Sunday, June 14, 2009
Pork and Purple Flower Chive Dumplings -- Daring Cooks
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
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
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.
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.
Place dumplings in salted boiling water for 6-8 minutes.