Sunday, February 24, 2008

I was reminded yesterday by a new reader that I have been remiss in updating this blog with material. With that in mind, I want to share some photos of a few things simmering on my stove at the moment. I tried to photograph the mushroom risotto that I made last night, but it has the poor appearance of dog poop when put on a plate, so I will skip that visual aid all together! It was tasty, but I think I let it scorch in the cooking process, so the risotto came out a bit mushy. It was pretty damn good in our scrambled eggs this could it not be good with Prosecco, fresh grated parmesan cheese, and porcini and crimini mushrooms...yum!

One thing I did make this week that did come out beautifully were my pot stickers. We were invited over to friends house for stew on Friday night, so I brought pot stickers along as a starter. After six years of making these suckers, I finally have the wrapping down pretty well. I used to bring all four corners of the wonton together (thats after I stopped making my own wonton dough) and the pot stickers came out looking like they'd been made by someone with mittens on. Now, I use square wontons that one can buy in the produce section of their super market. I fill the center with maybe 1/2 a tablespoon of filling and fold the wrapper on the diagonal to make a filled triangle (well duh! some of you might think, but then I was never a master of the obvious) For the filling, I marinated 1 lb of lean ground pork with soy, seseme oil, scallions, rice wine vinegar, a tough of mongolian fire oil, and some pepper. I tossed it with chopped up 1 1/2 cups nappa cabbage that I salted in a collender in order to squeeze out some of the water. I also added shredded carrots and the green stem of the scallions. The mixture should be damp, but not watery. Lastly, right before putting the mixture in the wontons, I added some low salt chicken broth that I had reduced from a cup to about a 1/4 cup, so it was really concentrated. It adds a burst of flavor to the meat that will suprise you.
After stuffing the wontons, I steamed them on parchement paper in a bamboo steamer. Of course the steamer is covered. I have a two tray steamer that works so well in the wok. I can fit around 11 pot stickers in each tray. When I first started making pot stickers back when we lived in Chicago, I would fry them...sigh, that was the best.
This recipe makes about 45 pot stickers, so you can have them for lunch pretty easily the next day. I made 22 for our dinner with friends and four of us had no problems eating our fill. I brought along two soy based dipping sauces, one was a lime scallion sauce with a bit of rice wine and the other was a mustard and seseme oil sauce with garlic. Yesterday, we ran out of soy and so we made these for lunch and drizzled seseme oil on them...decadent!

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