Monday, May 10, 2010

More Dumplings! Lemongrass Chicken

I had a very productive kitchen this Sunday.  Especially considering I didn't wake up until noon. 

First order of business: Make a HUGE batch of dumplings to store in the freezer for those night when I need a snack and have nothing in the house.

I used the same basic method that I described before here with Pork & Kimchi.  This time I made a Thai-style lemongrass chicken filling instead. 

1 lb ground chicken
1+ cup finely shredded napa cabbage
1 egg
1 1/2 tbsp chopped cilantro (I would have used more but that's all I had)
1 tbsp dried chives (use fresh if you have it!)
2 tbsps finely diced lemongrass (I got mine in the freezer section of my local Asian market)
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp salt
** optional: I added 1 tbsp sambel oelek for heat

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Use 1 tbsp filling per dumpling.  I substituted gyoza wrappers (thanks Katie!)  this time instead of making the dough.  Worked fine, but I didn't get the same shape.... they look more like ravioli than dumplings.... oh well.  This recipe made approx. 40 dumplings.... SWEET!  I froze them separated on cookie trays then piled them into a freezer bag for later snacking.  Again, cook as mentioned before here.

Second order of business: Make bread.  I am challenging myself to learn how to make bread.  I'm sick of paying $2 for bread filled with chemicals and/or $5-6 for a loaf from an artisanal bakery.  It costs $2 for 3 packages of yeast, $3 for a bag of flour, and water is "free".  That's at least 6 loaves of bread for $5 plus some elbow grease minus chemicals, additives, and other needless synthetic ingredients.  Oh, and THANK GOD KATIE HAS A KITCHENAID STAND MIXER ... it really cuts out the "elbow grease" part of the equation :)  I'm going to have to get myself one of those if we ever stop living together.

Loaf #1: followed Julie Child's french bread recipe mostly... she calls for like 4 rising steps and I'm sorry... I just don't have ALL DAY to be watching bread rise.  I had serious issues with her recipe.  First, my dough was so so so wet when I (read: kitchenaid) was kneading the initial ingredients together.  I couldn't even really get it out of the mixing bowl.  I kept adding flour until it freed itself from the mixing bowl (with hesitation, I might add).  It DID rise though.  When I attempted to punch it down, however, it swallowed up my fist like quicksand.  Stupid Julie Child recipe!!  I let it rise one more time then POURED it onto a baking sheet and threw it in the oven (450F).

Loaves #2 and #3: Since I was convinced that Loaf #1 was a complete failure, I started another batch with this recipe off the internet.  This recipe worked great, makes 2 loaves, and took 1/2 the time of Julia's.  So where did it go wrong?  I was engrossed in watching "America: The Story of Us" and forgot about my bread in the oven :(  I caught it before both loaves were ruined, but since I missed the egg-wash step they didn't get that nice golden brown crust.

RESULTS:  Amazingly all 3 loaves turned out completely edible, tasty, and that first loaf wasn't nearly as dense as I had predicted.  In fact, between me, Katie, and Reed... we almost finished the first loaf last night.  Oh fresh baked bread... it gets you every time!

I forgot to take any pics, but I'll make some sandwiches for lunch this week to showcase my lovely yeasty creations.


  1. Love it! I too am morphing into a bread baker for similar reasons but there is yet an.easier.way to make fresh bread!!!!! Google "beer batter bread" and the numerous variations. It's too easy not to try!!!! I began using the leftover cheap beer from pool parties for this and the recipe in "What Einstein told his Cook". Hugs!

  2. THANKS MARY!! Will definitely try it... although, it is rare that I have leftover beer... even the cheap stuff seems to find a home (in my belly) :)


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