Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pot Stickers, part I

Despite the option of saving as a draft, I somehow managed to lose this post anyway. I'm famous for that so expect more posts "disappearing." But in the interest of someone out there who is interested in what this post was supposed to say, I'll attempt a recreation. Anyway, last week darling son came home from school and announced that he had volunteered me to make pot stickers for his Chinese class (wasn't that nice of him?). You see, a long time ago when I had more free time because Facebook wasn't invented yet, read a recipe for pot stickers, a not-so-kosher recipe by Steamykitchen, adjusted the ingredients then made a pile of pot stickers. And darling son remembered. So we made pot stickers. They are not really hard to make kosher. As you can see on the bottom right of the photo, this brand of wrappers has a hechsher (kosher certification), so you will have to find a different excuse not to make them. You probably already have most of the other ingredients in the fridge or pantry, so there goes that excuse as well. I chopped up a bunch of veggies and such: about 10 baby carrots, a small onion, 2 cloves of garlic and about 1 inch of a fresh ginger root. No cheating with garlic and ginger powder! It really makes a difference. As long as you have the knife out, shred up about a quarter of a small head of green cabbage and a couple tablespoons of cilantro as well and set both aside separately for later. The tiny green pieces are from one scallion. You don't have to add it, really, but I had this one lonely scallion left over from another recipe and didn't want it should sprout or take root in the veggie bin ... Anyway, saute the chopped veggies in a little bit of oil over medium-high heat. Toss in about a 1/2 teaspoon of (kosher, natch) salt to help 'em sweat. Remember the shredded cabbage? Add it now, and saute for a couple minutes until it just starts to look a little glossy. Don't cook it any longer, because it will finish cooking as the other ingredients are added. By the way, do you like my cooking "spoon"? It's a spurtle! An original Graham Kerr 30+ year old wooden implement, originally designed to stir long-cooking oatmeal. This one, and another I use only for Passover, are the only two of the original set left. But I digress. Push the veggies around the outside of the pan, and dump in a small package of ground beef. Using your spurtle or tool of your choosing, stir around the beef, breaking up the meat until it browns. Then carefully pour off the grease. Add around 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar (or any white-ish wine of your choice), about 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and a couple tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce. If you like heat, add 1/2 tablespoon of chili paste. Darling son LOVES chili paste! I added chili paste to broccoli the other day, and he had 3 servings! But I digress ... I bought this brand at Wegman's. If you can't find it at your local supermarket, you can probably use sriracha instead. Both are made by Huy Fong Foods, and both are certified kosher. Stir in the cilantro, and squeeze in the juice of 1/2 of a lime, then take the pan off the flame to let it cool a bit before processing. See how nicely reduced, yet not extremely wilted the cabbage is? Now for the hardest part: making the dumplings. Add some cold water to a small cup. This will be the "glue" to hold the dumpling together. Take a wonton wrapper and place 1 teaspoon of fillling onto the top half. It doesn't look like much, but it will be harder to close if you add any more. Stick your finger into the water, then trace around the top half sides. Then bring the lower half of the wrapper up and press together. Press down so that the middle part flattens a bit, then pleat the newly-sealed edge to make it pretty. Repeat a million times until you use up the wrappers. Then because you will run out of wonton wrappers before you run out of filling, cut up the egg roll wrappers you originally bought when ShopRite didn't have the wonton wrappers when you first hit the store. Artfully arrange the million dumplings on a couple of large baking pans that you first lined with waxed paper. Then pop the pans into the freezer. When the dumplings are frozen, dump them quickly into a freezer-safe bag, seal, then toss back into the freezer until you are ready to fry/steam them. Did I mention this is not fast-food? Recipe continues later ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the denouement

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