Sunday, June 30, 2013

Back In The Kitchen

If you happened to pop by this little corner of the internet yesterday you know that BF and I just got back from St. John's a couple days ago.  We were there for nearly a week so, as we usually do before we leave home, in the week before we left we used up all our groceries so nothing would go bad.  Of course this also meant a big grocery trip was in order upon our return.

So yesterday morning BF sat with our morning coffees and made our grocery list.  As always, it involved a scene like this:

BF and I like to plan meals for a few days or a week in advance and build our list around that.  Of course we like to try new and different things and sometimes we consult our cookbooks for inspiration.

After all was said and done, groceries gotten, beer and wine glasses full, we settled into our teeny kitchen to make our Saturday supper - Sesame Beef Noodles with Oyster Sauce and Dumplings!

We made the dumplings first.  They were much easier than we expected.  We shredded a packed cup of white cabbage, minced two green onions and a two inch cube of ginger (that was about twice the amount the recipe suggested but we like to live on the wild side) and crushed a couple cloves of garlic.  We mixed it all up in a bowl along with a 3/4 cup of ground pork, about a tablespoon of Japanese soy sauce, a couple teaspoons of mirin and some white pepper.

 Next we doled out spoonfulls of the mixture into wonton wrappers we lay on the palms of our hands.

Using our fingers, we wet the outer edges of the wrappers.  This helps to keep the edges together when you press them into each other to seal them.

And that's it!  They are made!  We put them aside and got ready for the entree.

We sliced the beef thinly and made a simple marinade of a couple tablespoons of soy sauce, a couple teaspoons of sesame oil and a couple teaspoons of sake.  We let it soak for over and hour but you can cut it down to fifteen minutes if you are in a hurry.  Meanwhile, we got the rest of the ingredients ready.

We snapped off the woody ends from a bunch of asparagus and cut the stalks into one inch bits, minced four cloves of garlic and another chunk of ginger, and thinly sliced about half of a large red onion.  We also steamed half a package (about 9 oz) of Chinese egg noodles.

The rest is super quick - on high, we heated some oil in a large skillet and stir fried the asparagus for about a minute, then dumped in the beef and marinade.  We cooked ours for only a minute or so since we like medium to rare beef.  Then we put the asparagus and beef in a bowl and returned the skillet to the stove.

Next we put in the rest of the veggies.

They got fried up until the onions were soft, at which point we added a few tablespoons of beef stock, two more of the sake and a few tablespoons of Oyster Sauce (we just used a bottled sauce).  As soon as it boiled we returned the beef and asparagus and tossed those noodles in as well.

As for the dumplings, we lightly fried them on both sides to gain a bit of colour, then added enough water to just cover the bottom of the pan, and covered it for a few minutes to steam them until the skins were a bit see-through.

YAY!!!  Everything was sooooooo yummy, and we were super excited at the success we achieved in our first ever attempt at homemade dumplings.  This will NOT be the last time - dumpling pros, that'll be us soon!

Till next time friends!

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