Homemade Chinese Dumplings ala Chef Gail

Homemade Chinese Dumplings ala Chef Gail

I love what they call Peking Ravioli and have bought from restaurants, and frozen. My fondest memories are when I used to commute into Boston via the train, a there was a group of us and maybe once a month take turns going into China Town and buying a huge box of frozen ravs. On the way back we would split them up and distribute to our coolers. Many good meals were had. Well our Son Mike’s is married to a wonderful woman, Gail, who happens to be from China. I innocently (ya right) ask if she ever made them. Her mom had visited recently and left her with a freezer full. She said yes and she would show me how. I jokingly called Chef Gail and it stuck at least while she was here.

It was like getting a recipe from your mom, a little of this, a handful of that a splash of rice vinegar and she went by smell. When she felt it smelt right, we were ready to start making the dumplings. Now that I think about it that makes sense there are dishes, I make that I’ll know it is correct and ready to cook by the smell, I just never thought about it that way.

The frozen dumplings I’ve made I would pan fried and then add water cover and steam until done. Gail said the authentic way is to boil them (at least the ones you have on the Chinese New Year). So, we made the stuffing (pork) added scallions, napa cabbage, ginger, five spice, canola oil, soy sauce then mix and then stuffed. using chopsticks mix stirring in only one direction (this way the filling becomes very sticky and absorbs more water to bring the juicy flavor). She showed me her way of sealing the wrappers and I soon got the hang of it. Lyn and Mike joined in and before we knew it the pound of pork was gone. Into some lightly salted boiling water and this is where we used her mom’s trick. You bring water to boil then boil for a few minutes add a little less than a cup of cold water and bring to a boil again and repeat. Essentially boiling three times. Drain and eat with dipping sauce.

Now my challenge is to figure out the measurements (double checked with Gail).

Stuffing: Keep in mind these are estimated amounts so you have to use your judgment

  • 1 lb. ground pork (>20% fat is ideal)
  • 2 cups of Napa cabbage copped finely
  • About 3/4 inch of ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce (I like low sodium)
  • 1 tsp 5 spice powder
  • 2 tbs canola/vegetable oil …add more if the stuffing turned out too dry
  • 1/3 tsp salt


Dipping Sauce:
• 4 tbsp soy sauce
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 tsp sugar (optional for sweet)
• dash rice vinegar
• dash sesame oil
• pinch garlic powder
• two dashes hot pepper flakes

Scoop about 1 tablespoon (or less, so you can easily fold the dumpling) of dumpling filling and place it in the center of the wrapper. Rub the edge of dumpling with water (acts like glue) Hold the dumpling with one hand and start sealing the edges with the other hand (refer to the video to see how to fold a dumpling). Be careful, when you press the edges together to seal the dumpling, do not let filling touch the sealing area (the dumpling will fall apart if you do). After folding, press edge again to seal well. You don’t need to fold beautiful dumplings here, that will come with time, your goal is to make the dumplings hold their shape during boiling.

How

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Carefully add dumplings one at a time into the water. Use a big ladle to stir the water gently, until the water starts to boil again, so the dumplings don’t stick to the bottom, for about 1 minute. Adjust the heat so the water is at boiling point but isn’t bubbling too fiercely.
  • When the dumplings float to the surface, add about 3/4 cup cold water bring to a boil add another 3/4 cup cold water continue boiling until the dumplings are filledwith air and swollen and the dough starts to become transparent, about 1 minute or 2 (time may vary depending on temp, size of dumplings etc)
    • Gail note: I only see dumplings made from commercial wraps filled with air, the ones my parents made from home-made dough didn’t fill with air,
  • Remove and place aside and cook the next batch.
  • For the dumpling already boiled, the pan-fried left-over also great:)

Easy Italian Purple Cabbage Rolls

Easy Italian Purple Cabbage Rolls

I got a red cabbage with my Misfits Market order thinking it would be a small head that I could add to my salads, but it turned out to be huge. I like stuffed cabbage and figure why not.  If your interested in trying Misfits use my code (COOKWME-FG1DCQ) that way we can both save some $$. This is a quick, easy and pretty good. I have made other recipes like sweet and sour but I kind of like this one.

Ingredients

  • 1 large head purple cabbage
  • 3 cups water or unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked and cooled
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (optional)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups low-sodium marinara sauce (my mother in-law used to use tomato soup)

How

Carefully cut or remove 6 large leaves from a head of cabbage—the bigger, the better; they are your vessels in this recipe. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then drop in the leaves. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until soft and malleable.

Bring the 3 cups water or broth to a boil, then add the rice. Cover and cook until the farro has softened and can be fluffed with a fork, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

In a large bowl, mix turkey, egg, garlic powder, onion, bell pepper, sage, Italian seasoning (if using), salt, black pepper, 2 tablespoons marinara sauce, and rice.

In a baking dish, spread 1 cup marinara sauce over the bottom.

Take a scoop of the meat mixture ( I used my medium ice cream scoop) and roll into a cylinder or ball. Place at the bottom of a cabbage leaf; roll up the bottom, fold in the sides, then continue rolling the leaf to seal. Repeat. Depending on the size of the leaf, I had some left over so I just made small meatballs with leftover and placed in pan. I think they are called porcupine balls, I call it chef’s treat.

Place the rolls side by side on top of the sauce in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake at 400˚F for 55 minutes. 

You could also use this for stuffed peppers, acorn squash

Info

Other things I’ve been making

Other things I’ve been making

Fusilli and Meatball Puttanesca

Fusilli and Meatball Puttanesca

Lyn and I were looking for something for dinner and we came up with making Ravioli Puttanesca but use some of my meatballs chopped up and some Fusilli instead of raviolis. It’s the same basic recipe but I chopped up two meatballs and added some sundried tomatoes to the sliced cherry tomatoes.

I really like the results and will duplicate in future.

Recipe

Meatballs optional

Steve’s Meatballs

Steve’s Meatballs

What was a Sunday dinner at Rose’s without meatballs?  This is a dish that a pinch of and a handful of that really comes to play. A dish that my side of the family would kill for, a plate of pasta topped with some of Rose’s meatballs.  You really have to make these every week so you get it down. But then I would be 900 lbs. Quick easy but soooooo good.

This is my take of her recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. of ground sirloin I used 93% lean
  • 3-4 eggs – 2 per lbs
  • About 1.5 handfuls of seasons bread crumbs and 1.5 handful of oat bran, each handful was about 1/4 cup
  • splash of milk maybe around 1/4 cup
  • Heaping tablespoon or dried parsley 
  • About 1/3 cup grated parmigiana Reggiano cheese
  • Heaping tablespoon of dried basil 
  • A couple of teaspoon of garlic powder
  • About a tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt and fresh ground pepper if you want a spicy meatball either use more pepper or add 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

How:

Preheat oven to 350◦

Line a backing sheet with high sides with tin foil and drizzle with then and spread olive oil

in large bowl mix  bread crumb and oat bran with milk let sit for 3-5 minutes

now mix all other ingredients together thoroughly. Using a medium ice cream scoop, scoop out and shape into 2” balls. (Approximately) and line the pan with meatballs leaving a little space between each.

Hint: I always have a small bowl with some olive oil in it to keep dipping my hand in it for when I form the meatballs

Convection Bake for about 15-30 minutes, checking after 20 minutes. The will be firm but not too firm. You can place sauce until ready to serve. if you want check with instant thermometer temp 138ish

Note: I think when going to serve that putting in sauce and let them simmer with the sauce make them come out very moist and as Lyn said melted in your mouth. 

                           

Low-FodMap Weekday Meat Loaf

Low-FodMap Weekday Meat Loaf

Lyn who really does not like meatloaf saw that I took some sirloin out of the Freezer and showed me this recipe from The Low-FodMap Diet. It looked familiar I swear I tried something like this before. Anyway, being a meatloaf lover, I jumped at the chance. It came out pretty good, good enough to go into my site which is our cookbook so to speak.

INGREDIENTS:

Sauce:

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar ( I used my 18 YO)

Meatloaf:

¼ cup dry  gluten-free bread crumbs (I had Italian seasoned)

1/2 cup lactose free whole milk, 2%, 1% or fat free

2 pounds ground beef, preferably 80% I only had sirloin.

2 large eggs, at room temperature, whisked well.

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley.

1/4 cup (16 g) finely chopped scallions, green parts only

2 teaspoons Garlic-Infused Oil, made with olive oil or purchased equivalent, such as FODY Garlic-Infused Oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Freshly ground black pepper

4 slices meaty bacon, choose gluten-free if on a gluten-free diet

How:

For the Sauce: Whisk all the sauce ingredients together; set aside.

For the Meatloaf: Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Have a flat cookie sheet ready.

Combine the measured breadcrumbs with milk in a large mixing bowl; allow the breadcrumbs to absorb the milk for 5 minutes.

Add eggs, parsley, scallions, garlic olive oil, salt, thyme and a generous amount of black pepper to the same bowl and use your hands to mix well.

Scrape meatloaf mixture into center of cookie sheet pan and use your hands to form an oval loaf shape about 9-inches long, 6-inches wide and 2-inches thick.

Spread about half of the sauce on top of the loaf, coating the top and sides. Reserve any remaining sauce to serve alongside cooked meatloaf.

Use your fingers to lay bacon over the meatloaf on a slight diagonal, tucking the ends underneath the loaf. The sauce will help the pieces stick and stay in place.

Cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until meat is cooked through and the bacon is crisp. An instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the loaf should read 160°F. You can crisp up the bacon further, if you like, by placing meatloaf under the broiler for 30 seconds to 1 minute, taking care not to burn.

Meatloaf is ready to cut into slices and serve with the reserved sauce alongside.

Next time I am trying mixing some of the sauce into the meat mixture before shaping.

Kugels Deli 1st non home cooked meal.

Kugels Deli 1st non home cooked meal.

It happened and during this pandemic. After what 3 months we broke down and needed something to eat that someone else prepared. Now visions of steak dinner, big Italian meal, Thai are roaming around our heads but our final decision ended with Kugel’s Deli A small always packed New York Style Deli. I got corned beef (lean, I had a physical coming up next week) and Lyn got the roasted turkey both on marble rye We order pickup and enjoyed the meal at home. Lyn loves the roast turkey you can watch them carve right form the turkey if you stand in the right spot.

I had to borrow a picture from their web since we gobble both our sandwiches down.

First Pandemic Visitors

First Pandemic Visitors

I’m back, healthy and cooking. It has been awhile, but I really did not stop just hid in the house like most others these days. Being a senior, I decided to take a break from the outside world work on the house, garden and have been volunteering for some Presidential and Senate campaigns. So, if you are getting those text asking who you might be voting for or are you registered before you hit delete or ignore it could be me asking the question be nice.  Anyway, the other day we had Mike and Gail over for the first time since they became engaged. I cooked up a meal that was pretty good if I do not say so myself.

BBQ Vegetable kebabs of, yellow (summer) squash, zucchini, mushrooms, Onions yellow and, red bell pepper.

Teriyaki Steak tips from Dom’s the Patriots version is better in our opinion although these melted in your mouth. These I simply put on skewers and BBQed until done.

Herb rubbed Flank Steak see here this is one of our favorite recipes. I will add I have learned to rub off the marinade with paper towel and overnight marinating to 24 hours works best.

BBQ Corn- I soaked the corn in husk all day but I am sure 1 hour would work. Then BBQ on the grill for about 15 minutes. We were fighting a threat of a horrendous thunderstorm, SO Lyn took the husk off and wrapped in tin foil. Oh, the storm did happen we soon had a river in the road in front of the house, and it lasted for hours the storm and the river. It ahs been years since we saw storm to that extent.  

Here are a few corn you might like Roasted Corn Salad,  Local Corn, Ginger, Corn Chicken Soup

Anyway, after a little discussion and the fact that we all had been symptom free and Gail who is back to work was tested negative a few days before, that masks were not needed. Thank goodness it is hard to drink wine with a mask. Wine and cooking are just a natural thing to me. Was a great evening.

Well look at that I’m babbling something my family expects from me.

Enjoy your summer and remember to check to make sure you are registered to vote it’s easy it takes seconds click below. Encourage your friends and family to double check.

Pan Fried Pork Chops With Juniper and Rosemary

Pan Fried Pork Chops With Juniper and Rosemary

Up front this would work better with bone in, and fresh rosemary but you have to do with what you have because running out to the grocery store to pick up one or two things thing is a tough decision these days, especially for seniors.

This week has been a pork week from sausage patties with our breakfast for supper last night to tonight’s 30 Minute Pork Piccata. See ther is the What’s for syndrom and its only 9:30 AM.

I had two boneless pork chops in the freezer from Butcher Box and since our last anniversary in Maine where I had Brined pork chop and have been playing with this to duplicate. Came close but not there yet. Anyway

I tried this with what I had, I should have cut the chops in half to make thinner but it still came out Ok. This is definitely a work in progress for me and can’t wait for my herb garden to start to flourish.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Bone-In Pork Chops, About 1/2 Inch Thick
  • 1/2 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive OIl
  • 2 Tablespoons Juniper Berries
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Rosemary Note: I had to use dried so I heated in oil first, fresh would be so much better
  • Sea Salt

How

  1. Use the back of a knife to crush the juniper berries and peppercorns.
  2. In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat along with the juniper berries, rosemary, and peppercorns until lightly smoking, then fry the chops for turning every minute, until no longer pink. 5-6 minutes estimated time.
  3. Sprinkle with sea salt, and serve immediately.

BTW left over made great pork rollup for Lunch the next day.

Breakfast Sausage Ragu cooking from the gut.

Breakfast Sausage Ragu cooking from the gut.

We took advantage of a special that Butcher Box was offering bacon and breakfast sausage. My son had recommended the bacon so I figured what the heck. Now with the pandemic you have to make do with what you have. The first thing we had to do is figure out if it had maple syrup in it. Mike never got the sausage so he did not know but suggested smell it. Not a bad idea so I opened the package and smelt away and it did not. Good thing is I still had my sense of smell and taste, if you know what I mean. I cooked a tiny pattie just to make sure and the nose did not fail me. Anyway Lyn made her sauce and I cooked the sausage etc. It was a mild breakfast sausage and I added some Italian seasoning while browning. When browning I like to flatten it and let brown flip then start to crumble, rather than start to crumble as soon as you put in pan. In my opinion it produces a moister browned meat.

I added green pepper, mushroom, spring onion after the meat was browned cooked for a minute then added some of Lyn’s sauce

Cooked the pasta and served.

All in all it came out pretty good for a cook from the gut meal. I think the mildness of the sausage made it possible.