Monday, January 16, 2012

Dumplings Gone Wild

Last Saturday, it was just barely snowing and we decided to make us of our giant steamer for only the third time since we bought it more than two years ago. Dumpling Mania 2012 was on!

But first, a sale on kale (did that make you as happy as it just made me?) led us to the least appetizing-looking appetizer of all time: kale chips. We just laid the pieces out, sprinkled with olive oil and Mural of Flavor from Penzey's spices and toasted them at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

They tasted about 10 million times better than they looked.
For the dumplings, Hubs and I used a simple recipe based on a few different dumpling recipes we found online.

1 pound of ground pork
1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 table spoon apple cider vinegar (because we realized too late we were out of rice wine vinegar)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 inches of ginger, smushed
NO hoisin sauce, though I was a big proponent of this
8 scallions, chopped

We mixed all that together and filled up dumpling wrappers. Into the steamer they went for about 15-20 minutes.

While they steamed, we got rolling on two sauces: a peanut butter chili sauce and soy-based sauce.

The peanut butter sauce was just 1 cup warmed peanut butter (use a double boiler!) and chili oil (3 table spoons). It made WAY more than we needed.

Our soy sauce was also simple, soy and scallions, with a little apple cider vinegar and sesame oil.

We also steamed a sweet potato, so we could feel just a smidge healthier about all this pork and salt.

It was delightful!

In general, Hubs and I aren't great Asian cooks, but we can do dumplings. It doesn't hurt that it's one of the all-time easiest dishes to make ever.

Pardon our less-than-chic dinner ware, the good old divided plate just made for the most utilitarian choice for our two dips. What can I say, we are not fancy folks.

Have you tried making dumplings at home? What the heck else should we be using this steamer for?

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