Thu 7 Apr 2011
My daffodils and tulips are just starting to poke up through the dirt! The days are getting longer and warmer, the snow drifts are almost gone and I am so excited to get a green thumb on this summer. This is just the beginning.
In other news: there is a small river running through our back yard. It used to be a small lake, but thanks to Mister’s endeavors the lake has drained out into the lane and we are now left with the Great Backyard River. It’s complete with an (almost) oxbow, and even rapids.
Mister is pretty ambitious, what with the river building and all. People who build rivers in the afternoon build up mighty appetites. Potstickers were just the thing to fill up his empty tummy.
(adapted from the recipe at My Husband Cooks, I’m so sad they don’t post anymore)Ingredients
6 green onion stalks
3 garlic cloves
2 inch thumb of ginger
16 oz canned water chestnuts
4 Tbsp soya sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds of ground beef, extra lean if possible
~1 1/2 packages of wonton wrappers
a small bowl of warm waterDirections
- Cut the tips off of the green onions, the roots and the ragged ends. Mince them up. Then do the same for the ginger and garlic, removing the skin or yucky tips and mincing away. Potstickers require a lot of mincing.
- Mince the water chestnuts as well. You could chop them up less finely, but I’m a fan of the crunch without the chunks in this case.
- Combine all of the above with the ground beef, pepper and the soya sauce. Work it together into an almost meatball like mixture; use your hands and it goes so much more quickly than with a spoon.
- Set out a wonton wrappers (keep the stack under a dish towel so they don’t dry out). Dip your fingers in the water and run them around the edges of the wrapper to moisten them. This is what makes the edges stick.
- Place about a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper in half diagonally over the filling to form a triangle.
- Press out any of the air bubbles, sealing the wrapper shut along the edges.
- Pinch together small folds into the sealed edges of the wrapper. This will make the edges stay sealed, and will also make your potstickers look vaguely like stegosauruses. I do 5 folds per potsticker, you can choose on your own how many to do. The first ones you do will look kind of funny, but they get better looking as you get more experience pinching; remember that the funny looking ones taste just the same.
- Repeat repeat repeat until you run out of filling.
- Here is where you come to a crossroads: if you are going to freeze your potstickers for later use, place them on cookie sheets, not touching at all or they will stick together, and freeze. Once frozen, you can put the potstickers into a resealable bag or an air tight container with a lid. If you aren’t freezing your potstickers, proceed with the following steps: how to cook them.
- In a large pan over mid-high heat, add a tablespoon or two of vegetable or sesame oil. When the oil gets nice and hot lay down some of the potstickers, being sure not to crowd them.
- When the potstickers have browned on the bottom, pour in a 1/3 cup of water into the pan and quickly cover it with a lid.
- Decrease the heat to mid-low and allow the dumplings to steam for about 3 minutes, or until most of the water is gone.
- Remove the pan from heat and transfer the potstickers to your serving plate. Wipe the pan again and continue with additional batches until you have enough potstickers for your purpose. Store the cooked potstickers in a warm location as you cook other batches.
You can cook frozen potstickers with the same procedure given above, the steaming gets the filling cooked through just fine.
Potstickers are a great thing to have at a party or to bring to a potluck, they aren’t very messy to eat. They’ve also become a standby meal for when there are time constraints between work and evening activities because they take a matter of minutes to go from freezer to table. We’ve become a little bit addicted to these lovely little pockets of savory goodness, moving onto our second batch in a matter of weeks.
Mister the river-digger certainly enjoys them, saying: “They’re very tasty with just the right amount of crunchy.” This coming from a man who says he doesn’t like water chestnuts, ha ha.