Monday, May 20, 2013

Pork and Shrimp Dumplings

This has to be my favorite dish from our Mother's Day Menu. It was the most fun to make, the tastiest and most aromatic. I saw the recipe on the Chew. The original recipe called for ground chicken. I substituted lean ground pork because it is available at my store. Ground chicken is not. Mom and I had so much fun! We snacked on Asian Party Mix, sipped wine and folded dumplings. We got quite good at it if I do say so myself. From the very beginning I thought this was going to be amazing. The raw filling smelled so good. The aroma only got better as they steamed. The filling was moist, soft and full of flavor. The blend of pork, shrimp, garlic, ginger, soy and sesame oil was perfect. I would not change a thing. I will make again very soon!

Some helpful hints about folding the dumplings: I dusted a plate with cornstarch to prevent them from sticking. I also covered the finished raw dumplings with a damp paper towel. I steamed some dumplings right away for us as appetizers and saved some for when sister arrived. I steamed about 8 at a time and transferred the finish cooked dumplings to a plate. I covered them with foil to keep them warm and to prevent them from drying out. You will need tongs or chopsticks the help remove them from the steamer. I also discovered you can warm the steamed dumplings in the steamer for 3 minutes and they are fresh as when they were first steamed.

Pork and Shrimp Dumplings
Makes 24 to 28 pieces


28 wonton wrappers
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1/2 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
2 teaspoons fresh ginger (grated)
3 scallions (chopped)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups chicken stock
nonstick spray


For the Dumplings: Bring 1 quart of water and 2 cups of chicken stock to a boil in a medium stock pot. Reduce to a simmer.

Place the pork, shrimp, garlic, ginger, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch in a food processor and pulse until fully combined.

Brush a wonton wrapper with water. Place 2 teaspoons of the mixture into the center of the wrapper and bring the four corners up to the center and pinch to seal while pressing out any excess air. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Place the dumplings into a steamer basket that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick spray, in one layer making sure the edges do not touch, working in batches.

Place the steamer basket into the stock pot and cover with a lid. Cook for 12-15 minutes.

Gently remove the dumplings to a serving platter along with the dipping sauces.


Do not pulse the shrimp too finely.  Large pieces of shrimp are delicious in the filling.

Make sure there is space between the steamer and the water. Also, do not overcrowd the steamer.

Watch the water level in the steamer, add more if the level drops.

As for the sauces, I was not a big fan. They were okay, but needed to be altered a bit. On the Chew they suggested using take-out sauce packets to make the dipping sauces. I think that may have contributed to my lack luster approval of the sauces. They were a little bland or stale tasting on their own. I added lemon juice, honey and/or mustard to taste. My family enjoyed the sauces. I think I would try again with premium jar sauces not take-out packets.

Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce


1/2 cup duck sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha


Whisk together the ingredients until fully combined.

Note: I added honey and lemon juice to taste.

Spicy Mustard Dipping Sauce


1/4 cup spicy Chinese mustard
2 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


Whisk together the ingredients until fully combined.

Note: I added honey, lemon juice and Dijon mustard.

Linking to:
Love Bakes Good Cakes and With a Blast: All My Bloggy Friends
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Carole's Chatter: Food on Fridays - Finger Foods for Parties

Pineapple Teriyaki Salmon

This salmon was deliciously sweet and moist. It was a great choice for Mother's Day. The original recipe was for individual fillets. They pan seared each and finished the cooking in the oven. I cooked a whole side in the oven and applied the glaze in the last few minutes of the cooking time. So easy! It was also delicious with the Oriental Ramen Noodle Salad. Next time I will save a little glaze to serve at the table. I loved the pineapple, orange and soy combination.

Pineapple Teriyaki Salmon
Adapted from: Cooking Light MAY 2006
Serves 6


2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
1 (6 oz) can pineapple juice
1/2 tsp salt, divided
2 tsp canola oil
1 whole side of salmon
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
Grated orange rind (optional)


Combine first 4 ingredients and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 15 minutes). Set aside.

Preheat oven to 475°.

Sprinkle flesh side of salmon with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Rub salmon with canola oil. Add fish skin side down to a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake at 475° for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven; brush sauce over salmon. Return to oven, and cook 2 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Sprinkle with orange rind, if desired.

Oriental Ramen Noodle Salad

This is another recipe I found on the WW Recipe Review Board. I have not made it for years, but I thought it would be a great side for the Pineapple Teriyaki Salmon. The original recipe called for beef flavored Ramen. I thought is was too strong. I like oriental or chicken flavored Ramen. I am sure any flavor would work in this salad. Dad was a huge fan of this salad. He kept adding another little spoon to his plate. It is a sweet and crunchy salad. I use to bring it for my work lunches. I just may have to put it back into my meal rotation.

Oriental Ramen Noodle Salad
Serves 6 to 8


1 pkg oriental or chicken flavored Ramen noodles
1 large package Coleslaw mix
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds

2 Tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup water
1  flavor packet from Ramen noodles
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar


Break noodles into pieces and mix with coleslaw mix, sunflower seeds, onions, and almonds in a large bowl. Combine ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake vigorously. Pour over salad, toss and chill for several hours. When ready to eat, toss again to coat.

Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo

Mother's Day and Asian Party Mix

We had a great Mother's Day. Dear sister had to worked, so I went over to Mom and Dad's with a few things already prepared and a few things to cook there. We snacked on an Asian Party Mix I brought over. Dad watched golf and Mom and I made Pork and Shrimp Dumplings. We had fun! Sipping wine and folding dumplings. We got quite good at it if I do say so myself. Dinner was planned for eight o' clock. So I steam some dumplings for us as appetizers and saved some for when sister arrived. I brought the Oriental Ramen Noodle Salad already prepared. All I had to do was put the salmon in the oven just before dinner. We had a nice evening. It turned out to be one of the latest evening we have had in a while. Good times!

Mother's Day Menu

Mid Day Snack: Asian Party Mix
Dessert: Banana Split Sundaes
[Vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate sauce, sliced bananas,
strawberries, chunks of pineapple, whipped cream and nuts]

The Asian Party Mix was a big hit with Mom. It has a spicy kick from the curry powder, ground red pepper and wasabi peas. It is addictive. The original recipe called for both rice chex and corn chex. I like to substitute Crispix cereal because it has one side that is corn and one that is rice. That way I am not left with two boxes of open cereal. I love the rice crackers in this mix. They have a sweet glaze on them and are often wrapped in nori. Shop around for this ingredient. There are lots of varieties out there. The more variety in the crackers you buy, the more interesting your mix will be. My only disappointment was that the wasabi peas I bought were not their usual pretty green color. They were more of a golden yellow color. I think the green would have added some color to the mix. Next time I will make sure I find green wasabi peas.

Asian Party Mix
Makes approx. 8 cups


4 cups Crispix cereal  
2 cups rice crackers mix with nori
1 cup fat-free pretzel sticks
3/4 cup wasabi peas
1/2 cup lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 200°.

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; set aside. Break rice crackers into bite size pieces if necessary. In a small bowl, combine canola oil and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Pour oil mixture over cereal mixture, tossing gently to coat. Spread the mixture onto a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 200° for 45 minutes. Cool completely before serving. 

Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo

Monday, May 13, 2013


I love fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs. Add couscous and you have a hearty salad or side dish known as Tabbouleh.  It makes a great lunch or the perfect side for grilled chicken. The first time I had Tabbouleh was a mix in a box my sister had bought. Since then I have had it in many Greek restaurants. The restaurant version is usually more herbs than couscous. This is my at home version. It keeps well in the refrigerator provided you seed the tomatoes and cucumbers. If you don't it will get a little mushy. It is also great made with quinoa too. Just make sure the quinoa is cooked dry or drained. I love the lemon zest in this recipe. It is a great bright and fresh summer salad. 

Serves 6 to 8


1 cup water
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1 cup couscous
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp mint, chopped
2 sprigs oregano, leaves stripped and chopped
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 green onions, including tops, sliced
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes


In a 2 cup or larger measuring cup or bowl, bring a cup of water to boil in the microwave. Stir in chicken bouillon and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir in couscous and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand until the couscous is tender and the liquid is completely absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Add all the remaining ingredients to a large salad bowl and toss gently just until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Fluff couscous with a fork and add to the bowl. Toss again until couscous is evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve chilled.

Linking to:
Ms.enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
This Gal Cooks: Marvelous Mondays

"Wagon Wheel" Pasta Salad

No I have not lost my mind, I know this is a photo of spiral pasta. I have searched and searched for veggie wagon wheel pasta. I just can not seem to find it anymore. I just could not wait any longer to share this recipe with you so I made a substitution. When I worked in Georgetown,TX we would often order our lunch from the Ice Cream Parlor. One of their lunch specials was this pasta salad. It was the perfect lunch accompanied by a Route 44 Sonic iced tea with lime. It is really cute made with wagon wheel pasta. The round pasta wheels, slices of carrots and black olives make this bowl full of wheels. The black eye peas get stuck in the spokes of the wheels. I have to admit it is just as delicious with spirals. It is crunchy, fresh, filling and very colorful. The dressing is seasoned just right and I love the fresh herbs, but you could use dried basil in a pinch. I really enjoyed having it in the refrigerator last week for lunch. It would be great to take to a BBQ or potluck this summer. I guess it is a nostalgia thing. But I will keep hunting for wagon wheels. Maybe I can make one with wheels before the summer is over.

Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad
Serves 6


1 pkg. (12 oz) veggie wagon wheel pasta (or any veggie pasta shape)
1 can (3.8 oz) black olives, drained and sliced
1 jar (4 oz) red pimento, drained
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 cup carrots, sliced (about 2)
1 can (15 oz) black-eye peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup olive oil
Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped or 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped 


Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Place pasta, olives, pimento, bell pepper, carrots and black-eye peas in a bowl. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over pasta mixture. Chill (the longer, the better!).

Linking to:
Ms.enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
This Gal Cooks: Marvelous Mondays

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Review and a Hot Sauce Recipe

We had a great Cinco de Mayo. We made more Guacamole, Pork Carnitas, Hot Sauce, Mexican Shrimp Cocktail and Salty Chihuahuas. It was sort of a multi-course, snack as you go kind of afternoon. There were plenty of leftovers and everything was even better the next day. Below is the links to the original recipes and a review. I am also sharing a Hot Sauce recipe I got while living in central Texas.

We made one of Tyler Florence's Guacamole recipes for the second time [Click here for the recipe]. It is delicious, but calls for a lot of lime juice. It is a little tart. Dad said, "Is there lime in this?" So add the lime to your taste. The good news is it keeps well in the refrigerator with plastic wrap on the surface. With all that lime juice it stays beautifully green.

Salty Chihuahuas
I found this drink recipe on Pinterest. This recipe comes from Eating Well [Click here for the recipe]. It is the best grapefruit juice you will ever have. It is grapefruit juice, tequila and orange liquor. This cocktail would be perfect for a brunch too. Definitely going into my bar-tending recipes.

Pork Carnitas
I found this recipe on Pinterest too. Carole at My Kitchen Escapades adapted this Carnitas from a Cook's Illustrated recipe [Click here for the original recipe and a helpful video]. I made it exactly as Carole suggest [Click here for Carole's recipe]. It was amazing! I found it was even better the next day. You can use this pork for tacos like we did or for so much more. It would be great for nachos, rice bowls, burritos, as a stuffing for poblanos, etc. I have to make this again real soon.

Hot Sauce
I got this homemade Hot Sauce recipe when I lived in Georgetown, Texas. The original recipe called for 6 large ripe tomatoes. I started using canned tomatoes so I could make it year round. It is a versatile recipe you can adjust the heat level to your taste. I like medium to mild so I use half the seeds. In the past I used Tabasco in this recipe. But now, since my recent discovery of Cholula hot sauce I use it instead. It adds a little smoky spice in the background. I hope you enjoy it.

Hot Sauce

28 oz can whole tomatoes  
15 oz can whole tomatoes 
(or 6 large ripe tomatoes when tomatoes are in season)
1 jalapeno pepper 
(seeded for mild, remove seeds from half for medium, use seeds for hot)
1 clove garlic
1/4 large onion
juice of 1/2 lime
1/8 tsp. cumin
dash red wine vinegar
3-4 sprigs cilantro
dash or two Cholula hot sauce (or Tabasco)


Combine all ingredients in blender.  Process until blended.  Refrigerate overnight.  Serve with corn chips.  Will keep in refrigerator about one week.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner; Celebrate Cinco de Mayo! To me the 5th of May is a good excuse to eat more Mexican Food and have a Margarita. Here (below) are a few of the recipes I have made these past few months blogging (click on the recipe name for the link). Any would be perfect to help you celebrate on Sunday. All are tried and true. In fact, I just made the Portobello Fajitas at my sister's Thursday. Yummy! We also made one of Tyler Florence's Guacamole recipes. It was delicious! It did call for a lot of lime juice. I found it a little tart on it's own, but with chips it was perfect. The good news is it keeps well in the refrigerator with plastic wrap on the surface. With all that lime juice it stays beautifully green.

Sunday we plan to make homemade salsa and a Pork Carnitas recipe for tacos. We also plan to make a drink from Pinterest called a Salty Chihuahua. I will let you know how things go. Here's hoping you find some fun this weekend!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...