Monday, September 23, 2013

Chinese Dumpling Potstickers

 293.  I will forever be grateful to "Use Real Butter" and Jennifer Yu's perfect family recipe for Chinese Dumpling Potstickers.
Find her recipe here:  Chinese Dumpling
It is a great challenge  to make this recipe without an experienced Potsticker Artist in your kitchen.  But with Jennifer's recipe, it feels like she is standing right next to you guiding you along.  The dough is soft and perfect to work with.

The fillings are so flavorful and when you taste the finished product the filling bursts in your mouth.
I did my absolute best to follow the directions and was concerned my little dumpling purses would open in cooking.  Only two opened slightly...Success!!
The cooking process was fun to watch when the bottoms turned crispy brown.
The finished product was one of the best Potstickers we had ever had.  Jennifer also included a tasteful, light perfect dipping sauce.  Guy Fieri would have been proud of this endeavor...Potstickers are one of his favs.
"I like that it's all hand-made.  You really put some time and energy into that.  Way more than I expected, man.  Nice job.  Nice job."
~Guy Fieri, Diner's Drive Ins and Dives, Caj-Asian Potstickers

Caramel Frosted Banana Drops

292.  A soft decadent cookie which is more like candy than cookie.  This recipe is memorable.
Caramel Frosted Banana Drops

  • 1  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1  cup butter, softened
  • 1/2  cup (1 large) mashed banana
  • 2  teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/3  cups All Purpose or Unbleached Flour
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 3/4  cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Frosting
  • 3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4  cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1  to 3 tablespoons milk

 Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup butter until light and fluffy. Add banana and 2 teaspoons vanilla; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Stir in flour and salt; mix well. Stir in walnuts. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
 Bake at 350°F. for 9 to 14 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely
 In small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. 
Cool slightly. Stir in powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and enough milk for desired spreading consistency.
 Frost cooled cookies and then indulge!
"Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana."
~ Bill Gates

Pan Seared Salmon

291.  Fresh salmon fillets pan seared in a light panko crumb with fresh parsley.  A dash of lemon squeezed across the top and served sizzling hot on your plate.
This method is a process that makes for quick preparation along with boiled potatoes tossed with butter and fresh dill weed chopped and boiled carrots.  It's light, tasteful, very satisfying.

Purchase several pounds of fresh salmon.  You can be sure your fish is fresh if there is no smell to your fish and it is wet not filmy slimy.
Rinse the salmon, patting dry with paper towels. Cut into steaks. 
prepare an egg wash in a shallow bowl.  In a separate shallow bowl place 1 cup panko bread crumbs, salt and pepper, garlic salt, tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley, 1/2 tsp lemon zest.
Heat a skillet with olive oil till sizzling.  Dip each top and bottom of salmon pieces in the egg wash then in the panko breading.  Place coated salmon in hot pan skin side down.  Saute on medium heat till you begin to see the dark pink turn light.
Immediately place under high broiler till crumbs have toasted and center is light pink.
Plate immediately and serve with complimentary sides.  Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
"Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant??  I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my...I could be eating a slow learner."
~Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973)

Oven Roasted Vegetables

290.  Autumn is here and root vegetables and pumpkins are plentiful.  This recipe is hardy and warm and pairs with beef or pork very well.  Ideal for your Thanksgiving table.

Your prep work starts with a baking sheet, like a jelly roll pan, parchment paper, olive oil and salt and pepper.  Line the pan with the paper and rub with olive oil.  Set aside

2 large Leeks, chopped coarsely and placed in a water bath
3 large sweet potatoes or yams, pealed and coarsely cubed
3 large turnips, pealed and coarsely cubed
3 large cloves of garlic, slice thin
30 brussel sprouts, rinsed, picked over and stem ends cut off.  Slice each in half
Rosemary, 2 branches fresh leaves pulled off stem,  or 1 teaspoon dry 
Optional Veggies:  Beets, potato, pumpkin, squash of any variety, rutabaga in chunks
Place all veggies on the parchment paper and mix.  Sprinkle Rosemary, salt and pepper and drizzle with more olive oil.
Place in a 375 degree oven and set timer for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and toss the vegetables making sure veggies on the edges are moved so they do not burn.  Spread around again, drizzle more olive oil if necessary.  Return to oven for 15 minutes.  Repeat this process till all the vegetables are tender.  Taste for seasoning.
Remove from oven and place directly on serving platter.
Serve hot with your roasted meat choice and white horseradish on the side.
These veggies would beautify a platter surrounding a roasted beef or pork loin,
even your Thanksgiving turkey or roasted chicken.  And the flavors are succulent!

All our progress is an unfolding, like the vegetable bud.  You first have an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge, as the plant has root, bud, and fruit.  Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.  It is vain to hurry it.  By trusting it to the end, it shall ripen into truth, and you shall know why you believe."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Dates

289.  This is one of the most simplest and surprisingly delicious hors d'oeuvre you will serve at your next get together.  Bacon Wrapped Dates.
Now when I first heard of the idea I could not imagine the flavors all melding together.  Until I tasted them!
Unbelievable and surprising in flavor.  And, you can't stop eating them. 
Simply cut bacon into small 4" pieces.  Use a firm, flavorful cheese like soft parmesan or gouda cut into small rectangles. It is up to you how salty of a cheese you want to use.
Take dates and stuff the inside with the cheese.

Then wrap the date around with the bacon piece and place a tooth pick to hold together.
Place on a baking sheet

Bake in the oven till the bacon is crispy and cheese is oozing out.
Remove from oven, place on a serving platter and enjoy!
Bacon Wrapped Dates will be your new favorite!
"I unfortunately still crave (bacon), which is the meat candy of the world."
~Katy Perry

Monday, January 21, 2013

Gourmet Ham and Cheese Pockets

288.  Here is an easy snack or appetizer you can fill with anything from savory to sweet.
It starts with Puff Pastry Sheets.
I roll out one sheet to a large square of 12"x12".  Then cut them into equal squares of 6 or twelve.
In a small bowl mix one egg with about a Tablespoon of water to make egg wash.  Brush the egg wash onto each square.
My filling for these yummy Ham and Cheese Pockets is sharp cheddar cheese, ham cubed or sliced into strips, one scallion (green onion) chopped, salt and pepper, dash of garlic salt, dash of soy sauce.  Mix together.
 Then dollop the filling evenly divided into each of the pastry squares not overfilling. Pull up one corner, brush the outside point with egg wash.
 Continue with each corner brushing four times

Once the filling is completely covered, pinch the center to ensure the pocket will not open in baking.  Brush egg wash over the top and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  I like to use black sesame seeds for contrast and texture.

 Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or till the crust is golden brown.
 Remove from oven and serve hot!  So yummy!
"Hors D'oeuvre:  A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces."
~Jack Benny


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