar mills. It was those Cocolos with their foreign language, religion and Afro-Caribbean cultural diversity which brought new nuances, dishes and ingredients to our cuisine. The famous yaniqueques, okra, fungi, conconetes and guavaberry owe their origin to these neighboring islands. Also the African okra, taro or seasonings based on coconut and lemon would not be consumed in Dominican without that cocola influence.
One of the most distinctive contributions was the humble domplines; these pastries of flour, usually boiled, make delicious all homemade cuisine when are prepared with codfish, salami or spicy sardines delight all Creole.
The universality of domplines crosses oceans, continents, and similar preparations are found in almost all cookery of the planet. Perhaps the closer is the British dumplings flour-based with yeast; in Norway, they are made with potato and call potetbam; in Hungarian lands it can be sweet or salted and called galuska, gujhia in India and pelmoni in Russia.
Today we pay tribute to this universal preparation, to this cocola contribution that linked the Dominican Republic with the world. Cuisine as culture knows no boundaries.
Salad of Beet Domplines
For domplines: 1 cup of flour, pinch of salt, 2 tablespoons of butter, ¼ cup of beet juice.
For salad: mixed lettuce, boiled quail eggs, parmesan shavings, cucumber shavings.
For vinaigrette: ¼ cup of oil, juice of 2 lemons, 10 almonds, 15 rocket leaves, salt and pepper.
For domplines: put the flour in a bowl and salt it. Add the butter and the beet juice. Knead until dough does not stick to hands. Give form to domplines and cook in boiling water until al dente.
For salad: clean lettuce and prepare all the ingredients.
For vinaigrette: put together all ingredients in a glass crusher. Crush until smooth vinaigrette is obtained.
Pork ragout with Domplines of Auyama
For domplines: ½ cup of flour, pinch of salt, ½ cup of auyama pureé , ¼ cup of grated Emmental cheese.
For ragout: 1 lb of pork tenderloin to tacos, 1/4 cup of flour, ¼ cup of sunflower oil, 1 chopped onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 chopped carrot, 6 slices of bacon into strips, ½ shredded red pepper, ½ shredded yellow pepper, 1 cup of diced auyama, 6 mini-cobs, bunches of purple broccoli, 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce, 1 cup of red wine, 2 cups of vegetable broth, salt and pepper.
For domplines: put the flour in a bowl and salt it. Add the auyama pureé and grated Emmental cheese. Knead until dough does not stick to hands. Give form to domplines and reserve.
For ragout: coat tenderloin lightly with flour and fry in oil to seal. Remove from the fire and reserve. Sauté onion, garlic and chopped carrot in the same oil. When they are soft add the bacon, peppers, the auyama, the mini-cobs and broccoli. Sauté and add tomato sauce, wine and broth. Add salt and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. Add the domplines. When domplines are al dente add the pork and salt.
Roasted Potatoes Domplines on Tomato Soup and Fruit
For domplines: ½ lb cooked potatoes, ¼ cup of flour, ½ beaten egg, pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, drops of oil.
For soup: 3 tomatoes, ¼ cup of water, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 sprigs of lemon grass.
For salad: lemon jelly, watermelon, segment of mandarin, tomato seeds, berries.
For domplines: put the flour in a bowl and add the salt and sugar. Add the mashed potatoes. Knead until dough does not stick to hands. Give form to domplines and cook in boiling water until al dente. Roast in a frying pan with drops of oil on all sides to form a crispy crust.
For soup: Cut the tomatoes into quarters and reserve seeds. Crush them with water. Heat in a saucepan, remove from the fire and add the sugar and leave to infuse lemon grass for 20 minutes. Strain and cool in the fridge.
For salad: put up a base of tomato soup and put domplines, jelly, tomato seeds and fruits on it.