February 19, 2010

Two for One Acknowledged

As you all know we (PE and I) really aren't fans of holidays. Pretty much all of them we could live without. That being said, we do have children and we do have tiny sentimental bones in our bodies so we at least acknowledge them. This year for Valentine's Day we acknowledged it by sharing it with Chinese New Year (I don't think I have EVER acknowledged Chinese New Year). I was purely out of coincidence because we (mainly I) wanted to make Asian food for Valentine's Day. PE's way of aknowledging Valentine's Day was to not tell me I was crazy when I listed off the things I wanted to make. He also helped make most items too. For the Day of Red (shorter than Valentine's Day and I am not going to call it VD) we made Pot Stickers (three different recipes), House Lo Mein, House Fried Rice, Chicken Egg Rolls, and Chinese Donuts.

We started out by making the filling for the pot stickers. Then we made egg rolls. While PE fried the egg rolls I started filling the pot stickers. While I continued to fill the pot stickers PE made the lo mein. Then PE started the fried rice while I cooked the pot stickers. We set the oven to Warm and placed the lo mein and egg rolls in there to keep warm while we finished up the pot stickers and fried rice. Since the pot stickers were cooked in batches I also added to a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.

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Pot Stickers
adapted from Runs with Spatula
Print Recipe

1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp oil
1-1 1/2 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp chopped ginger
1/4 bundle minced green onion
1/2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 pkg. pot sticker wrappers
about 2-3 cups chicken broth

Combine all ingredients but the pot sticker wrappers in a medium sized bowl and mix by hand. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of pork filling onto each pot sticker wrapper. Moisten edges with water and fold edges over to form a triangle shape while trying to remove air from inside the pot sticker skin. Set dumplings aside until ready to cook. Heat a wok or nonstick skillet until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, tilting the wok to coat the sides. If using a nonstick skillet, add 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil. Place 12 dumplings in a single layer in the wok and fry 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cover and cook 6 to 7 minutes, or until the broth is absorbed. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.

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Pot Stickers II
from Blog Chef
Print Recipe

1/2 pkg. Pot Sticker wrappers (also called gyoza or pot sticker wraps)
1 cup cabbage (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 lb shrimp (peeled, deveined, cooked, and chopped)
1/2 lb ground pork (cooked)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine
1/2 Tbsp green onion (chopped)
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ginger (minced)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1/8 cup oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
water (for sealing)

Dipping Sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ginger (minced)

In a bowl add shredded cabbage and sprinkle 1 tsp of salt over the cabbage. Let sit for 5 minutes and then squeeze the juice out of the cabbage. Squeeze out any liquid from the shrimp. In the same bowl combine cabbage, shrimp, pork, soy sauce, rice wine, green onions, sesame oil, ginger and garlic. One by one lay out a pot sticker wrapper and add about 2 teaspoons of the cabbage mixture in the center. Lightly wet the other edges of the wrapper with your finger. Bring up both ends and pinch together the top in the middle. What we are doing here is sealing the upper half of the pot sticker. Start at one side and pinch that end closed. In small sections fold the dumpling wrapper skin over on itself until it is fully sealed (or you can just fold it into a half circle). Place pot stickers on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add enough dumplings to fill the bottom of the pan and fry for 1 minute or until golden brown on the bottom. Pour ¼ cup of chicken stock into the pan, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 7 minutes or until the dumplings are translucent. Uncover and cook on higher heat for about 5 more minutes or until the bottoms are dark brown. Remove from the pan, put on a platter and keep warm. Repeat until all the dumplings are cooked. To make the dipping sauce- Mix all of the dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl and serve with the pot stickers.

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Pot Stickers III
adapted from Meal Planning 101
Print Recipe

1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb bag of coleslaw (or 1 lb cabbage finely shredded)
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

1/2 pkg of pot stickers
1/4 cup water
1 tsp cornstarch

Before you start making the pot stickers, prepare your workspace. Get out a large baking sheet and moisten a clean kitchen towel or paper towel until just damp. In a small bowl mix together the water and cornstarch. In a large mixing bowl mix together the pork, cabbage, ginger, garlic, sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil until well combined. To begin filling your pot stickers, hold a dumpling wrapper in one hand. Dip your finger in the cornstarch water and moisten all around the outside edge of the wrapper. Place a heaped teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the pot sticker wrapper in half and pinch in the middle. To make a pleat, you'll need to make a small fold to the left of the middle. Pinch that together. Make another fold to the left of the pleat you just made and pinch together. Make the same pleats pinching them together on the other side until the dumpling is completely sealed. Your cute little pot sticker is now folded and ready to stand up.... In the palm of your hand or on a hard surface, stand the pot stickers up and tap to make a flat bottom. When you are all done folding and making the potstickers, you could at this point place your whole baking sheet in the freezer. The pot stickers will freeze in about an hour or two and can then be placed in a ziplock bag. This prevents them from freezing into a big potsticker ball. When you are ready to use them, just pull them out of the freezer and add an extra minute or two for cooking time.

Whether cooking these fresh or frozen, get out a large non-stick skillet that has a tight fitting lid. Place a couple teaspoons of oil in the pan and turn the heat up to high. Get a 1/2 cup of water ready and place on the counter beside you. Place the pot stickers in the pan on the flat side with their pleats sticking up. Depending on the size of your pan you should be able to fit about 12 or so into the pan. After about a minute or two the bottoms of the pot stickers will be browned and crispy. Grab the lid to the frying pan in one hand and the 1/2 cup of water in the other. Quickly pour the water into the pan and put the lid on. Turn the heat down to low and set a timer for 10 minutes. The dumplings will finish cooking in the pan by steaming. After 10 minutes remove the lid of the pan. If not all the water is gone let them sit another minute or two to let the water evaporate and let the bottoms of the gyoza get crispy again. Remove to a serving dish. In the Japanese restaurant, they serve them with crispy side up.

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Chicken Egg Rolls
from Favorite Family Recipes
Print Recipe

1 chicken breast, chopped into tiny pieces
1/4 cup Yoshida's sauce
2 eggs beaten
vegetable oil
3-4 green onions, chopped
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 carrots, shredded
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/4 cup water
black pepper to taste (we like it peppery so we usually use quite a bit of pepper)
egg roll wrappers
vegetable oil for frying
sweet and sour sauce (optional)
hot mustard (optional)

Cook chicken in Yoshida's sauce until cooked through. When cooked, remove from pan and chop into even smaller pieces. Pour beaten egg into a large, lightly oiled skillet over medium heat. Cook flat and thin, flipping only once, until done. Remove from skillet, cool, and chop finely. In the same skillet, add chopped green onions and stir for about 30 seconds. Add cabbage, carrot and sprouts. Pour water over the cabbage mixture in the skillet. Stir often, until cabbage mixture becomes soft. If it becomes too dry, add more water. Add chicken and egg to mixture. Put about 2 Tbsp of mixture onto each egg roll wrapper and roll up according to package directions. Place egg rolls into heated oil (about 375 degrees) and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or rack. Serve with hot mustard and/or sweet and sour sauce.

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House Lo Mein
adapted from Annie's Eats
Print Recipe

6 oz lo mein noodles
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pork loin chop, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
1 cup snow peas
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sesame oil

Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook the lo mein noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside. In the meantime, make the sauce by combining the oyster sauce, soy sauce, chicken broth and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Whisk well and set aside. Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until browned and cooked through. Add in the vegetables, each a few minutes apart, starting with the onion and bell pepper and ending with the mushrooms. Cook just until tender-crisp. Add in the garlic and saute just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sauce to the pan, and then the cooked lo mein noodles. Toss the mixture well to coat everything. Drizzle with the sesame oil and toss once more. Serve immediately.

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Short-Cut Chinese Donuts
from Suite101
Print Recipe

can of refrigerated biscuits (any kind will do)
oil for frying
sugar for coating

Heat enough oil in a deep pan to completely submerge biscuits. Heat the oil to approximately 350 degrees. Drop the biscuits into the oil and fry until lightly browned, turning midway through the cooking time. Drain on a rack or brown paper bag for 1-2 minutes and then roll around in white sugar. These can be eaten as they are normally served, with sugar, or they can be served with honey drizzled over the top. Another way to enjoy them is topped with a favorite preserve or jelly.

**I found that placing them in the microwave for 10 seconds before putting them in the oil made for a fluffier donut.

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