Friday, February 19, 2010

Chinese New Year Dinner

Here are the recipes from Gourmet Dinner Night at my house. The theme was Chinese New Year!

Chinese Dumplings

30 Gyoza wrappers or wontons
1 cup ground pork
1 T soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 T Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/4 tsp white pepper
3 T sesame oil
1/2 green onion, finely minced
1 1/2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
4 T shredded bamboo shoots
2 slices fresh ginger, finely minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced

Add soy sauce, salt, rice wine and white pepper to the meat, stirring in only one direction. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in the same direction and mix well.
Place a small portion (about 1 level T) of the filling into the middle of each wrapper. Wet the edges of the dumpling with water. Fold the dough over the filling into a half moon shape and pinch the edges to seal. Continue with the remaining dumplings.
Heat 2-3 T of oil (I used peanut oil) in a frying pan. Heat oil for one minute. Add the dumplings and fry for 3-5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and cover the pan. Steam until all the water is gone. Serve with Ginger Dipping Sauce.

Ginger Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp. minced ginger
2 T brown sugar
2 green onions, chopped
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, red wine vinegar and ginger. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt the brown sugar on high heat, stirring rapidly, until it is just melted. Add the soy sauce and red wine mixture. Bring to boil until the brown sugar is melted again (it will harden temporarily after the soy sauce mixture is added).
Remove from heat, pour into a serving dish and garnish with chopped onions.

Lettuce Wraps

1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp dry sherry
2 tsp water
salt and pepper
1 1/2 lbs. ground chicken
5 T oil
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
2 green onions, minced
1 8 oz. can bamboo shoots, minced
1 8 0z. can water chestnuts, minced
1 package cellophane Chinese rice noodles, prepared according to package

Cooking Sauce-
1 T hoisin sauce
1 T soy sauce
1 T dry sherry
2 T oyster sauce
2 T water
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
Bibb or butter lettuce leaves

Mix ingredients for cooking sauce and set aside.
In medium bowl, combine cornstarch, sherry, water, soy sauce, pepper and chicken. Stir to coat chicken. Stir in 1 tsp. oil and let sit 15 minutes to marinate.
Heat wok over medium heat. Add 3 T oil, then add chicken and stir fry for 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
Add 2 T oil to pan. Add ginger, garlic, and onion; stir fry about a minute. Add bamboo shoots and water chestnuts; stir fry two minutes. Return chicken to pan. Add cooking sauce and cook until thickened and hot. Break rice noodles into small pieces and cover bottom of serving dish. Pour chicken over the noodles. Spoon into lettuce leaf and roll.

Sweet and Sour Pork

1 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into bite size pieces
1 green pepper cut into pieces
1 red pepper cut into pieces
4 green onions (white part only)
2 slices fresh or canned pineapple rings (cut into small pieces)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Oil for frying

2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp corn flour
1 tsp rice wine

Frying Batter-
1 cup water
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
2 tsp cooking oil
Pinch of salt

Sweet and Sour Sauce-
3 T ketchup
2 tsp plum sauce
1/4 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
2 tsp corn starch
2 tsp sugar
4 T water

Cut pork into pieces and marinate for 15-20 minutes.
Mix sweet and sour sauce well and set aside.
Sift dry ingredients of the frying batter and then add in the egg, water and cooking oil to form a thick batter.
When the pork is well marinated, transfer the pork into the batter and make sure all pieces are well coated. In a deep skillet, add the cooking oil enough for deep frying. Once the oil is hot, deep fry the pork pieces until they turn golden brown. Dish out and drain on paper towels.

Heat up a wok and add in some cooking oil. Add the garlic and stir fry until light brown. Add the bell peppers and pineapple pieces. Stir fry until you smell the peppery aroma from the peppers and then add in the sweet and sour sauce. As soon as the sauce thickens, transfer the pork into the wok and stir well with the sauce. Add in the chopped green onion, do a few quick stirs and serve hot with steamed white rice.

Chinese Almond Cookies

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar (add 2 more tablespoons if desired)
1 egg
2 1/2 tsp almond extract
whole almonds, one for each cookie

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, beat butter, shortening and sugar, Add egg and almond extract. Add the flour mixture and mix well.
Roll dough into two logs that are 10-12 inches long. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Take a log and lightly score the doughat 3/4 inch intervals so that you have 15 pieces and cut the dough. Roll each piece into a ball and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Place an almond in the center of each cookie and press down lightly.
Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Raspberry Cream Cheese Bars

Raspberry Cream Cheese Bars
Flour Girls and Dough Boys

1/2 lb. butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
12 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cups raspberry jam, softened

Cream butter and sugar in mixer until well combined. Add flour and oatmeal and mix gently to make a crumbly dough. Pat 2/3 of dough into buttered 9x13 dish. Set aside 1/3 dough for topping. Combine cream cheese and sweetened, condensed milk in mixer and beat until smooth, this will be a fairly thick mixture. Drop cream cheese mixture onto crust and spread. Soften jam until pourable and spread over cream cheese mixture. Crumble remaining dough onto top of raspberry preserves. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn


White Chocoalte Peppermint Popcorn
10-12 cups popcorn
1 1/2 C. crushed candy cane
8 oz. white chocolate or Almond Bark
1 tsp. peppermint extract
milk or dark chocolate

Pop 10-12 cups of popcorn and sprinkle with a little salt.
Crush candy canes very finely until you have enough for 1.5 cups and set aside.
Melt 8 ounces of white chocolate chips or Almond Bark.
After it is melted stir into the chocolate 1 to 1.5 tsp of Peppermint Extract. The chocolate may get a little lumpy, which is fine.
Pour chocolate over the popcorn and stir until it is evenly distributed.
Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the popcorn and stir until it is all mixed again.
Pour the popcorn out onto a layer of wax paper.
While it is drying, melt some regular chocolate chips and drizzle over the popcorn.
Let harden before serving.

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Meringue Heart Cookies

Meltaway Meringue Heart Cookies (makes 24-30)
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. C & H white sugar
red food coloring
crushed candy canes (about 1/4 c.)
Melted chocolate (your favorite kind)
Parchment paper or Silpat mat

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Whip egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in mixer until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar and a few drops red food coloring. Beat until stiff peaks form and mixture is smooth and glossy (about 5 minutes).

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or Silpat mat. Put mixture in a pastry bag or gallon ziploc bag with a corner snipped off. Pipe out thick hearts (to make them thicker I ended up drawing one heart then another one on top of it) onto your cookie sheet and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Bake at 200 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Then, turn off oven and leave meringues in the oven to completely cool (overnight is best).

Next, melt your favorite chocolate and dip the bottoms of your cookies. Set on wax paper to dry.
When completely set, remove from wax paper and serve! You can also store them in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks.

*While you're at it you might as well use some of that chocolate & dip some cinnamon latest guilty pleasure. mmmmmm!

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Coconut Syrup

My friend gave me this for Christmas and it is soooo good! We've loved it on pancakes, waffles, and even plain toast or homemade bread. I lick the spoon every time. :)

Coconut Syrup
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Mix the above ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add 1/2 tsp. coconut extract.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

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