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. 

Ingredients:
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.

2 comments:

  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!

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  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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