What a week, huh? I for one am glad it’s over, and I’m hoping the week will be a calmer, happier, and more peaceful one! I don’t want to dwell on the negative, and so I’ve decided to focus on the positive of this week- green grass, buds and flowers on the trees, buying some pansies to plant, celebrating my mom’s birthday, and working on some spring cleaning and organization! We celebrated my mom’s birthday yesterday with a delicious meal made by my brother and his girlfriend- asparagus with burrata, bacon and almonds…escarole with candied walnuts, pears and a blue cheese dressing… homemade pasta with a tomato, eggplant and olive sauce! They are both such good cooks, and very adventurous in the kitchen. They are not afraid to make anything, including homemade croissants and corned beef, among other things. I have to admit that I’m a bit more timid when it comes to cooking complicated and elaborate recipes, although I’m working on that. I made the dessert- a chocolate stout bundt cake with a ganache frosting (the recipe was the same as the Guinness Chocolate cupcakes), and Carrot Cake cupcakes with molasses-cream cheese icing (recipe coming soon). I was so stuffed by the end of the night I could barely move. It was worth it though!
Potstickers are something that I was very intimidated to make the first time I decided to make homemade ones, but they are actually very simple to make. The assembly is the only thing that takes a little time, but one you get the hang of it, it moves very quickly. An awesome part of making dumplings is that you can make a bunch, and then freeze whatever you aren’t using that day, and then have a delicious appetizer waiting whenever you need it! I love to make extra for that purpose. These shrimp potstickers were wonderful, as was the dipping sauce. The flavors of garlic, ginger, scallions and soy sauce go together so well, and create such a flavorful dumpling!
Makes about 40 dumplings
1/2 head napa cabbage, chopped fine
3/4 tsp salt
12 oz shrimp (any size), peeled and deveined
4 scallions, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
About 40 wonton wrappers (My package had 48 wrappers)
8 tsp vegetable oil
About 2 cups water, plus extra for moistening wrappers
1 recipe scallion dipping sauce (recipe follows)
1. Set a colander over a bowl, and in it toss together the cabbage and the salt. Let stand about 20 minutes until the cabbage has slightly wilted. Press the cabbage against the colander with a rubber spatula to press out the excess moisture.
2. Add the shrimp to a food processor, and pulse about 10 times, until the shrimp is chopped up pretty finely.
3. Add the shrimp to a medium bowl, along with the cabbage, scallions, egg, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and pepper. Mix together thoroughly to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in the refridgerator to chill. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, and up to 24 hours.
4. When chilled, make the dumplings! Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to place finished potstickers on. To make the potstickers, take a wonton wrapper (covering the rest with a damp paper towel, or plastic wrap), and place on a clean surface. Spoon a rounded teaspoon of filling into the center of a wrapper. Moisten 2 sides of the wrapper, and fold in half to make a triangle. Press together with your fingers to seal. Place the finished potsticker on the prepared baking sheet and continue making the rest. When all are assembled, you can either cook them immediately, or freeze them for the future. (To freeze, place baking sheet in your freezer with the assembled dumplings, covered with plastic wrap. Let freeze for several hours, and then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Do not thaw before cooking.)
5. To cook, place a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium high heat, and brush with 2 tsp of vegetable oil. Add the potstickers, in the pan, flat side down (10-12 per batch). It’s okay if the dumpling touch each other, or overlap very slightly). Cook for 5 minutes, until the undersides are golden brown (do not move the dumplings, just lift a little to check for browning).
6. Reduce the heat to low, add 1/2 cup water, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes. Then, uncover the skillet, increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 3-4 minutes longer (without moving), until the bottoms of the potstickers are brown and crisp, and the water is evaporated. Remove the potstickers to a plate lined with a couple of paper towels to adsorb the oil.
7. Repeat process with remaining potstickers. Serve with scallion dipping sauce!
Source: barely adapted from The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook
Scallion Dipping Sauce
Makes 3/4 cup
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp mirin
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp chili oil (optional)
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 scallion, minced
1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix together. Serve with potstickers!
Source: The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook