Something that makes me very happy is time spent cooking for a friend. Especially when they don't mind being my guinea pig for something new I am trying. Yesterday it was my friend Janet who joined me for dinner.
On the menu were Pork Dumplings inspired by my neighbor Lucy. She picked up some wonton wrappers for me at the Chinese Market in town and I have been anxious to give them a try.
The wrappers were so much easier to work with than the ones I have used from the grocery store.
I made 32 of the little dumplings, cooking up 10 for us to share and flash freezing the rest for another day.
They were paired up with a quick dipping sauce that worked really well, though I wish it had been a tad bit thicker.
On the side I served a Grilled Asian Chicken Salad and was over all happy with the meal and thrilled with the company.
I have also gotten into mini loaves of bread. Lately I have made Peach Coconut Banana Bread and Strawberry Bread (I didn't add the glaze) for desserts, but also a couple savory ones like Beer Cheddar with Green Onions (I used Shiner and detoured from the recipe using green onion instead of chives) . . .
. . . and Carmalized Onion and Spinach Bread with feta and olive oil (I used red onion not yellow and sprinkled the tops with coarse sea salt before baking).
I like them because they are small and I can make 4 from a recipe that would normally be 1. Now I have several in the freezer to pull out when I have last minute company or to serve with soup or salad.
My Pork Dumplings
1 pound ground pork, uncooked
3/4 c mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 c green onion, sliced then chopped
1 Tbsp seasame oil
3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp dry sherry
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
2 Tbsp soy sauce
32 wonton wrappers
All the ingredients except the wrappers are mixed together in a bowl. I used my little scoop to spoon about a Tbsp of filling onto one wrapper at a time. Wet the edges and bring the corners up to seal. Make sure there is a flat bottom and place it on a flour dusted plate. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers. I put the plate in the freezer, minus the ones I was cooking right away, and once frozen, placed them in a freezer bag. To cook, heat 2 tsp vegetable oil in a pan. Place dumplings flat side down and cook for about two minutes. Check the bottoms for a nice golden color. If ready, pour in 1/2 cup of water and cover the pan to steam the dumplings for about 4 minutes. Remove the lid and remove the dumplings. No need to thaw before cooking.