Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pork and Purple Flower Chive Dumplings -- Daring Cooks

Daring Cooks Chive Potstickers

As I am typing this I am sitting on my patio looking out onto a trendy little shopping village in the west end of Montreal called Monkland village. There's an orange mojito at my side and the hammock is set up and ready.

Why am I telling you all this? Well if you don't know already Ian and I live in one of the coldest cities in the world. Minus 30 is pretty normal here so when nice weather hits, every Montrealer rubs their eyes and comes out of hibernation. That means patio season!

When my roommate and I moved into this apartment it was September and patio season was over. We have been waiting desperately through the fall, winter, and spring, staring out the window at an unused shared patio that spans more square feet than our apartment. Lucky for this Montrealer the nice weather is here, so if you want to join me just yell up from the street and I'll greet you with a mojito and the hammock.

Since the weather was so nice yesterday Ian and I decided to take a long walk through the neighbourhood. Actually, he wanted Popsicles and I wanted Ice cream so we devised a plan in which we would both get what we wanted. On our way I remembered that some purple flowered chives were wildly growing on someone’s property (not in their garden, on the side of an ally) and had to have them for the chive dumplings we were making later on.

So here is the scene, Ian on the street, looking out, telling me that he is going to caw like a bird if anyone starts to look suspiciously at us. Then there is me in my pretty green summer dress wildly climbing though tall grass and picking the chives. So if that was your property, I'm really sorry, but in all seriousness, you should have gotten to them first!

The dumplings were delicious, especially after all the hard work of picking the chives! The first ones we steamed with a bamboo basket and I wasn’t really happy with them. Ian on the other hand could not stop eating and proclaimed the dumplings to be his new favourite dish. We froze about 15 uncooked dumplings and cooked them in boiling water today. These were truly quite amazing. I just don’t think that I'm crazy about the whole steaming business, the dough turned out sticky and tough where as when I boiled them the texture was perfect. Lately I have been frequenting this restaurant in China town that makes their own dumplings in front of a big glass window and you can watch them roll out perfect discs of dough then pack them with a succulent pork and chive filling. When we boiled the dumplings they came out almost exactly like the restaurants, making me one happy camper.

As a side note, since Hilary from Let Her Bake Cake and I have not been accepted into TWD after six weeks of waiting and are feed up, we decided that we are going to make the best of it. So go check out the very first Sunday with Dorie at Hilary’s blog! She made Dorie’s incredible Banana Bundt cake that has my mouth watering! Happy Patio Season to everyone!

Thanks to Jen of Use Real Butter for hosting this delicious dumpling cookoff!

Pork and Chive Dumplings from the Daring Cooks

2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (113g) warm water
flour for work surface

pork filling:
adapted from Gourmet Oct.2008
1 pound fatty ground pork
1 tablespoon wine
1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon Vietnamese chili-garlic sauce (preferably Huy Fong brand)
3 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
1 teaspoon rice vinegar (not seasoned)
4teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of pepper
6 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro stems
6 tablespoons finely chopped flowering chives, flat Chinese chives, or scallions

dipping sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
a few drops of sesame oil
1 tsp.chili garlic paste
1 tbsp. minced chives

Making the filling:
Combine all filling ingredients (except cilantro stems and chives) in a large bowl, then stir in cilantro stems and chives. Set bowl in a larger bowl of ice to keep chilled while forming dumplings.
Make the dough:
In a large bowl mix flour with 1/4 cup of water and stir until water is absorbed. Continue adding water one teaspoon at a time and mixing thoroughly until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. You want a firm dough that is barely sticky to the touch. Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking - about 1/16th inch. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side. Keep all unused dough under damp cloth.
To steam:
Place dumplings on a single layer of napa cabbage leaves or on a well-greased surface in a steamer basket with lid. Steam covered for about 6 minutes.
To boil:
Place dumplings in salted boiling water for 6-8 minutes.


♥peachkins♥ said...

that dumpling looks delicious,specially if its dipped in a spicy chili garlic sauce..

finsmom said...

These sound delicious - and such a nice presentation!

Isolated Foodie said...

Lovely dumplings and gorgeous chive flowers! When I last had an herb garden, I loved the mid-spring mini-bouquets I could make with chives, thyme, etc, with one or two teensy rose buds.

Lisa Michelle said...

I love that you used purple flower chives in your pork filling - I can only imagine how great they tasted! Plus, your dumpling skins are perfect, nice and thin and translucent! Amazing job all around!

Audax said...

In a sunny dress picking (maybe 'stealing') chives and with the other half about to caw you a warning - fab effort on this challenge your words are very strong and I could easily imagine a tall orange ladened mojito drink and that inviting hammock next to me. Yes I lived in Calgary for a year and I know all about the cold and the way Canadians baste in sun like lizards in the hot Australian sun. Wonderful looking dumplings. Superb bravo cheers from Audax in Sydney in Australia cold and cloudy.

Hilary said...

Wow, this challenge is making me reconsider joining Daring Cooks. Those look so mouth watering (I actually believe I was meant to be born Chinese, such is my love affair with the cuisine).

Ready for next week? Tuesdays with Dorie, we curse the day you were born! (Sorry, I've been watching the SATC movie. Got the line from there ;)

Junglefrog said...

Ah... there is your post! I saw Ian's photo before I saw the post coming up and I was like; where is it, where is it, o where is it...?? lol... I am slightly jealous of your good weather as it's been crap here..Although my rose stays perfect now longer. I have one climbing rose, Bobby James, that is absolutely way too big for our small garden but I cannot remove it because once every year it gives this amazing sea of flowers and that is now. And the cooler it is, the longer they stay. Looking at them right now!
Now why did I start talking about a rose, when I wanted to comment on your dumplings.. :)
Ahum.. back on topic; I do think they look fantastic and they should after "stealing" those chives... Loved that story and I can picture the scene in my head vividly!!

Sabine, La Marquise des anges said...

happy patio season to you my friends ... I am not sure I will have opt for a popsicle or some ice cream :)
the recipe sounds delicious. I prefer boiling them to ... I always think I should work on my steaming skills :)

thanks for sharing ... now I am visiting Let Her Bake Cake ...

Valérie said...

I love this post! Montreal is indeed harsh for most of the year, but I do so love it when people are out and about wearing shorts and eating on terraces - even when it's only 10 degrees, because it feels warms compared to minus 20.

If I run around Monkland Village clamouring for a mojito, will you respond? :-)

Your dumplings look wonderful! And the filling sounds very tasty (I'll bet the chives tasted even better because they were more-or-less illicitly handpicked). And re: your comment on my blog, I get how the potsticker method sounds a little dangerous, but if you limit the amount of oil, it's worth the risk!

Sweet as Coco said...

I know how you feel about patio season! Its probably not as cold here in MI but...we sure do have LOOOOOOOONG cold winters! Lovely dumplings ;)

Anonymous said...

Damn girl, you made dumplings? I am impressed!!


Coco Bean said...

Peachkins: Thanks, I picked up the chili sauce just for this recipe and Ian fell in love with it!

Finsmom: Thank you!

Isolated Foodie: That sounds wonderful! Our bouquet is sitting in water right now looking wonderful also. Rose buds would really bring out the colours!

Lisa Michelle: Thanks so much! After watching the dumpling man make them for hours I took note of how thin they should be, but I still don't know how he got them to be so perfectly round!

Audax: Calgary! It is very cold there also.Yes, we do "baste" when we leave the country for somewhere warmer! Thank you for the kind words!

Hilary: I'm so excited for next week! I had to google SATC thinking it was some Tarantino movie you were talking about! Haha, had a good laugh when it was the complete opposite.

Simone: That was a wonderful story about the roses, could you take some pictures of them? I would also be happy with gizmo pictures! You know how I love gizmo. It took me a while to write out the post because I want to start putting a little more substance into the writing. (like yours!)

Sabine: Yay, patio season is always accompanied buy Popsicles and ice cream! Yesterday I ate two ice cream cones for dinner. It was great!

Valerie: I know exactly what you mean! We grow a thick skin here (literally) and can easily pretend its warm out when its not! And yes, if you walk around monkland yelling for a mojito I will definitely invite you up!

Coco: There is nothing better than patio season! Thanks!

Sébastien said...

OMG, where's my share.

looks delicious :D

Junglefrog said...

See I didn't even know you were gonna ask for more Gizmo photos, but check out the post of tomorrow.... :) I will see if I can take some shots of the rose too!

Me! said...

Wow those look really good and really authentic. Great job! Now you can sit outside and enjoy all your hard work!

Evan said...

A nice twist on the filling. They look absolutely divine.

Jen Yu said...

Love that photograph - it's perfect as are your dumplings. The image of you clambering around picking chive flowers is awesome! Love that and love how resourceful you are :)Great job on the challenge. Glad to have you as a Daring Cook!

Cherie said...

I have some home made chili garlic sauce, you bring the dumplings. What do you say?

Chocolate Shavings said...

Those dumplings look really good! Are you guys around during the summer? Maybe we should have a food-lover in Montreal rendez-vous!