Friday, March 4, 2016

Steamed Chinese Pork Dumplings

Dear Readers, thank you for taking the time to stop by my little corner of the world that has been really quiet lately.  Today I bring to you a recipe for Pork Dumplings.  You will love it because you can make it up in a flash in a bamboo steamer.  They are delicious and such a fun treat to make.
Years ago I received a steamer from a co-worker for a wedding present.  As the years went by, and we had many moves, it disappeared.  I never, ever used the steamer.  Recently I dropped by World Market and picked a steamer up to make some Pork Dumplings for a Chinese Feast we were holding.

Chinese Pork Dumplings
Inspired by Leeann Chin, author of Betty Crocker's Chinese Cookbook; we have used her recipes for years.
Pork Dumplings:
1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (include some green)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 egg white
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (depending on whether salt has been added to pork)
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Round wonton skins
Note:  We have also used Trader Joe's Gyoza Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the pork, onion, cilantro, egg white, corn starch, salt, soy sauce, sesame oil and ground pepper.  Mix well.
Place one tablespoon pork mixture in the center of the circle.  Bring edges of the wontons up around the pork mixture, pleating the wontons as you work around the pork; leave the top open.  Note:  If you do not pleat enough the wonton skin will pull away from the pork as it steams.
Here is a picture of the pleating process.  Don't worry.  The process goes quite quickly.

Place steamer in a non-electric wok.

Place a single layer of lettuce in the bottom of the steamer; the lettuce will help so that the dumplings will not stick to the bamboo steamer.  You can also buy liners for this purpose, but lettuce works just fine.  

Add water to the bottom of the wok, making sure that the water level does not reach the bottom of the bamboo steamer.  Bring the water to a boil and then add the covered bamboo steamer.  Steam for about 15 to 18 minutes until pork is done.  You will have to add more water.
The dumplings happily cooking in the steamer.
I hope you try making these dumplings, and I hope you try cooking with a steamer.  Thank you for dropping by my Red Couch.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Chinese Festival Table

Dear Red Couch Readers, today is Chinese New Years Table.  My husband teaches at a University with a fair amount of foreign students.  His Chinese students call what we call Chinese New Years, Chinese Festival.  Who knew that?
We celebrated Chinese Festival with our neighbors on Saturday night.  They have three delightful little girls, so we put the Chinese Dragon puppet at the end of the table. 
I put three fans on the table for the girls to take home with them after dinner.
The table was set with a simple red dinner plate, chop sticks and a little orange.  Oranges in China are passed out liberally during Chinese New Years.  Red symbolizes good fortune and joy, and is used during Chinese New Years. 

 Gold, like the Chinese brass characters and the chargers, is considered the best color.  During Chinese New Year, money is given out in red envelopes.  We just had gold-foiled chocolate coins on the table, embossed with the words "United States."
I just love all the red on this table!

I set the Chinese brass characters, bought in San Francisco's Chinatown years ago.  The brass characters coordinate with the gold chargers.

A larger view of the table.

 Tulips graced the center of the table.  My daughter cutely asked if tulips were from China.
We had lemon chicken.  Sorry the photo is a bit off color, as we took the photos at night.  You can find the recipe for Lemon Chicken HERE.  We  have been making this recipe for over 30 years now.  We pressed the white rice in the ramekins, and then we unmolded it.  This was a fun little touch.
 We also made steamed pork dumplings, and we served them with a delicious Gyoza dipping sauce from Trader Joe's.  This was my first experience with a bamboo steamer, and it worked so well.

We had a simple dessert of fortune cookies, almond cookies, and cookie butter cookies.

Wishing you all a Happy Chinese New Years!  Gung Hoy Fat Choy!

Posted with Tablescape Thursday

Monday, January 18, 2016

Raspberry Cream Cake -- Perfect for Valentine's Day

Dear Red Couch Recipes Readers.  How have you been?  I hope this post finds you well, and rested after the holiday season.  I took a break from blogging, as I seem to do often, after the Christmas break/  I really enjoyed Christmas this year, and I had a hard time letting it go, but I am beginning to get the itch to do some cooking and baking in the Red Couch Kitchen
As I was shopping after the holidays, I came across these pans.  Somehow they flew in my cart, and I knew that I will be using them a lot this year in the Red Couch Kitchen.  They retailed for $6.99 at T.J. Maxx.  I loved it that they were shallow and had a curvy edge; they are the Good Cooks brand.

I hope you will make a cake like it.  It is just a very simple cake, that has such a sweet, wholesome taste.  It whips up in minutes, and can be decorated in so many different ways. 

Raspberry Cream Cake Recipe
1 white box mix, or two depending on the size of your pans.  Made according to the directions on the box.  See note below
2 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup raspberry jam 
Make and bake cake mix according to directions.  Turn out on cooling rake, and level while in pans.  Let cool.  Whip cream and add raspberry jam at the end of whipping.  Spread on each layer and on the top.  Decorate as you please.  Next time, I think I will add fresh raspberries

Note:  I used one cake mix box for the pans I used.  If you are using regular 8 x 8 pans, you will need to use two cake mix boxes and increase the whipping cream and raspberry jam. 
Thank you for dropping by Red Couch Recipes.