Cooking Tips from Allison Vencel - Week 13
This week, I had the final "pork steak" from my big freeze-a-thon back at the end of January ready to go....I do try for a 60-day rotation on frozen meats...
After a minor chop, I threw the meat, scallions, ginger, garlic and cabbage into the food processor...
Pulse this until blended, and the ginger and garlic are in small enough pieces...Now, prepare your work area for filling these yummy pockets of goodness.
Now, take a regular teaspoon, and place about a half-teaspoon of filling into the center of the wonton skin and
Fold it over to make a little triangle....
Then, crimp the top in a decorative, but more importantly, well-sealed manner. Like this little packet of goodness!
As you finish each one, place them on a plate dusted with cornstarch, and cover with a damp paper towel, so they do not dry out.
Now, take the remainder of the filling, and as you fill the wonton skins, pull all the corners up into a little pouch, squeeze hard to seal, and press down slightly.
Continue until all the filling is used up, and place on a plate in the same fashion as your pot stickers. Here are mine...
After I took this photograph, I immediately froze half the batch...for a busy, work night Chinese take-out meal without the cost, or paper boxes, or even a reservation!
Carrot, scallions, dried shittake mushrooms, broccoli, chicken base, bamboo shoots, cabbage, and the soy sauce and sesame oil from earlier.
I soaked the mushrooms for about 10 minutes in really hot tap water, then sliced everything in a similar manner.
Now, fill a 3 quart saucepan three quarters full with water, and only add about 2 Tablespoons of chicken base. Asian soups have very light, delicate broths.
Cover and simmer on medium low for about ten minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Then add your wontons and simmer for ten minutes longer. Finally, add the broccoli and garnish with thinly sliced scallion. Simmer for 5 minutes and turn it off....keep it covered while you finish the pot stickers. Here's the fun part - while the soup is simmering, place 1/2 cup of water and one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet. Add your pot stickers, cover and steam for about ten minutes.
Then remove the lid (medium heat), and as the water evaporates, the oil remains, and gets those lovely crispy brown bottoms going on the pot stickers.
Don't worry about the water looking a little "milky" - that's just from the cornstarch on the bottom of the wontons. Now, pour some soy sauce into a bowl,
An appetizer, and lovely, warming wonton soup. All from that small piece of protein, and a few bits and bobs from your pantry and refrigerator! I won't tell you how incredibly good it was, because I can already hear your car tires squealing as you race to your local Chinese take-out. Stop it at once! Go MAKE it!
What is your favorite Asian dish, that you duplicate as well as, or better than the local take-out?
Eat well, my friends and stay tuned for our next Something From Nothing, and see what those naughty, naughty little Kitchen Angels have been up to.
Love and kindness to all,
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