Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In which I try to be like Ben

I have a brother-in-law. (I know. Shocker.) But what's REALLY cool is that my brother-in-law can COOK. And when I say cook, I mean createthemostdeliciousthingseverconcoctedbythefoodgods. Plus he's a doctor. (Sorry, ladies, he's married.)

Over Christmas, Ben made us homemade potstickers. They were so deliciously yummy that they have haunted by daydreams ever since.

We don't have Chinese food here. Or Costco, which is almost as good.

So yesterday I decided to re-create Ben's Chinese miracle.

The ingredients: (do you love how I'm trying to be like the Pioneer Woman? As Emily of LM Montgomery would say, I am a humble alcolyte bowing before the altar of my priestess. But I tried.)

Olive oil, fresh ginger, garlic, soy sauce, pepper, salt, and cabbage. Also pork, but I had already cut it up before I thought to take a picture.

First things first. Chop the cabbage - I did half a head - and set aside in a bowl. Sprinkle with about two tablespoons of salt and let sit for half an hour. The salt will draw out the water in the cabbage. (It's MAGIC.)

Squeeze out the water and put back in the bowl. Add a package of pork, cut into pieces. (Even better would be ground pork, but I don't have that luxury.)

Now for the flavor! You can vary these according to taste (this is just me):

2 cloves of garlic
A whole stick of grated ginger (I loooooooove ginger)
1 tsp. of pepper
About 2 tablespoons of olive oil and soy sauce, each

I bet green onions would be good too, but I didn't have any on hand.

Inhaling the ginger is a must:

Mix them together and it should look something like this:

Now for the fun part! Place a large spoonful of the mixture on a wonton wrapper and wet the edges with water. Then fold over and seal. Try to press all of the air out! Did I say fun? I mean time-consuming ...
(For those familiar with this beloved pais o' mine, these aren't real wonton wrappers. It's pastel dough - the closest I can get to the real thing. And I chose big wrappers so I wouldn't have to fold potstickers for hours on end.)

Ben fried his potstickers before boiling them, but in the interest of feeling better about myself, I skipped the frying.
And it turned into a sticky soup of wonton guts:

Fry them for a few minutes on each side - WHO TOLD YOU TO DO OTHERWISE?!

After nicely browned, plop them in a pot of boiling water. They're ready when the dough turns translucent - about ten minutes.
I tried to duplicate Ben's magical potsticker sauce by combining grated ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. CLOSE ENOUGH.
You don't get any pretty finished product picture, because we ate them.
Make a meal of it with fried rice, a salad with mandarin oranges, and egg drop soup.
Soup recipe:
Boil a piece of ginger in a few cups of chicken broth and 1 clove of minced garlic. The longer you boil, the stronger the ginger flavor. Right before serving, take out the ginger and crack an egg over the soup, slightly stirring it to get that "stringy" effect.
Not only is this the most delicious meal EVER, but it impresses. Now go Asian!


Melonie said...

OH YUM..... now I'm craving pot stickers. :-( My years-ago best friend used to make these and bring me a plate of them, hot off the stove. Nobody else in my family liked them so I would eat the WHOLE THING. Yummmmmmm.

HeatherKitts said...

I LOVE pot stickers :) When I make them, I fry/steam and you can avoid the whole sticky won-ton guts mess. Just add water to the pan before you fry them, stick the cover on the pan for about 2 mins, then flip them and do the same thing. Same effect as boiling, but faster...which equals sooner-in-your-mouth-goodness :) Thanks for making me crave them at 9am by the way.

InkMom said...

Mmmmm . . . wonton guts . . . drooling . . . okay, I'm done. Sounds delicious.

Thank you so much for your comment! It made me smile.

I just found you and started lurking a week or so ago, and I think we should be best friends, because you're hilarious. And because I have a Brazilian sister-in-law. (Any help with that would be greatly appreciated, let me tell you!)

(I didn't comment on your post about being strong enough . . . I should have because it was great. Really, really great.)

You can find me here, stalking you, evey time you post, I promise.

Annette Lyon said...

I'm just glad you quoted Emily. So few people know her, let alone love her!

Christa Jeanne said...

Ummm, I may or may not be noshing potstickers for breakfast today, dearie! Except I'm going Lazy American style and pulling out a bag of frozen ones from Trader Joe's. Shrimp and lemongrass - yum!!!

Excellent PW channeling, btw. Ree would be proud.

:Jan the crazy lady: said...

He is more like a Brother-bring it on-law. Yummy.

LisAway said...

I haven't read any of Emily since I was a girl!

Okay, if I ever make anything THAT complicated, it IS the dinner.

This sounds and looks heavenly. And, as you say VERY IMPRESSIVE!

Kristina P. said...

I have made postickers once, and they were delicious, but lots of hard work! Your's look amazing!

Kimberly said...

Who told you to do otherwise?!

Hee are such a hoot! And you've just given me an idea for the next time I feel like amusing my blog readers...

Abra said...

Yummy - I would ex nay the pork and the egg drop soup... but it sounds so good, I'm going to try it only with mashed potatoes and bacon and call them perogies and I'll boil first and then fry serve with sour cream.... oh wait... that's not exactly the same is it?

Just kidding, I'm amazed that you made those - not that I doubt your cooking skill you can make Chicken Hearts for crying out loud, I'm just amazed because I think you're amazing... yeah... I'm going to stop now, I really should.

Claire said...

Oooh! Yummy! Now I want some potstickers. I don't think I have time to make any this week, but I am going to Costco today... maybe I'll just buy some! Soon though, I'm going to have to try making my own.

Natalie said...

Funny, I misread the title and thought you were TRYING to LIKE Ben. I was like, "Hey, I have a brother in law named Ben who I have to force myself to like too!" and then I read your blog... Nope, not the same. My bro-in-law is neither a good cook OR a doctor that I think highly of.

Thanks for the recipe though! We had a Super Bowl party and these people brought potstickers but they were taco flavored. It kind of disturbed me on that first taste when I was expecting asian flavors, but after that they were SOOO yummy.

heidizinha said...

this is very similar to j's gioza (i say that because it sounds more authentic) recipe, in which he was taught by the gioza goddess in toronto. he usually makes his own wrappers, which always feels like WAY too much work. but whatev, they're amazing, yadda yadda yadda.

you can also make them with ground turkey breast. same taste, way less calories and fat.

and we fry for a few minutes, then dump some water into the pan and cover it to let them steam. same effect, one less pan.

Deb said...

I may try this...but anything requiring that much assembly scares me. My burritos routinely explode.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Looks delish!

MNM: Mangum Family said...

Mmmm...can't wait to try them, they sound incredible!

Thanks for stopping by! It's always fun to have new readers...only bloggers would understand that though, isn't it funny how we are like that, wanting people to "peak" into out lives all the time?

Thanks for the offer, If I told my husband someone asked us to move to Brazil, he's probably pack up tomorrow, he loves Brazil that much. Sometimes I think he loves it more than me...nah, but close!

SO said...

Oh how I love pot stickers but not the time involved in making them. And these sound wonderful!

RH said...

I love that you quoted Emily. One of my fav series. It has made me miss being 8 again. Now I just need to dig those books up.

Melanie J said...

I watched Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network last week (jealous yet?) and they had a potstickers challenge. I've been craving them every since. So glad you posted this. Or maybe I'm not since I'm watching my weight....

Real Mom, Real Life said...

I love potstickers! YUMMMMMMY!

SO you and yours are kindly invited to my house for dinner. Just bring the potstickers... I will bring the, um, rice.

Nikki said...

Potstickers have always intimidated the buh-heebee-jeebers out of me. But, you have done a very lovely demonstration. Love the honesty bits too. hahaha. I'll add a few ingredients to my grocery list.

Bonnie said...

My husband will love that you shared this! He loves these things.


charrette said...

Wow-impressive! It sounds so delicious, I think I'll go order Asian food right now! (because I can...) :)

Don't get me wrong, I love to cook...
Okay, one of these days I promise I'll try it.

Actually they look EXACTLY like the delicious ones we ate at KYOTO on Saturday!