Potstickers & Fried Rice

Monday, August 31, 2009

Before this last weekend, we seriously hadn't enjoyed a home cooked meal in more than two weeks! It was crazy. So when we had the weekend and approaching and virtually nothing going on, we decided we were going to make up for it with some delicious meals.

Friday, we had our homemade basil pesto. Yum.

Yesterday, we made chicken and summer vegetable tostadas. That was actually a big milestone, as it was the first time I had worked up the courage to make them since almost burning our house down.

Sandwiched in between those oldies but goodies, we decided to try something new. Last week, I was watching an episode of Good Eats on the Food Network. I watch often, but have never actually seen something on that show that I had to make. But for whatever reason, on this night, Alton Brown was making potstickers, and I thought to myself, I want to try those. And so the next day, I looked up the recipe and picked up the ingredients.

The rest is history.
IMG_1208rs by you.
These potstickers are completely and totally (and I mean 100%) unauthentic, but they are SO GOOD that it doesn't matter. They are full of awesome flavor. Although time consuming, the recipe made more than enough for the two of us, so we had enough leftover to freeze for another meal.

Perfect Potstickers
(Source: Alton Brown of Good Eats, Food Network)

- 1/2 pound ground pork (You can use pretty much any protein you want. We used ground beef, but I saw in the recipe reviews that people also had success with ground turkey and ground chicken)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 35 to 40 small wonton wrappers (Can't find them? Look in the produce section!)
- Water, for sealing wontons
- 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 1/3 cups chicken stock, divided

1. Combine the first 11 ingredients in a medium-size mixing bowl (pork through cayenne). Set aside.

2. To form the dumplings, remove 1 wonton wrapper from the package, covering the others with a damp cloth. Brush 2 of the edges of the wrapper lightly with water. Place 1/2 rounded teaspoon of the pork mixture in the center of the wrapper. Fold over, seal edges, and shape as desired. Set on a sheet pan and cover with a damp cloth. Repeat procedure until all of the filling is gone.

3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

4. Heat a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat. Brush with vegetable oil once hot. Add 8 to 10 potstickers at a time to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, without touching. Once the 2 minutes are up, gently add 1/3 cup chicken stock to the pan, turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for another 2 minutes.

5. Remove wontons to a heatproof platter and place in the warm oven. Clean the pan in between batches by pouring in water and allowing the pan to deglaze. Repeat until all the wontons are cooked. Serve immediately.

IMG_1210rs by you.
We paired our potstickers with a simple vegetable fried rice. We used a recipe for shrimp fried rice from Cooking Light, but omitted the shrimp (I've omitted it from the recipe below. Click through to Cooking Light's web site if you want the original, unaltered recipe). This was really good as well. The sesame oil and rice vinegar give it some nice flavor, and it went well with the potstickers.

Fried Rice
(Source: Adapted from Cooking Light)

- 6 cups rice, cooked
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen green peas
- 1 cup sliced/chopped carrots
- Cooking spray
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 cup chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Dash of crushed red pepper

Remember to start by cooking your rice according to package directions!

1. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add eggs to pan; cook 1 minute or until set. Remove eggs from pan; coarsely chop.

2. Return pan to heat; add canola oil to pan. Add onions and ginger to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add carrots and peas to pan. Cook until vegetables are tender.

3. Add cooked rice into the pan; stir well.

4. Combine vinegar and the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Drizzle vinegar mixture over rice mixture; stir well.


Anonymous,  September 1, 2009 at 3:19 AM  

FWIW. Locate your nearest asian market and get the "thick" wonton wrapper. They are so much better then the thin ones, and taste just like the pot stickers you get at take out.

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