This blogging stuff is kind of cool. I get to bitch to a much wider audience. It's very cathartic.
Another cool thing about blogging? Sometimes my bitching actually gets me the one thing I hardly ever get any more: my own way.
Yeah, that's right folks. KitchyWitchy got her own way! She won! Three cheers and a herky for TKW!
You might remember a little rant I posted a while back about Thanksgiving dinner. Well, my parents read the rant, took pity on me, and absolved me of my duty of cooking the beige dinner. My mother is cooking the beige dinner the day after Thanksgiving, so I don't have to look at it. She's rather awesome like that.
My generous parents told me that I could cook whatever I wanted on Turkey Day and assured me that they'd be happy to eat it. Talk about something to be thankful for!
I almost foamed at the mouth with excitement. I piled my cookbooks and magazines up like the Leaning Tower of Pisa and riffled pages wildly, looking for the perfect recipes for my feast.
I decided to go with my original idea of Ultimate Asian Feast; ever since I wrote the words Dan-Dan Noodles, I've been battling a severe jones for the stuff. I just hoped daddy wouldn't weep into them.
Shrimp Pot Stickers
Slanted Door Beef
Dan Dan Noodles
Stir Fried Asparagus with Wild Mushrooms
BOOZE IN A CUP OF COFFEE
We had our lovely neighbors, the K Family over for dinner, and Jen generously offered to bring dessert, so at least I knew I could focus on the non-baking part of the feast.
Gavin's First Asian Pear!
The day before, I'd done most of the heavy prep work. I learned a swift little lesson. Asian Feast=Chopping the Shit Outta Way Too Much Stuff.
Still, I was hopeful that the delectable outcome would erase the pain of the Day of Endless Chopping, and for the most part, I was satisfied.
Thanksgiving morning, I realized that everything on the menu required some kind of special sauce. Crap. I started whisking and putting everything into little bowls...and then got completely distracted by my girls' antics...and then came back to the kitchen 10 minutes later and realized I couldn't remember which bowl of sauce belonged with which dish.
So I got to consume things like fish sauce at 10am in the morning in order to sort things out. Yeah.
**I must say, however, that the distraction was totally worth it. Hubs had put the 70's station on the Sirius radio, and watching my girls FLIP OUT over Shaun Cassidy's rendition of "Hey, Deanie" was one of the best parts of my day.
TKW may have even busted a move to that little ditty herself.
Future President of the Shaun Cassidy Fan Club
Hubs was quite distressed by the lameness of our musical taste, but was later put at ease when Miss D. heard the opening riff to Smoke on the Water and deemed Deep Purple "awesome." There may be hope for her yet.
I am going to save the Disaster of the Dan-Dan Noodles for another post, but I will share with you the Prom Queen Dish of the night. By far, everyone went apeshit over the Shrimp Pot Stickers. Totally worth the trip to Chopping Hell.
Ginger-Shrimp Pot Stickers with Spicy Dipping Sauce
adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, March 2008
3/4 cup shredded napa cabbage
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup matchstick-cut carrots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dark toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 oz. cooked peeled small shrimp
dash of Sriracha hot sauce
24 wonton wrappers
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 cup water, divided
1/3 cup boiling water
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons chile paste with garlic (like sambal oelek or Sriracha)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
The original directions say to combine the first 10 ingredients in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. I don't like the texture of pot stickers with filling made like this. Sooooo, I finely and meticulously chopped up all of the ingredients by hand. STILL worth it.
Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to prevent drying), spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons shrimp mixture into the center of each wrapper. Moisten edges of wrapper with water; bring 2 opposite corners to center, pinching points to seal. Pinch 4 edges together to seal. Place pot stickers on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch.
**I was lucky enough to have many sous chefs around who wanted to make pot stickers! Mama, who'd never made a pot sticker in her life, was by far the best at pinching them into the proper shape. Who knew?
This Lady has MAD Dumpling Skills!
Heat a tablespoon canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 12 pot stickers to pan; cook 2 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Slowly add 1/2 cup water to pan; cover and cook 4 minutes. Uncover and cook 1-3 minutes more or until liquid evaporates.
Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 12 pot stickers and 1/2 cup water.
To prepare sauce, combine the boiling water with next 5 ingredients in a small bowl, whisking to combine.
We had a terrific day, despite those damned Dan-Dan Noodles. I haven't thrown in the white flag, however. I'm gonna spend this next year perfecting the recipe, and I refuse to admit defeat.
Watch out, Dan-Dan Noodles. I'm coming for you.