Fried Rice & Potstickers

February 24, 2010 at 5:08 pm (Cooking) (, , , , )

My first recipe post (with pictures!)

This is one of my favorite dinners, it can be time consuming, but the good thing is, it keeps well so it can be dinner for 2 nights!

Fried rice is pretty simple actually.  You can put whatever you want into it.

First you make white rice as directed, I make mine in a rice cooker.  I made 3 cups of rice.

Next you prep the ingredients.  This is what I used:

Diced pork – buy the already smoked pork loin

Carrots – shredded

Onions

Snow peas

You can add anything in there.

The first thing I do is cook the eggs.  I used 6 eggs for this amount of rice.  If you have a wok it works great for this kind of thing, but  any deep skillet will do.  Put some oil in the bottom of the pan.  Crack the eggs into a bowl and lightly scramble – don’t add anything to them.  Drop them into the hot oil and stir them and break them up with a spoon or spatula.  They will cook quickly.  Once cooked, remove from pan and set aside.  Next cook all the ingredients.  Cooke them together, but add them one at a time so they will be finished at the same time.  Add some more oil to the pan, first I add the onions and let them sweat for a few minutes.  Next I add the pork.  I let these two cook for about 5-7 minutes, moving them around the pan so they don’t burn.  Next I add some ginger to the pan – you can buy ginger paste at the grocery store where the herbs are, it comes in a tube.  I put about 2 generous squeezes into the pan with the onion and pork and mix it in.  Next I add the carrots and snow peas and let them get soft.  If you are using mushrooms or broccoli this would be a good time to add them is as well.  Once the mixture is cooked, remove from pan and set aside.

Now add a little more oil and put the cooked rice in.  Stir the rice around to break it up and then add in all your ingredients – eggs and the pork / veggie mixture.  Now add soy sauce to taste and color.  It will be a good amount of soy to get that nice dark color.  Taste it and add a little salt if necessary.  Let it cook, while stirring around and incorporating for another 5 minutes and Voila.

Pot Stickers

Ingredients:

Pork Loin – same one used for the fried rice.  One package.

3 cloves garlic

White mushrooms – about half a package

3 squeezes ginger paste

1 egg

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp vegetable or sesame oil

(you can add cabbage, or anything else you want to these)

Put everything in a food processor and combine.

Use wonton wrappers to make the pot stickers.  You can find these in the produce section at most grocery stores.

Place a teaspoon size amount of the filling into the wrapper.

Wet the edges of the wrapper and fold the top corner to meet the bottom corner so it forms a triangle.  Next bring the 2 corners together and squeeze so they stick to form the pot sticker.

There are 2 ways to make these.  They can be like traditional pot stickers which are fried first so they stick to the pan then steamed, or just steamed, so they’re more like dumplings.  I’ve made  them both ways, but these photos will be the traditional way.

Add some oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  Add the pot stickers, flat side down and let them cook med-high heat for about 5-7 minutes until you can almost see the bottom getting crispy.  Then add 1 cup of water  and have the lid ready b/c it will splash hot oil when you add the water.  If you have kids, move them away when you do this.  Let them steam for about 10 minutes at medium heat.  If you have a clear glass lid, you will be able to see when the water has evaporated from the pan, that’s when they’re done.   Remove from pan.

If you want to just steam them, add a little oil to the bottom of the pan, add the pot stickers, then add a little more than 1 cup of water immediately.  Cover and let steam at least 10 minutes until the water has evaporated and the dough is soft.  Both ways are delicious!

Serve with ponzu sauce – you can buy it already made.

Yummy dinner 🙂

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No shortcuts in my cooking

November 23, 2009 at 10:34 am (Cooking, Family, Opinion, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I’ve tried.  Really, I have.  I have tried to use the boxes and cans and the jars and it doesn’t work for me, I can’t do it.  I taste the difference and it just doesn’t feel right to me.  I love cooking.  I enjoy spending an afternoon making a homemade meat sauce for my lasagna.  I think my caesar dressing is better than any I’ve had at a restaurant.  Mac n cheese is so easy to make from scratch – why use a box – same steps, boil, add ingredients, and stir. No need for salsa from a jar when fresh ingredients are readily available.  Cooking like this takes longer, I know that, but it’s also more enjoyable to me.  I guess if i didn’t like cooking then I wouldn’t want to spend MORE time in the kitchen, but to me, it’s relaxing and enjoyable.

I did recently try to streamline my processes in the name of brevity and it did not work.  I made stuffing one night as a side dish.  I got a box of stuffing – very popular brand that is made on a stove top – figuring it must be good b/c this is what people use all the time!! Well – it was inedible.  I could not do it.  I even added some embellishments to it and still the bread was mush and had a processed taste.  Don’t get me started on Mashed Potatoes.  I love mashed potatoes, but can taste a mix from a mile away.  This, too, I can’t fathom – using re-hydrated potato flakes and calling it mashed potatoes.  This is one dish that is time consuming, and a lot of work – peeling, boiling, mashing is labor intensive but so worth it in the end!  There is no mystery meat in my pork dumplings or fried rice.  I know the grocery stores are full of things that make our life easier – the pork and chicken come already marinated, ground beef is pre-made into hamburger patties, etc.  I can appreciate how this does save time and makes it possible for people to make dinner at home every night.  For me, I want to know and choose exactly what goes into a marinade, I want to add the spices for my cheeseburger, I don’t need a packet of seasoning for meatloaf, I have everything I need in my pantry and fridge.

If you were to look in my pantry you will see my attempts – i have jars of pasta sauce, the canister of remaining stuffing mix, and more.  I may use them again one night (not the stuffing) to see how the sauces are, but more than likely they will sit there.   I don’t judge others for their time-savers in the kitchen.  I don’t turn my nose up at jar pasta sauces.  It’s just not my choice.  I cook the way I do b/c I enjoy it.  It makes me happy to have a finished product that people really like eating and I know that it was made by me, the way i wanted it t come out. I also think part of it was how I grew up.  My dad is the same way I am.  He loves cooking and making big elaborate meals, he’s a great cook.  That’s what I was used to.  That wore off on me.  i hope to pass along my love of cooking to my daughter – i would love for her to grow up as my sous chef and use cooking as a way to relax.  It’s true what so many chefs say – you can taste the difference when food is made with love and I like to think that my food is made that way!!

And I don’t mind sharing any of my tips or recipes – feel free to ask!!

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Dinner IHO Olympics Opening!

August 9, 2008 at 12:29 pm (Cooking) (, , )

In honor of last night’s opening ceremony of the Olympics, I decided I would be thematic and make a Chinese dinner.  As a side note, the ceremony was fantastic and I’m definitely looking forward to watching the water events and the gymnastics!!

Anyway, I made pork fried rice and pot stickers and I got some frozen spring rolls also.  The fried rice is something I’ve made a bunch of times and its pretty easy.  Make white rice per your usual method. I have a rice cooker so I used that.  I made 3 cups of rice so that I would have left over b/c its yummy!! If you have a wok, use that otherwise any deep and wide sautee pan will do.  Pour oil into the wok, just enough to coat the bottom and scramble some eggs.  I used 5, but whatever works.  No liquid in the egg, just beat them lightly and pour them in.  When they’re cooked, remove them from the pan.  Next cut whatever meat you’re using (if any) into cubes pre-cooked.  Pour a bit more oil into the pan and add the meat, cook until slightly brown, then add chopped scallions and whatever other veggies you like – water chestnuts, bean sprouts, etc.  Cook for a few minutes until wilted.  Add 2 teaspoons (ish) of ground ginger and a few splashes of soy sauce and let it cook until combined.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add the cooked rice to the pan and break it up then add all the pre-cooked ingredients – eggs, veggies, meat and stir to combine.  Add soy sauce until desired color and taste are reached and allow to cook over low heat for 5-10 minutes for flavors to combine.  Easy.

Pot stickers were new for me, but my dad had made them so I asked him.  Cut up cooked pork and pulse in food processor until its in small pieces but not pulverized.  Chop mushrooms very fine – I used Baby Bellas but you can use anything – Shitake, white, whatever.  Also chop scallions very very small.  Combine the pork, mushrooms, & scallions in a bowl and mix together.  Add minced garlic – 2 cloves, about a teaspoon of ground ginger and a splash of soy sauce.  Add S&P to taste.  You need wonton wrappers for this, small squares.  Place a spoonful of the mixture in the center, wet the outside of the wrapper and fold the 2 corners together and press the sides firmly to seal.  Repeat until you  use all the mixture.  In your largest sautee pan, put oil to coat the bottom and turn the heat on to medium.  Once the oil is hot, add the pot stickers in a single layer, flip once after they have begun to brown slightly.  Add enough water to the pan to come up just to the bottom of the pot stickers and cover the pan.  Turn the heat to low-medium and allow to cook until the water has steamed off.  Thats it!

2 easy and yummy Chinese dishes!! I don’t measure when I cook, I eyeball so all measurements are approximate.  The good thing about this meal is that it’s even better left over so make you make enough to last for more than one meal!!

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