1208 Gyoza

Inspired by the success of last week’s recipe from Dinner: A Love Story and also wanting to do something different with those dang fresh ham steaks, tonight we took on gyoza:

Potstickers
Photo by Robert Banh

This was my first time making stuffed dumplings, and it was a lot easier than I thought! The filling was a mixture of ground pork, green onions, ginger, water chestnuts, Chinese five spice, and soy sauce – tasty, but not overwhelmingly flavorful. Next time I think we’d include garlic and a chili or two to give it a bit more of a kick. The trickiest part seemed to be getting the right amount of filling into the center of the little wonton wrappers so that they wouldn’t tear but also wouldn’t have too much (admittedly unappetizing) wonton wrapper left over.

Instead of frying the gyoza as directed in the recipe, we steamed them for about 8 minutes per batch of 9, all that our steamer basket could hold. The frying would’ve also imparted more flavor, but as I mentioned the other day, we’re trying to be healthy, and the calories omitted for the oil allowed us another gyoza or two each. Shane whisked up a simple dipping sauce of three parts soy sauce, one part vinegar, and a bit of sweet chili sauce to taste – and we dug in!

On the whole, this was a successful enterprise – instead of the 36 gyoza mentioned in the recipe, we ended up with more like 50: enough for dinner, lunch tomorrow, and a quart bag tucked away in the freezer for a quick dinner sometime soon.

Recipe:
Pork Dumplings from Dinner: A Love Story

1202 Shrimp and Grits

Dinner tonight? Really and truly exceptional.  Shane gave it five stars.  I wish I’d taken a picture.

Instead you’ll have to imagine pan-fried corn and shallots tossed with snow peas, shrimp, and a handful of slow-roasted cherry tomatoes served over creamy and wonderful grits.  A pinch of red pepper flakes to add a bit of heat.  No cheese or other enrichment necessary.  Just simple, fresh, hearty, and delicious.  I halved the shrimp and grits and used the full portion of veg, which made plenty for the two of us for dinner plus leftovers for Shane’s lunch.  I can’t wait to eat this again – good thing we have almost everything on hand thanks to the summer’s preserving.

Recipe:
Shrimp and Grits (and then some) from Dinner: A Love Story