Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Butternut Bisque – To Roast or Not to Roast

That is the question, and for me the answer depends on what else is on the menu besides this delicious butternut bisque. 

When you roast butternut, you caramelize, and concentrate the flesh, and get something sweeter, starchier, and richer, which is perfect if you’re enjoying it as a meal, but maybe not such a great thing if it’s going to be followed by additional courses.

The last thing you want when you start a big holiday meal with a soup course are your guests feeling full when they finish. Of course, as with all things food, this is highly subjective, but I did want to share my thought process on skipping the roasting step.

I really enjoyed the festive, seasonally appropriate garnish seen herein, but if you are going for more of a stand-alone meal, it’s pretty amazing embellished with a handful of crispy bacon, and spoon of crème fraiche. So, whether you roast or not; whether you’re going to serve at some fancy feast, or just some chilly Tuesday night, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 portions:
1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs)
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 quart chicken broth
pinch of cayenne
1/2 cup heavy cream or crème fraiche
2 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste

Friday, December 8, 2017

Tourtière – A Meaty Holiday Main Course That’s Easy as Pie

Many holiday main course recipes involve expensive ingredients, and/or time consuming, complicated techniques, not to mention the anxiety that comes along with worrying whether all that time and money will have been worth it. I’m looking at you, dry, overcooked beef wellington.

If you want to avoid all that, maybe consider making tourtière. This French-Canadian meat pie is hearty, satisfying, easy to make, visually impressive, relatively affordable, and since it’s best served at room temperature, doesn’t require any kind of precise timing.

You can also easily tailor this to your own tastes, since other than the ground meat and mashed potato, pretty much anything goes. Or, make it just like this. I’ve only had tourtière a handful of times, so I’m certainly no expert, but I thought this came out extremely well, and I wouldn’t change anything when I make it again.

Although, I may try it with some beef gravy, as a few of my Canadian friends have suggested. Some even suggest ketchup, which I did try on a cold slice, and not surprisingly it was delicious. But, no matter how you serve this tourtière, I really do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for one 9-inch Tourtière:

For the crust:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, sliced, frozen
7 tablespoons ice cold *water
2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar
*add a little more if dough isn’t pressing together

1 large russet potato, boiled in enough salted water to cover (reserve water)

1 tablespoon butter
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 cup potato water, plus more as needed

For the spice blend:
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon  ground ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
pinch cayenne

For the egg wash:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

Please note: Once your filling has cooled, taste for salt, and adjust before filling the crust.

- Bake at 375 F. for 1 hour, or until browned

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Holiday Cheese Board – Finding Michele

After posting the long, and relatively complicated croissants video last week, I decided to take a little mental break, and do a video for how to put together a holiday cheese board. I’ve wanted to do this one for a while, and since we’re in the middle of entertaining season, I thought the timing was perfect.

It’s always stressful to have people coming over this time of the year. You want to please, and impress, but there never seems to be enough time to get everything done, especially in the kitchen, and that’s when a well-designed cheese board can save the day.

They’re fast to put together, and you don’t need any special skills, other than being able to talk to strangers at the fancy grocery store. Most feature extensive cheese selections, and it’s been my experience that the people who work in those departments love helping you pick out your cheese. 

I know this, since I’m married to one of those people. Michele used to sell cheese in various shops and charcuteries, and her selection/pairing skills are legendary. Customers would simply tell her how many guests were coming, as well as what was being served, in particular, which adult beverages, and she would work her magic.

I gave you our basic approach for composing one of these boards, but there are many different ways you can go, so I encourage you to find the “Michele” at whichever place you’re buying your cheese. You won’t regret it. No matter which cheeses you end up with, or how you garnish them, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients:

Le Mothais sur Feuille - Goat Cheese 
Prunes 
Fuyu Persimmons 
Bread - Rye Krisp 
Knife - Combo (spread, slice, stab) 

Manchego Membrillo - Sheep Cheese
Quince paste
Bread - water crackers 
Knife - slice and stab (knife with holes) 

Stilton - Cow Bleu Cheese 
Candied Pecans 
Grapes
Bread - sliced baguette 
Knife - spreading

Note: Allow for at least 2 ounces of cheese total per guest, as a portioning rule of thumb.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Croissants – Slightly Easier than Flying to Paris

I wouldn’t describe homemade croissants as an easy recipe, since there are multiple steps, and it does take a least half a day, but it’s really not that hard either; and certainly simpler than flying to Paris, which is the only other way to enjoy these amazing pastries.

Sure, some of you may live near an authentic French bakery, maybe even one of the few that still use pure butter, but for the sake of this post, let’s assume that you don’t. Besides, sitting next to a basket of homemade croissants raises your foodie street cred like few other things.

Despite taking a fair amount to time, this is actually the quick version, in that we’re not leaving the dough to rest overnight, before laminating with the butter. I don’t think there’s a huge difference, but I did want to mention in case you’d prefer to start the dough at night, and do the rest of the work the next day.

The technique is pretty straightforward, but be sure to pay attention to the temperature of your butter.  If you’re slab is too soft, it will just blend into the dough, and you won’t get the gorgeous layering seen herein.  And if it’s too cold in firm, it won’t spread between the layers of dough like it needs to. It should basically have the firmness of clay.

So, take your time, and when in doubt, pop the dough in the fridge for a few minutes to chill it down as you’re working. You’ll notice I didn’t serve anything on my croissants when I did the final shots, and if you make these, you’ll understand why.  I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Makes 12 to 16 Croissants:
This recipe was adapted from one by Bruno Albouze, from The Real Deal (which he is)
For the dough:
1 cup warm water (about 100 F.)
1 packet active dry yeast (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 teaspoons kosher salt (1 3/4 teaspoons if using fine salt)
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
6 tablespoons room temp butter for the dough

For the croissants:
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted European-style butter for the slab
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for the egg wash

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Flaxseed Crackers - Meet the “Flackers”

I usually try new recipes, or techniques because they sound delicious, or unusual, but once in a while I’ll try something just because it sounds impossible, and that was the case with these flaxseed crackers. 

I heard that if you mix flaxseeds with an equal amount of water, let it hydrate, spread it thin, and bake it in a low oven, you’ll get light, crispy, and surprisingly tasty crackers. I heard right.

I generally like to leave eating seeds to the birds, but these have a very mild nutty/earthy flavor, and while quite light, they’re still study enough to use with your favorite dips and spreads. Above and beyond the taste, I find that these start to lose their crispiness after about a day, so if you make them ahead of time, I’d re-crisp them in the oven again for maybe 30 minutes to dry them back out.

Also, please feel free to season these more creatively than I did. Although a plain cracker is perfect for pairing with a slice of cheese, I can’t help but think there are so many other ways these could’ve been spiced-up. Regardless of what you add to yours, I really hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!


PLEASE NOTE: I've been told that whole flax seeds are not fully digestible, and to get the health benefits you should use flaxseed meal, but other sources are telling me that the soaking, and chewing takes care of that, maybe. Probably not a big deal unless you're going to eat a whole batch, but consider yourself warned if you are sensitive to high-fiber foods!
 
Ingredients for 32 Flaxseed Crackers:
1 cup raw flax seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
pinch of cayenne
1 cup cold water

- Soak overnight, then bake at 200 F. for 3 hours, or until crispy.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sweet Potato Biscuits – Before or After

I originally planned for these sweet potato biscuits to be this year’s Thanksgiving leftover recipe, but they came out so well, I decided to upgrade them, and I’m now officially suggesting you make these as one of the centerpieces for your feast. The downside of that plan is that you’ll have to share them with your guests.

Adding things like mashed sweet potatoes can cause all sorts of issues in a biscuit recipe, since they need to take the place of some of your “wet” ingredients, and considering how much thicker they are than something like buttermilk, over-mixing the dough can occur. By the time the potato mixture is incorporated, you can develop too much gluten, which can make biscuits tough.  

So, to protect against that, we’ll do most of the mixing while we form and fold our dough on the work surface. Not only does this make for a tender biscuit, but as you saw, we also get lots of beautifully buttery layers.

These are amazing with just plain butter, but for a little seasonal twist, I made a pomegranate spread, and have explained how to do that below. No matter what you serve this with, I really do hope you give these amazing sweet potato biscuits a try soon Enjoy!


Ingredients for 8 large or 12 normally sized Sweet Potato Biscuits:
1 1/2 cup mashed orange sweet potatoes (cooked in well-salted water, drained thoroughly)
3 1/4 cups *self-rising flour 
(*if using all-purpose flour, add 4 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 1/2 tsp fine salt)
1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar
12 tablespoons ice cold butter, grated in
1/2 cup buttermilk

For the pomegranate spread:
4 tablespoons room temp butter
1 teaspoon pomegranate syrup, aka pomegranate molasses (you can make your own by reducing juice until it thickens)
1 teaspoon fresh pomegranate juice, for a better color
fresh pomegranate seeds to garnish

Friday, November 17, 2017

Peposo dell'Impruneta - Making Bad Beef Better Since Before Columbus

Some recipes have amusing, or romantic stories for how they came to be, but this peposo isn’t one of them, unless you consider making bad quality beef taste better by covering it in black pepper, amusing or romantic.

As the story goes, the workers who made terracotta tiles in the city of Impruneta, would place this stew into clay pots, and leave it their still-hot kilns overnight, where it would be ready the next morning. Since they were often stuck using less than fresh meat, copious amounts of black peppercorn was used to make the beef palatable.

Luckily, this recipe adapts quite nicely to fresh meat, and produces one of the more uniquely flavored braised beef dishes I’ve ever had. The amount of black pepper is up to you, but even the ridiculous amount I used wasn’t overpowering. The acidity and sweetness of the reduced wine balances everything beautifully.

I hear that beef shank is the traditional cut of meat to use, but short ribs worked really well. You could even use some beef chuck, cut into two-inch pieces, but you’d have to adjust the cooking time. Having said that, forget the time, and keep cooking until a fork goes in easily. Regardless of which cut you use, or how fresh it is, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 portions:
6 bone-in beef short ribs (about 8 to 10 ounces each)
1 tablespoon kosher salt to coat the beef
8 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons black peppercorns, freshly crushed
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
3-4 sage leaves
3-4 small sprigs rosemary
2 cups red wine, preferably Chianti
2 bay leaves
salt to taste, to adjust sauce
- Simmer on low, covered, about 3 1/2 hours, or until fork tender. Turn occasionally.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Caldo Verde – My Green Soup Redux

Caldo verde is many things: simple to make, inexpensive, nutritious, famously delicious, and beyond comforting. What it isn’t, however, is Spanish. I learned that after posting a version of this soup 10 years ago, when I tagged it as “Spanish Cuisine,” and a few very “passionate” Portuguese viewers let me know, in no uncertain terms, that was not accurate.

This soup hails from the Minho Province in northern Portugal, and now that the record has been set straight, we can move on to just how great this simple soup is. This is one of those recipes where you actually hope for horrible weather, so you can enjoy it in all its soul-warming glory. This is so hearty and comforting, you’ll almost forget how good it is for you.

I recommend trying to find Portuguese linguica, but like I said in the video, pretty much any cured, spicy, smoked sausage will work. Andouille would be a great choice, as would a dried chorizo. As usual, feel free to adapt this as you see fit, but I wouldn’t change the recommended russet potatoes.

They have the perfect starchiness for this soup, and produce a wonderfully silky texture. Waxier red potatoes won't work as well, but, having said that, it’s your soup, so do what you want. Just don’t call it Spanish. So, whether you wait for some nasty cold, wet weather or not, I really do hope you give this caldo verde a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 large portions:
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces Linguica sausage
1 onion diced fine, plus a pinch of salt
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, sliced
2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed
2 quarts chicken broth or water
2 pounds kale, trimmed, chopped, washed and drained
pinch of cayenne, optional

Friday, November 10, 2017

Pork Saltimbocca – Jumps in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands

You have to give it to the Italians when it comes to naming recipes, and this pork saltimbocca is a perfect example. By now, you’ve probably heard that “saltimbocca” means “jumps in the mouth,” which makes perfect sense if you’ve had it before.

Maybe we should start doing this to American recipes? For example, we could rename Buffalo Chicken Wings, “Order More Beer Bones.” Let me think that one through a little more, but the point is, I love the idea of trying to describe a food’s affect in its name.

If you don’t want to mess around making the fake pork stock with the chopped up trimmings, you can still use the gelatin trick, and simply dissolve a teaspoon into a cup of chicken broth, and reduce it by half. However, the browned scraps do add extra meatiness, and this way you won’t have to feel guilty about trimming off too much meat. By the way, if you’d made our demiglace, you could skip the gelatin and add a nugget of that.

Feel free to use the more classic veal loin for this recipe, but the pork tenderloin really works beautifully. It’s just as tender, and maybe even a bit more forgiving if slightly overcooked. Which reminds me, don’t overcook this. Slightly pink pork tenderloin is completely safe, not to mention juicy and delicious. So, whether you use pork, veal, or even a chicken breast for this, I really do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 portions:
1 to 1 1/4 pound pork tenderloin, seasoned generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
about 12 sage leaves
4 large thin slices prosciutto
flour for dusting
2/3 cup white wine, or Marsala wine for a little sweeter sauce.
- Be sure season the final sauce before serving.

For the stock:
1 tablespoon butter
chopped pork trimmings
1 cup homemade or low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water, or as needed
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- simmer until reduced by half

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

“Code Red” Cheese Spread and a Hot Pepper Challenge for ALS

I was halfway through production on this “code red” cheese spread, when I heard that Andrew from “Binging with Babish” had tagged me for his Hot Pepper Challenge for ALS. What are the odds? Anyway, I happily accepted his challenge, although, as you’ll see from this video, I took the coward’s way out, and used the almost already completed pepper spread, instead of eating whole chilies. I have some gastrointestinal issues that, while relatively minor, would make such an endeavor “problematic.” So, to make up for my good judgment, I donated a little extra, and hope you can do the same.

Above and beyond raising some funds for ALS research, this delicious spread is simple to make, and a real crowd-pleaser. Just ignore those initial complaints. As you’ll observe, people will literally be spreading more of this on their next cracker, while they tell you that it's too spicy. It isn't, and by the end of the party, they will agree. They may be sweating when they do, but they'll agree.

Here’s the link to Andrew’s video, where he shares the inspiration for the challenge, as well as heroically eats a habanero, AND a ghost pepper. It hurt just to watch. If you'd like to participate, the link is https://www.gofundme.com/alshotpepperchallenge. I really hope you give this great pepper spread, and hot pepper challenge a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 4 1/2 cups “Code Red” Cheese Spread:
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese
8 ounces fromage blanc, mascarpone, or just more cream cheese
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup sriracha hot sauce
2 tablespoons ghost pepper hot sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons hot smoked paprika
2 teaspoons chipotle pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne, plus more to taste
salt to taste

Friday, November 3, 2017

Chicken Little – The Sky is Not Falling

Armed with nothing more than a sharp boning knife, and some patience, pretty much anyone can make this visually impressive, “chicken little.” At least that’s what I’m calling it, for lack of a better name. In the business, this is sometimes referred to as an individual chicken ballotine, which really doesn’t have much of a ring to it.

I was thinking of going with “pear chicken,” but then I’d have to deal with all those “where’s the pear?” comments. Anyway, regardless of the name, this is a real showstopper, and easily adaptable when it comes to seasonings, and glazes. I did the simplest pan sauce possible, by deglazing the drippings with a splash of chicken stock, but you could use wine, and/or demiglace, to fancy it up even more.

I’m recommending that we cook this to an internal temp of 150 F., to ensure ultra-juicy meat, which will terrify some of you, “Henny Penny’s”. I still see recommendations online to roast chicken to 165 F., which is not only crazy, but completely unnecessary. Anything that would harm you is killed at 140 F., so please try to relax.

Since there is a bit of production involved, I do suggest making these ahead, and keeping them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Not only will they roast to an even more beautiful golden brown, but your flavored butter ingredients inside will have time to permeate the meat. So, whether you’re making these to impress guests at a dinner party, or just improve your knife skills, or both, I really hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 portions:
one 1.5 pound game hen (this will work with any size bird, but roasting times will change)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the butter:
1 clove garlic, sliced
large pinch of salt and pepper
1 teaspoon minced thyme and rosemary
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup seasoned chicken broth to deglaze and reduce in roasting pan

- Roast at 450 F. for about 30 minutes, or until internal temp of 150 F.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Bigos (Polish Hunter’s Stew) – Go Bigos or Go Home

I don’t often get requests for Polish food, but when I do, they’re usually for bigos. Which makes perfect sense, since this meaty stew is one of the most delicious dishes you’ll ever taste. It’s also low-carb, highly nutritious, and very simple to make, as long as you don’t consider having to wait a day to eat it, “complicated.”

While you can eat this as soon as it’s made, and I bet most of you do, it’s much better the next day, as all the flavors have time to properly meld together. You can also really customize this to your personal tastes by changing up which meats you use.

Traditionally, this is made with wild game, such as venison, boar, and other shootable animals, but is perfectly acceptable, if not amazing, using easier to find domestic livestock. Regardless of which meats you include, be sure to use a lot of them, as I think this stew should be at least 50% meat.

Since you can, and should make this ahead of time, it’s perfect for feeding large groups, especially when the weather turns cold and dreary. But, no matter what it’s doing outside, I hope you give this a try, and have a pot simmering inside soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 portions:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 packed cups drained sauerkraut
1 small head green cabbage, quartered and sliced (2 pound head before trimming)
4 strips bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 lb pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb polish sausage links, sliced (or any other sausage)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 pitted prunes, diced
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked until soft and chopped
1 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 large bay leaf
freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Zombie Meatloaf – Better Than Brains

After seeing various versions of this Halloween-themed, zombie meatloaf on social media over the years, I decided it was time to post my very own. I’ve seen many approaches to this; such as covered in “blood,” or mummified in strips of pastry, but the ones wrapped in bacon always looked the most realistic, and the most appetizing.

Ironically, “appetizing” is the last thing you want this to look like, but if we’re going to do some kind of gimmicky, holiday recipe, it might as well taste great, and this most certainly did. It’s been a while since I posted a meatloaf recipe, and I was very happy with how this one came out. You can use a food processor make chopping the mushrooms a bit easier, but don’t leave them out. They add a lot of flavor, as well as help keep the meat moist, and tender. 

By the way, if you're trapped in one of these households where certain people don’t eat mushrooms, add them anyway, since they’ll never be able to tell they’re in there. Then, next week, after they’ve eaten this, and loved it, you can come clean. Trick or treat, indeed.

Having said that, this zombification will work with any of your favorite meatloaf recipes, and you won’t be hurting my feelings. Much. Regardless of what you use, I really hope you give this fun-to-make, even funner-to-eat, zombie meatloaf a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 8 large portions:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup diced celery
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
8 ounces brown mushrooms, chopped fine
3 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 pounds ground beef
3 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons milk or buttermilk
1 large beaten egg
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1 pound strip bacon for  zombie “facial muscles”
1 onion for eyes and teeth

- Bake at 325 F. for about 1 hour, or to an internal temp of 155 F.

- I went for a realistic muscular look, but if you’d rather have something that looks like crispy bacon, go ahead and put foil over the eyes and teeth, and pop this under a hot broiler, until it looks just right.

- Serve with “blood sauce,” which is made with equal parts SFQ bbq sauce and ketchup, spiked with hot sauce.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Buttermilk Pie – The Best Pie You’ve Never Heard Of

I can understand certain recipes being relatively unknown, but this buttermilk pie is not one of them. Not only is this easy to make, and beautiful to look at, it’s also bursting with the kind of bright, tangy flavor that no other custard-style pie can touch. Like I said in the video, this is sort of like a vanilla custard, meets lemon meringue pie, meets very light cheesecake. Except better.

I’ve never had much trouble finding buttermilk, even in regular, non-fancy grocery stores, but depending on where you live in the world, apparently that’s not the case. There are many “hacks” for making a substitute, usually using milk and lemon juice, or vinegar, and I’ll let you Google those at your leisure, but I’d be more inclined to try some yogurt, thinned out with some milk.

I think that would be closer to the tanginess of buttermilk, but as far as the recipe “working,” one cup of any type of dairy product should yield similar results. Once your pie is made, it can be served “as is,” or topped with seasonal fruit. I went with raspberries, mostly for the pictures, but if you were going to do this for the holidays, some persimmons, and/or pomegranate seeds would also be very nice. Regardless of how you serve it, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for one pie:
Enough pie dough for a 9-inch pie dish
(I used half a recipe of our butter crust dough)
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
zest from one lemon
juice from one lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk

- Prebake crust at 350 F. for 15-20 minutes, let cool, then fill and bake for another 45-55 minutes, or until the filling is golden and “set.”

Friday, October 20, 2017

Potstickers – For When You Can’t Decide Between Fried and Steamed Dumplings

Potstickers (or Pot Stickers, depending on which style guide you’re using) are very fast and easy to make, unless you only do them once or twice a year, in which case they’re going to take a little bit of time to fold and shape. 

Just for fun, find a video that shows professionals doing these, and marvel at how they come together in seconds. That's what happens when you do hundreds each day, for years.

Having said that, every second spent producing these, is a second well spent. The play between the crispy, crusty bottom, and the tender parts, makes for a truly unique dumpling. They’re also very versatile, since you can fill them with anything you want. No matter what you use, you’ll know exactly what you’re biting into, which is not always the case when you get these out.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the occasional take-out binge, and its associated mysteries. But, it’s nice being able to control the contents, as well as the generosity of the filling. There is nothing worse than biting into one of these, and realizing it’s only half-full. So, for all those reasons, and more, I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


One production note: While I’ve made these many times, I’ve never actually measured the ingredients before, so I ended up with extra filling. So, I’ve increased the dough amounts from what I used in the video. Instead of getting 24 wrappers, you should get more like 32 (cutting each quarter dough into 8, instead of 6 portions), which should be a better match. Of course this depends on exactly how much you fill, but it should be close.

Ingredients:
For the filling:
1 pound ground pork
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
3 tablespoons very finely minced ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
pinch cayenne
1 1/2 cups finely chopped green cabbage

For the dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup hot water (about 130-150 F.)

For the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
Optional: You can spike dipping sauce with things like hot sauce, garlic, minced green onions, ginger, etc.