The food of Mexico is known for its dazzling variety of dishes and its sophisticated cooking techniques. But to know something about a cuisine, you often have to start with the basics. For many Mexican home cooks, dumplings are a rudimentary part of their kitchen repertoire. Take a small piece of dough, shape it into a ball, and simmer it in a soup or stew. What can be simpler? Dumplings are, in fact, cherished in kitchens around the world. From classic American chicken and dumplings to all kinds of European pierogi, ravioli, and gnocchi as well as a multitude of stuffed potstickers and rice balls from Asia, dumplings are perhaps the ultimate in comfort cooking.