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Posts Tagged ‘Chives’

What do you do when your CSAs hand you a pound of ground pork, a head of cabbage, and a whole mess of garlic chives and green onions? You make dumplings, of course!

Step 1: Finely chop the cabbage, mix it with 1 tsp of salt, and let sit 10 minutes until water starts to leech out of the leaves. Check 10 minutes later to find that this isn’t quite working. Add more salt. Wait longer. See some water and try to drain the cabbage, only to find that there isn’t enough water to drain. Give up and dump the cabbage on paper towels, hoping this soaks up enough moisture.

Step 2: Chop your chives and onions, and add these, plus the cabbage, 6 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tsp sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper to your pork. Mix well.

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Step 3: Make the skins. Mix 3 cups flour and 3/4 cup cold water and knead until smooth. Let stand for 10 minutes, then roll dough and cut into 50 equal pieces. Use ruler because eyeballing seems ill-advised.

Step 4: Roll out each individual piece into small rounds. Fill each round with 1/50th of the pork mixture. Or, you know, however much fits into the skin, because how are you going to divide that bowl into 50ths?? Pinch the tops of the dumplings closed in a decorative manner. Have significant other tell you that your adorable, purse-like dumplings may not be the right shape. Revise technique.

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Step 5: Repeat. Repeat, repeat. Repeat. And so on.

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Step 6: Boil as many as will fit in your pot for 5-6 minutes.

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Step 7: Admire your handiwork.

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Serve with a side of fried rice (leftover rice from Chinese takeout, CSA peas, 2 eggs, more garlic chives, soy sauce)

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and a dipping sauce of rice vinegar, sambal olek, and soy sauce.

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Pan-fry leftover filling, because there will be leftover filling. Save it to serve on top of rice, or in scrambled eggs, or in sandwiches, etc.

The low-down

We (tried to) follow the recipe for meat dumplings (shwei jaudz) in Chinese Snacks by Huang Su-Huei. This is a really fun cookbook, but sometimes the directions are a bit unclear. Great for trying to recreate your favorite dim sum dishes though!

These dumplings were fabulous. Truly, truly fabulous – restaurant quality taste, if not looks, in spite of our cabbage-drying mishap. There are so many things to love about dumplings. For instance, they are a great way to stretch out your meat, since you mix it with other ingredients and hence don’t eat a whole lot of it at once. Good for your body, the environment, and your wallet! Although the skins are made with white flour, these are pretty nutritious. Pork is a great source of potassium, and cabbage is basically a superfood. I imagine that you could vegetarian-ize them pretty easily with tofu or a soft cheese subbing for the pork. They can be cooked a variety of ways once you get through the (admittedly arduous) process of assembling them – boiled, steamed, fried, etc. If you’re really ambitious, you can make extras and freeze them for a super easy dinner/lunch/snack. We thought about doing this, but decided we’d just make them all and eat them as leftovers for the next few days.

The fried rice was also a hit. We used to throw out leftover rice, but then Mark Bittman informed me that this was stupid since fried rice is delicious, easy, and fridge-cleaning, since you can throw whatever you have on hand into it. I heart you and your cookbooks, Mr. Bittman!

So all in all, this was a major success. Have you had any great kitchen successes lately? Or any experiments gone horribly awry?

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001… and they are delicious! The box was smallish since this is the first week (it’s been a cold spring up here). We’re splitting our share with another couple as well (we’ll call them Jodie and Mack), but we still got some gems.

We got: lettuce and arugula

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and chives and radishes and turnips and green onions and collards, oh my!

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We stopped at Mack’s to divy up the produce, and Mack pressed us to help him finish a 6 pack, so dinner was late. We did a quick scramble with the chives, arugula (that looks weird to me every time I type it), and lactose-free muenster (that also looks weird. T and I are both incapable of processing dairy. One of many reasons we’re a match made in heaven).

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We also tested the radishes. I’ve never been overly fond of radishes. This is either because of their spiciness, which I did not enjoy as a tot, or the vivid memory I have of my grandfather telling me that his belly button is where he kept the salt for the radishes he snacked on. I’m happy to report that these radishes helped me to overcome my childhood trauma.

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They were surprisingly mild with a pleasant spicy aftertaste. Huzzah, radish demons conquered! We haven’t figured out other meal plans yet. I want to just eat all of this raw in delicious salads, but T maintains that he doesn’t like salads. I maintain that he doesn’t like storebought salads with crappy produce.

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