"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Friday, February 26, 2010

Restaurant Review NY: Xi'an's Famous Foods

For the entire time I have lived in NY, I have never been to Flushing, Queens until this weekend. My boyfriend and Andy and I went to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year last Saturday in Flushing. 4 train transfers and 1 hour later, we were on Main Street and browsing the Hong Kong supermarket which felt like...well, Hong Kong! We saw tanks full of different kinds of live eel, entire aisles just for Asian teas, tons of dried things and plenty of bakeries with delicious Chinese sweets. I have a big weak spot for coconut buns, steamed buns, red bean buns and I even had a Kaya bun which I haven't had since 2007! Our stomachs were growling and we were trying to maneuver the streets that were crowded with parade go-ers. Finally we came to a hole in the wall at 41-28 Main Street. Down a flight of stairs, neon lights illuminated a set of 6 small little eateries, each one with small tables low to the ground and couple of stools. Michael Jackson's "Heal the World" was playing in a CD shop that somehow was bundled with all this food shops. We settled at Xi'an, an eatery with walls that were covered with laminated 8.5 x 11 pictures of their foods. You could order 3 different types of dishes: noodles, soup or a sandwich, each one had a number of variations of what could be in it. The three of us shared two large plates of noodles and one spicy lamb "burger." The woman behind the counter made the noodles right in front of us from scratch! Everything was cooking in one pot. The picture above is our spicy pork noodle dish. It was delicious, flavorful, the noodles were a perfect texture, the meal was authentic and couldn't have been better.
After lunch we were sort of on an eating kick, what's new, and had to try a bunch of different street foods. One small space beneath the subway was making scallion pancakes fresh on a griddle! Andy bought one to share and they were very good! I will definitely be going back to Flushing to try more Chinese food!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Andy's Divine Carrot Cake

Andy made an incredible carrot cake. When he asked that I come over to try some after dance class I had no idea I was in for something that was beyond professional in appearance and freshly and deliciously moist in texture. It was perfect. Sorry I don't have a recipe to share! He created this from a combination of various carrot cake recipes online. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mushroom Barley Soup

I recently had lunch at 2nd Avenue Deli and one of the soups was mushroom barley soup which was delicious but overpriced for a very small amount. I decided to make a huge pot of my own mushroom barley soup that could feed eight and cost very little. I found this recipe on my favorite food site and worked from it. This soup is the perfect comfort food for a cold winter night and with some flaky and chewy bread it's fantastic!

Mushroom Barley Soup

3 tablespoons butter
10 oz pound mushrooms, chopped
8 oz corn kernels
2 large carrots, chopped
2 large celery stalks, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup pearl barley
2 tablespoons flour
8 cups mushroom broth, or vegetable broth
1 large handful fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1. Melt butter over medium high heat in a large pot.
2. Add the mushrooms, corn, carrots, celery and onion and saute until the vegetables begin to brown, about 20 minutes.
3. Add flour and stir for five minutes. Gradually mix in the broth and pour in the barley. Bring the soup to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the barley is soft and the soup thickens, about 40 minutes. Add in the parsley and dill and serve warm.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Teriyaki Seafood Tacos

I love fish tacos. The only kind of fish tacos I have ever made are the fried fish tacos I started making last year. I wanted to try something a little different and perhaps with a more Asian flavoring. Instead of our usual corn tortillas, I used whole wheat flour tortillas, warmed up over the stove top for a smoky perfection. Instead of frying the fish, I decided to sear it and the tilapia and scallops came out perfectly tender and flaky. I'm sort of on this kick to incorporate blue corn tortilla chips in everything, like as toppings for a pizza, or crusts for salmon; for the tacos, we used the left over blue corn crumbs as a extra crunchy topping for the tacos. As one of the filling options I made a kicked up cayenne infused onions. They packed a lot of heat, if you are not into spice you can omit some or all the cayenne used for the onions. For a little variation, I decided to slice some hearts of palm as toppings for the tacos. Here is a picture of all the optional toppings minus salsa and the blue corn crumbs.

Teriyaki Seafood Tacos

2 fillets Tilapia
6 scallops
Olive oil
7 tablespoons Teriyaki sauce
1/3 white onion, sliced
2 hearts of palm, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
1 cup Chinese cabbage, thinly sliced
Cayenne pepper
Salsa, for topping
Blue corn tortilla chips, crumbled
6 whole wheat flour tortillas

1. Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat, place the onion slices in it and sprinkle generously with cayenne pepper. Saute until soft and fragrant. Set aside.
2. Wash the tilapia and scallops. Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Place the tilapia on one side of the skillet and the scallops on the other side. Pour the teriyaki sauce evenly over the seafood. Sear the tilapia for about 4 minutes per side and the scallops for about 6 minutes per side.
3. While the seafood is searing, warm up the flour tortillas over a flame and wrap in a dish towel to keep warm.
4. Assemble tacos with the avocado, hearts of palm, cucumber, Chinese cabbage, salsa and sprinkle with blue corn tortilla chip crumbs. Enjoy!

Thumbprint Cookies with Strawberry Jam for Sarah's Birthday!

For my good friend Sarah loves everything raspberry and strawberry so I decided to make some strawberry filled thumbprint cookies for her birthday. These cookies are delicious and I remember the first time I made them as a kid with my mom; we used the Williams Sonoma Cookbook for Kids and they were super fun and easy to make. I found this recipe on the Joy of Baking website, a new site that I will definitely be frequenting more often now that I have an electric mixer. I was looking for a raspberry jam but unfortunately Trader Joe's was out, not surprising, so instead I found a fantastic strawberry jam with real chunks of strawberry. The wonderful thing about these cookies is how flexible they are, you can use a variety of nuts in the batter and any jam for the filling! It's hard to go wrong with these addictive buttery bites.

Thumbprint Cookies with Strawberry Jam
(Makes 40 cookies)

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup strawberry jam

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-4 minutes.
3. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat. Add the flour and salt and beat just until incorporated. Mix in the chopped walnuts with your hands or a spatula.
4. Roll the dough into ball about 1 inch wide and place on the baking sheet. With your thumb, lightly press down in the center of the ball to make an indentation. Fill the thumbprints with 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of jam.
15. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly golden and the jam filling has set. Let cool on a wire rack. ENJOY!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Chicken Salad

My first time having chicken salad, other than Chinese chicken salad in California, was at my boyfriend's grandmother, Bess's, home. She prepared a delicious lunch for us of chicken salad, biscuits and vegetable beef soup. On most Sunday afternoons, we still crave this meal. This was very much the inspiration for our Valentine's dinner but we changed it up a bit and swaped the vegetable beef soup for mushroom barley soup. This chicken salad is very easy to prepare and has a lovely contrast of sweet and salty with the grapes and pickles. Combined with the dill biscuits, we had fantastic chicken salad sandwiches with grainy mustard and crisp lettuce.
Chicken Salad

7 chicken breast tenderloins
1 1/2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
3 celery stalks, chopped
6 crunchy kosher pickles, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 heaping tablespoon tarragon
Olive oil
Ground pepper
Garlic powder

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place the chicken breast tenderloins on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme, ground pepper and garlic powder. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
3. When chicken has cooled, shred the meat from the bones into thick chunks. Place chicken in a bowl with grapes, celery, and pickles. Add mayonnaise and mix with forks to incorporate. Add tarragon and mix until it is evenly distributed.

Assembling Chicken Salad Biscuit Sandwiches:
1. Slice biscuit in half and remove some of the flaky parts in the center. This part is delicious to eat on its own.

2. Add grainy mustard on each half of the biscuit.
3. Pile with chicken salad, lettuce and any other accompaniments.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Flaky Dill Biscuits

For a Valentine's dinner, my boyfriend and I decided to make a comfort food meal of flaky biscuits, chicken salad and mushroom barley soup. Left over cupcakes for dessert. I love biscuits and feel like I am always trying to improve them, trying to get them a tad flakier or a little more puffy and airy. In my biscuit baking experience thus far, these were the best I've made. We decided to incorporate a lot of dill and it tasted fantastic! These are easy to make and very delicious. We ended up making sandwiches with the chicken salad and some mustard and lettuce. I came across this recipe for biscuits on the food blog, Feast Your Eyes and changed it up to make the biscuits whole wheat and dill. Just because it was Valentine's Day I used the heart shape cookie cutter, but we also made some guitar shaped biscuits which came out looking more like wine bottles, but it's the thought that counts!

Flaky Dill Biscuits

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick, plus 2 tablespoons, unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, plus more for brushing
1/2 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine the flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the melted butter until your mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. Add the buttermilk and dill and use your hands or a spatula to move it around the bowl in a circular motion to mix it in with the flour.
3. Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it until it is about 3/4 inch to 1 inch thick. Using cookie or biscuit cutters or a jar, make the biscuits.
4. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with buttermilk and sprinkle the ground pepper on top. Bake the biscuits for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Yellow Birthday Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting for Sarah!

One of my best friends and most dedicated fellow food/NY exploration enthusiasts, Sarah, just turned 23 and celebrated with a party at Luca Lounge on Avenue B. I couldn't let Sarah's birthday celebration happen without some form of cake and candles and this finely gave me a good excuse to go Martha on everyone and use a cupcake tree that I have. So a ton of butter and sugar later, I had 36 cupcakes and 40 thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam! Here is a picture of Sarah with friends, she is obviously the one with the pink crown.
In this next picture the cupcakes are glorified and standing proud above their lesser food brethren in their own tiered tree! In the front corners we have their thumbprint cookie friends.
And an up close of the tree....sorry folks, it's my first time using this tree and I'm mildly obsessed.
I am ever so thankful to my boyfriend's wonderful grandma, Bess, for giving me an electric mixer for the holidays. Without this mixer, the frosting and cupcakes would not have come together as they did. Here is a picture of the mixer. THANK YOU BESS!
Yellow Birthday Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Yellow Butter Cupcakes
Makes 36 cupcakes

3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups fake eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tablespoons buttermilk
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

For cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy (woohooo for electric mixers!). Add eggs, 1/4 cup at a time, beating after each addition.
2. Reduce the speed to low. Mix in the remaining wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is getting incorporated. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each to just below the top. 
3. Bake the cupcakes until a tester comes out clean from the center, about 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool on wire racks before applying the frosting.

For the frosting:
1. In the bowl beat butter until smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add chocolate until just combined. Add milk, vanilla, and sugar; mix on medium until well combined, being careful not to over mix.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blue Corn Crusted Salmon

For my roommate, Celadon's, birthday we all went to one of her favorite restaurants: Nolita House Restaurant. It was delicious, standard American fare with a little twist. Appetizers included a generous portion of calamari and macaroni and cheese spring rolls. For the main course we had a delicious spinach and Swiss stuffed chicken served over a rice pilaf, the Nolita House cheeseburger, shrimp tacos, and a blue corn crusted salmon served "over a bed of julienned vegetables with vegetable rice pilaf & whole grain mustard sauce." This is of course the inspiration for this meal replicated at home! But first here are some pictures of the food at Nolita House. The stuffed chicken was a huge portion and had a portobello mushroom sauce on top.
Here is a picture of the salmon from the restaurant. This salmon was great, but the only problem was that there was too much mustard sauce on top so we couldn't taste the blue corn chips. Otherwise, it was cooked to perfection and the julienned vegetables were the perfect accompaniment.
For my blue corn crusted salmon, I omitted the mustard sauce in order bring out the savory flavors and crunch of the blue corn tortialla chips. I served mine over a brown rice medley with a garlicky soy succotash on the side.
Blue Corn Crusted Salmon (with soy succotash)

2 salmon filets
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/3 cup egg whites
1/3 cup crushed blue corn tortilla chips
Olive oil

For Soy Succotash:
1 cup soy beans, peeled
1 cup corn kernels
1/2 red pepper, diced
Dried chili flakes
3 tablespoons minced garlic
Olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and pat dry the salmon fillets. Coat the top with a thin layer of whole wheat flour. Using a pastry brush, brush them with the egg whites. Cover the top, over the egg whites, with the crushed blue chips, pressing to adhere.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Sear the fillets on their non-crusted side first for about 3 minutes, then carefully flip them over and sear them on their crusted side for three minutes. Transfer fillets to a glass baking dish and bake them through, about 8 to 10 minutes.

For Soy Succotash:
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and then all the vegetables, sprinkle with dried chili flakes. Saute until vegetables have softened and absorbed the garlic.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Baja California Pizza

A few days ago I went to my good friend Sarah at the City Bakery to celebrate hot chocolate month and over dose on sugar. We were talking about our weekends and she told me about this incredible pizza she had late one night in Brooklyn. It's not very often that someone tells me about something he or she ate and I immediately want to make it, but something about this combination set off a motivation in me and I went and got all the necessary ingredients. I wasn't sure what to title this pizza, it definitely has a Mexican influence with the ingredients, but it uses feta cheese which is more Greek, so I decided (actually my boyfriend) decided to call it Baja California Pizza. This pizza was delicious and I definitely want to make it again soon with a few adjustments! I used one can of beans, but I think it could have had more black bean sauce so perhaps 11/2 - 2 cans with more garlic, green onions etc and maybe some hot sauce! Also, I think grilled chicken or toasted corn kernels would also taste great on this! My boyfriend came up with the idea of crumbling blue corn tortilla chips on it! My cooking genius is obviously rubbing off on him ;)  We ate this pizza with tomato soup which was a great combination, even dipping the pizza in the soup tasted lovely. Next time, I think I will prepare pea soup to accompany it.

Baja California Pizza

Whole wheat pizza dough
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 heaping tablespoons of salsa
2 green onions, chopped
3 large garlic cloves
1 1/2 large tomatoes
1 large avocado
Feta cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and roll out the dough to the shape of your pan. Drizzle with olive oil, poke all over with a fork and bake the crust for 7 minutes.
2. Meanwhile prepare the black bean sauce. In a food processor, pulse the black beans, salsa, green onions, and garlic all together. Pulse until evenly incorporated but not to a smooth sauce, the chunkiness makes it good! Spread the sauce generously over the pre-baked pizza crust.
3. Sprinkle the feta cheese over the black bean sauce, then lay out the tomato slices. Bake in the oven for 8-9 minutes. Then put on the avocado slices over the tomatoes and make for another 3-4 minutes. We want the avocados to warm up but not brown. Cut and enjoy!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Leaning Stacks of Polenta

This is my second time cooking with polenta (the first was a polenta lasagna). The goal was to use up the ingredients in my refrigerator while making a light late afternoon lunch for two. The fun part was making it look fancy. I'm still learning what flavors taste great with polenta, cheese and marinara definitely come to mind. I still haven't made my own polenta, I have been buying the rolls of it from Trader Joe's, but I would like to make my own and leave it soft for a shrimp and grits, except shrimp and polenta type of meal. I used the left over polenta to cut into small cubes and broil in the oven for croutons for my salad. As I am writing this post I am listening to Amos Lee's "Keep it loose, keep it tight." Aside from his beautiful voice and relaxing melodies, the lyrics really spoke out to me and I just wanted to share them, well one line "we all need a place where we can go and feel over the rainbow." I guess we can all interpret this how we want but it's a beautiful that all people are more similar than we think and while we might have different jobs, different relationships, different lifestyles, we all need a place, whether mental or physical to feel over the rainbow.

Leaning Stacks of Polenta
(Makes 3 leaning stacks)
6 slices of polenta, 1 1/2 inches thick
Haricot green beans
1 large shallot, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
Marinara sauce
Olive oil
Garlic powder
Ground pepper
Dried chili flakes

1. In a pan over medium hight heat saute the shallots with a bit of olive oil. Mix around for a few minutes then add the green beans and celery. Sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder and ground pepper.
2. Add the polenta slices to the pan and lightly drizzle the top with olive oil. Sprinkle on garlic powder, ground pepper and chili flakes. Let the polenta slices cook on each side for about 5-6 minutes, or until the top of the slices get a slightly golden hue.
3. Place one slice of polenta on a plate, top with the green bean and celery mixture and top with another slice of polenta.
4. Drizzle the top of the polenta stack with some marinara. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Grilled Romain with Toasted Hazelnuts

After my recent excitement over caesar salad, my boyfriend shared with me that at a restaurant he used to work at they would grill the romaine lettuce for their caesar salads. So on a Sunday night I decided to make a fancy caesar salad, kicking it up a notch if you will. This salad, while an improvisation on the ingredient front, tasted delicious and is definitely a good accompaniment for any meat dish or hearty soup. We had ours with a green lentil soup and a chewy fresh loaf of garlic bread. This salad is fancy tasting, elegant looking and very easy to make. The toasted hazelnuts have a smoky flavor, the blue cheese has a pungent creamy flavor, and the marinated artichoke has a delicious salty flavor. All of these are tied together with the grilled romaine and creamy dressing for a fantastic salad. I use one of those indoor grills that spans over two stove top burners. For the most part, it works great, except it smokes up the entire apartment and requires opening up most the windows and the front door! All for a little grilled romaine.

Whole romaine lettuce leaves
Marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
Blue cheese, crumbled
Caesar dressing
Olive oil
Ground pepper
Dried chili flakes

1. Heat up a grill. Place the romaine lettuce leaves in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, ground pepper and dried chili flakes. Toss to get the leaves evenly seasoned.
2. Broil the hazelnuts in the oven for about 4 minutes. Set aside
3. Spray the grill with a little bit of cooking spray. Place the leaves on the grill and grill for about 30 seconds per a side. You want to see grill marks on the romaine but you don't want the leaves to wilt and loose their crispness.
4. Set the grilled romaine aside in a bowl. Top with the chopped artichoke hearts, toasted hazelnuts, crumbled blue cheese and drizzle the caesar dressing over the whole lot. Gently toss to incorporate.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ginger Pear Upside Down Cake

Over the holidays I took a little trip back to California and we all went to my Aunt Amy's for a Christmas dinner. There were 11 people total and 5 different desserts. This is typical for my family and explains some things. Somehow, all the desserts were different! My Aunt Amy made a pumpkin pie and a chocolate cake that was rich and delicious. My Aunt Sue made an incredible chocolate orange bunt cake. My mom made a pavlov with fresh fruit and I made an upside down ginger pear cake. Like most our family gatherings, it ended with everyone in a food coma on the floor. One of my favorite things to do when I have some time is to stroll through the cookbook section of bookstores and scribble down recipes in my journal. I found this recipe in Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery & Café Cookbook and I instantly knew this is what I wanted to make. I changed it up slightly from the original recipe; I like to think I made it a tad healthier. This dessert is great for the cold weather and I recommend having it a la mode, or a la milk.

Ginger Pear Upside Down Cake
Adapted from Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery & Café Cookbook

For the topping:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4-5 medium pears, cut into sixths lengthwise

For the cake:
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons peeled, grated ginger
3/4 cups fake eggs (3 eggs)
2/3 cup molasses
3 cups  flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups soymilk

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 inch spring form pan.
2. In a bowl combine the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Mix in the pear slices and toss until they are evenly coated. Place the pear slices on the bottom of the pan in a circular form.
3. In a separate bowl mix together the butter, brown sugar, ginger, eggs and molasses. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Alternate folding in the flour mixture and the soymilk to he molasses mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and do not over mix. Pour the batter over the pears in the pan and smooth out with a spatula.
5. Place the cake in the center rack of the oven and bake for about one hour and 45 minutes, or until a toothpick skewer comes out clean. Let cake cool for about 10 minutes before carefully flipping upside down and gently lift the pan's base off the cake. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream or milk!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Thyme Roasted Carrots

I just got a spice canister of dried Thyme and the first thing I decided to make with it was roasted carrots. This dish is easy, flavorful, healthy, and adds a ton of color to your plate! See picture of carrots with pecan crusted salmon and edamame mash:
Thyme Roasted Carrots

Whole carrots, sliced into quarters
Olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
Dried thyme
Chives, sliced for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spread the carrots on a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and generously sprinkle with ground pepper and thyme. Gently toss on the pan to evenly coat.
3. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, when carrots are starting to get a golden hue and the thyme is starting to crisp. Sprinkle with chives and serve warm.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Shrimp and Bamboo Shoot Dumplings

When writing this post, I searched for a while to find that motivational poster about standing out in the crowd and the image is of red tulips with one yellow one. Well this little green dumpling in the second row is standing out in the crowd, but it is just the same as all the other dumplings on the inside! I'm going nuts, I know. Shrimp and bamboo shoot dumplings are a fond memory of Tong Kian Dim Sum in San Francisco. I love the chunks of shrimp in the dumpling wrapper. We made these with Chinese New Year in mind and as part of the extreme dumpling wrapping extravaganza. These were joined by vegetarian dumplings and of course, pork and chive. Essentially I used the same recipe as pork and chive, but I swaped the pork for shrimp and threw in some bamboo shoots. I think water chestnuts would have also been a good addition as would Chinese cabbage. In the picture above you can see that the first row of dumplings has some fancy little fold at the corner and the others do not...first row is Andy's row. Okay, let's get started with this recipe and I promise no dumplings for a while.

Dumpling wrappers
0.85 lb fresh shrimp, chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root

2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 1/2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cut bamboo shoots, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fake egg

1. Combine the shrimp, green onions and bamboo shoots in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil and fake egg. Pour the sauce over the shrimp mixture and mix well to incorporate.
2. Place one heaping tablespoon in the center of the dumpling wrappers and lightly moisten the edges of the wrapper to seal close. Place the dumplings on a lightly floured surface until you are ready to cook them. I recommend working on lightly floured wax paper.
3. Heat water in a wok over high heat, bringing the water to boil, place the steamer rack over the water. Steam the dumplings for about 15-20 minutes.