Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pickled Red Onions

Here's another recipe review for the CHOW's Cookbook of the Month, this time for "Red Onion Pickles" from Judy Rodgers' The Zuni Cafe Cookbook (pg. 270).

I love all things pickled and these beautiful bright pink onions might quickly become a new favorite. The recipe is a little time consuming (with three repetitions of a simmering and cooling process), but it ended up being easier than I expected...and very delicious! I just made them today, so I have only sampled them on their own. I can only imagine, however, all of the fabulous uses for these gorgeous little rings - sandwhiches, salads, burgers...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vegetable Potstickers

This was probably the fourth or fifth time MO and I have made homemade potstickers, but evertime we do I am amazed by how delicious they are. We use pre-packed wonton wrappers, so they're simple to make, too. I highly reccomend trying this recipe and adapting it according to your taste and what you have in your fridge...

1 Tbs. oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced (I've also used chopped sushi ginger in a pinch!)
1/2 head cabbage, shredded (Chinese is nice, but any kind will work. You can also use 2 cups any hearty green, shredded)
2 large carrots, grated
1/2 lb mushrooms, chopped
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs. Sriracha chili-garlic paste
4-5 scallions, chopped (white and green parts - set aside a few slices for the dipping sauce)
1/2 lb. firm tofu, diced (1/4 inch cubes work well)
1 package dumpling wrappers (like these)

Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, ginger, cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms. Saute, stirring occassionally, for 10 minutes or until wegetables are wilted and tender, but not mushy. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, Sriracha chili-garlic paste, and scallions. Stir well and heat through. Add diced tofu and stir just until combined (be carfeul not to break up tofu).
Remove pan from heat and let mixture cool in colander over sink or bowl to drain excess liquid. While vegetable mixture is cooling grease a large baking sheet and cover with a damp towel for your assembly area.

Take a wrapper from package and place a spoonful (I just use a silverware spoon) of filling in the center. Gently wet the edge of the wrapper with water (fingers work best for this). Fold wrapper over filling and press with to remove air. To seal potstickers, I use a fork and press gently around the edges (I haven't mastered the fancy crimping method yet, but I plan to try it next time). Place potstickers under damp cloth so that they don't dry out. It takes some time to fill and wrap all of the dumplings, so try to get some help (MO is really good at this).

After you've wrapped all of your dumplings, cover the bottom of a flat frying pan with a little oil. Heat over high heat and add dumplings, flat side down. When they have browned on one side, flip them and add 1/4 cup water to the pan. Turn down the heat and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until water has evaporated and browned sides are crispy again. Serve hot or at room temparature as an appetizer or alongside miso soup and fried green beans for a delicious light meal. Mix a little soy sauce, rice vinegar and scallions for a dipping sauce and you're ready to go!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Twelve Meals of Christmas

Since I was too busy celebrating (read: "eating and drinking") over the holidays to keep the blog up-to-date, I'm a little behind. We had so many fabulous meals over the holidays, but here some memorable edibles:

Kennedy's Irish Pub and Curry House
I've blogged about this place before, but we had to bring the fam.

Homemade English Muffins (a la Fat Boy)
Nothing beats a homemade English Muffin - believe me. Process is a little complicated - helps to have a baker for a father.

Tuesday night at Portelli
We were pleasantly surprised by this Italian spot in Novato. (the Tuesday night special of 1/2 price wine helped!)

Dungeness Crab
We introduced the fam to the delicious West Coast specialty.

and my favorite eating experience of the holidays...

Locally-grown Christmas Dinner
Homemade linguini with summer garden sauce, smashed carrots and parsnips, mixed baby greens salad, and broccoli with meyer lemon. ALL vegetables grown by MO. Pretty impressive, huh? And it was delicious.