DanDan Dumplings… yeah baby yeah!!!

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“Homemade DanDan Dumplings with Dipping Sauce”

 

    First of I have to give all the credit to my husband for this idea, his idea I just went ahead and made them.. And I would say that by far these are one of the best and most delicious appetizers I have ever made!! Of course the DanDan noodles which I have already blogged about https://schoonerpixieskitchen.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/holy-dan-dan-noodles/. Right now they are our favorite Asian dish, and have served them to friends and family so when John came up with the idea I knew they were going to be amazing, I just didnt know how amazing. … Well let me tell you… how to make them 😉

Dumpling Dipping Sauce

This should be made at least an hour before as you want to combine all the flavours together before eating.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons black rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, or to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, grated with a microplane
  • 1 teaspoon ginger grated with microplane (Tip: put your ginger in the freezer to keep fresh and make it easier to grate)

Combine in small bowl and let sit!

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The Pork Mix the filling

  • 1/2 lbs  ground pork or beef
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger (I freeze mine then use a micro planer to grate it)
  • 1 package of Sichuan preserved vegetables
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or salt to taste
  • 1  handful dry-roasted peanuts crushed

First in a med size frying pan on med heat add your heaping tbsp of peanut butter and oil. Let warm and melt.

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Remove from heat then add your meat, don’t cook the meat, as you want your filling to be raw!

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Laying your wonton wapper from corner to corner, diamond shaped, add a heaping 1/2 tsp of your filling, take your finger and dip into water bowl covering all edges of the wrapper with water, this helps to seal the wrapper in the cooking process.

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Grab the top and bottom tips and squeeze them together.

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 Then take the left side in by folding the wrapper in mutiple times towards the middle corner.

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 Now it’s time to cook the dumplings, in a large frying pan set at 6 warm with a splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oile. When you can smell the oil lightly add the Dumplings to the pan, let fry for a couple of minutes until you notice the bottoms starting to turn golden.

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I dont have a cover for this pan so we used a pizza pan!

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Let them steam for 5 minutes and check. They should look like this

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Continue steaming until the water dissolves, remove cover and let fry until the bottoms are completely golden.

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When golden remove from heat, plate with dipping sauce and chopsticks and get ready to fall in love……

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 I hope you all enjoyed this blog as much as I know you are going to enjoy eating these delicious little morsels!!

Any ideas on what I should cook next or comments please feel free to email me at schoonerpixie@hotmail.com

You can also join me on facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/#!/SchoonerpixiesKitchen.

To be honest I don’t know what is on the menu next but there are a few ideas floating around, one of them being homemade donairs with donair meat made with ground turkey…. Tonight my plan is to cook a new dish for supper so when I figure out what that is I will be sure to share it with you all next time.

Until next time Happy Cooking & Enjoy!!

Holy Dan Dan Noodles!!

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Dan Dan Noodles

First off I have to give all the credit for me even trying this dish to my cousin inlaw Evelyn.. She took me to this amazing little Asian Infusion Restaraunt in New Glasgow, NS called Mamatsu and I have been hooked ever since.. And of course when I like a dish that much I try to make it at home, this time it was a complete success!

     I can’t express to you how AMAZING this dish is.. If you like Asian food and want to fix your appetite for China and you try this you will never look back! It is a quick meal but it does require a trip to your local Asian Market.. Since we live in Nova Scotia, our favorite spot is the Tain Phat, in Bedford.. and for my Saint John readers you have easy access to the city market.. Going to the Asian Market is ALOT cheaper than buying all the items at your local Atlantic Superstore.

      Here are some pictures of the things you will need to make this at home it would make a great shopping list for your local Asian Market! Don’t worry you can get all of this for under 20.00 including the bag of noodles and I will also be using these ingredients in future recipes.. If you look back I made a noodle bowl that also uses alot of these ingredients that is also totally delicious)

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The Pork Mix

-6 ounces ground pork or beef
-1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
-2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
-1 teaspoon minced ginger (I freeze mine then use a micro planer to grate it)
– 1 package of Sichuan preserved vegetables
-1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
-1/2 teaspoon salt, or salt to taste
-1 handful dry-roasted peanuts crushed

To Start:

     In a med frying pan with heat on 6 add your vegetable oil and peanut butter, watch, wait and stir until melted and covering the surface of the pan.

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     Then take your ground pork add it to the pan by ripping pieces off of it.. The meat needs to cook in crumbles! Add your minced ginger & garlic, chopped preserved vegetables and the sherry. Cook until you think it’s finished then add the crushed peanuts continue to fry.

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In the mean time turn on a full pot of cold water on Max to a boil,to cook the noodles. You can buy Dan Dan noodles but they are hard to sometimes get so steak and pork noodles will also do the trick. When it starts to boil add the noodles. The steak and pork noodles I buy, I use 6 of the nests for one meal. The noodles only take about 5 minutes too cook.. So while you are waiting for the water to boil make the sauce.

The Sauce:

Combine in a small pot @ med temp

-1/4 cup chicken stock or water
-2 tablespoons soy sauce
-1 tablespoon Chinese black rice vinegar, or substitute good quality balsamic vinegar
-3 tablespoons chili oil (adjust according to your tolerance of spiciness) If you don’t have any I have a posted a blog on how to make John Boy’s Homemade Chili Oil 🙂

1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
-3 teaspoons sesame oil
-1 teaspoon sugar

When the noodles are cooked, the pork is cooked and the sauce  is combined.. Grab a bowl and in layers, add the sauce to the bottom of the bowl, then add your noodles from the water next, then add your topping.

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Garnish with chopped up fresh green onions!! And tada you are done, your very own homemade DELICIOUS Dan Dan Noodles! As you eat these the sauce will come to the top and the pork will fall to the bottom. It’s an amazing combination.. I made this for supper tonight and still think I want more 🙂

The Finished Product

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      So thats all she wrote today ladies and gents.. No worries I will be back tomorrow or maybe Monday with my very own recipe for a Porter Beer Beef Stew with Root Vegetables.

Until then Enjoy Life & Happy Cooking 🙂

Homemade Spaghetti & Focaccia Bread

Homemade Spaghetti & Focaccia!!

  I took a few days break from blogging and now I am ahead of the game with a few new recipes that we have tried out! Our own creations that are new to us and will definitly be new to you! Today I am going to show you how to make an old family favorite, Spaghetti Sauce and Homemade Focaccia Bread, which was a great replacement for your traditional garlic bread.. It was super easy to make and it turned out delicious 🙂 Here goes..

To Start the Sauce:

Before I fry my meat, I always prep my veggies, which includes:

  • 7 Cloves of Diced Garlic
  • 4 peppers diced can be any color
  • 2 large onions
Veggies are prepped

Veggies are prepped

Fry in your pot 1/2 lbs of ground pork and 1/2 of ground beef. Traditional style recipies also calls for veal so if you wanted to switch up your regular ground beef with ground veal that works too. Season with Salt & Pepper and add a little worcestershire sauce, and dried chili flakes.

Frying the meat!!

Frying the meat!!

When the meat is fryed add your prepped veggies.

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While the veggies are cooking I always open my large can of San Marzano Tomatos.. put them in a bowl where I crush them with the immersion blender!

The best tomato's to use for a sauce.. these can be purchase at Costco for super cheap!

The best tomato’s to use for a sauce.. these can be purchase at Costco for super cheap!

Hitting them with the immersion blender for a smooth tomato sauce!

Hitting them with the immersion blender for a smooth tomato sauce!

Add your purified tomatos to your veg and meat. Then add 1 glass bottle of purified all San Marzano Tomato’s with basil.. We also get these at Costco. Add 2 tbsp of sugar for sweetness and about 4 bay leaves. Season with Salt and Pepper, Stir and let simmer until it tastes how you want it to!

For this spaghetti I just happened to use fresh pasta that i bought on sale for 1.99 at the Sobeys.. Carter and I both really liked it however the chef in the house John really prefers Smart Spaghettini pasta.. which is also just as good!

Fresh Pasta

Fresh Pasta

Cook Pasta in salted water with a dash of Olive Oil drain, but do not rinse so it remains starchy.

Put Pasta on a plate, add the sauce and if you like add Parmasean cheese Enjoy!!

The Final Product Delicious!

The Final Product Delicious!

Easy Homemade Focaccia Bread

    I have made this 2 times and really like it because it is easy and you can put any topping on it you desire!!

  Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  Directions

     Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Put the bowl in a warm, not hot or cool, place until the yeast is bubbling and aromatic, at least 15 minutes.

In the bowl combine the flour, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, make a well, add in well 1/2 cup olive oil and the yeast mixture. Take mixture from the side adding to the liquid in the center.  Once the dough has come together, continue to knead for 5 to 6 minutes until it becomes smooth and soft. Give it a sprinkle of flour if the dough is really sticky and tacky.

Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface, then knead it by hand 1 or 2 times. Again, give it another sprinkle of flour if the dough is really sticky and tacky.

focaccia dough

focaccia dough

Coat the inside of the th bowl lightly with olive oil and return the dough to the bowl.  Cover it with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, at least 1 hour.

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Proofing the dough!

Coat your pan with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil.  This may seem excessive, but focaccia is an oily crusted bread. This is why it is so delicious!

Put the dough onto your pan and begin pressing it out to fit the size of the pan. Turn the dough over to coat the other side with the olive oil. Continue to stretch the dough to fit the pan. As you are doing so, spread your fingers out and make finger holes all the way through the dough. (Yes, this is strange. But when the dough rises again it will create the characteristic of rustic looking focaccia. If you do not make the actual holes in the dough, the finished product will be very smooth.)

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Put the dough in the warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. While the dough is rising a second time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Liberally sprinkle the top of the focaccia with some coarse sea salt and lightly drizzle a little oil on top. For additional toppings, I added sprinkled garlic plus and Kraft Parmesan Cheese.  Bake the dough until the top of the loaf is golden brown, for 25- 30 minutes. Remove the focaccia from the oven and let it cool before cutting and serving.

 

This is delicious!!

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 So this is it, this is how I make my family homemade spaghetti and focaccia..

Next up my own creation, Asian Inspired Sliders 🙂

Get your chop sticks ready.. today I am making an Asian Noodle Bowl!!

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“Asian Noodle Bowl”

 

 John and I have been really getting into the Asian inspired swing of things and if you are looking for an easy way to start out, the noodle bowl is the way to go.. it’s delicious, healthy, and I haven’t met a person yet who hasn’t totally loved this dish!! Again I really don’t have a recipe for this.I guess we both really know how flavours work together so a recipe isn’t required.. I also don’t have a play by play this time. It’s that easy you aren’t going to need it. 

With this dish you pretty much season to taste! You can use any type of noodles you want, I normally use udon or dan dan noodles.. but you can use rice noodles or even vermicelli. You can also use your favorite meat, seafood and vegetables. As for the seasoning sauces, you can get them at your local super market or asian market and they are all pretty cheap.

This is how I do it, remember the fun in this dish is making it yours.. just dont go outside of the Asian box and I guarantee it will turn out awesome!

You will need:

  • 1 carton of Chicken Stock
  • 2 cups of H20
  • 3 thinly cut steaks of pork *can be the pre cut, or any cut of pork
  • 2 cups of peeled and deveined raw shrimp
  • 4-5 stalks of baby bok choy chopped, you can use a large bok choy but they have alot more stem.
  • 1-2 med carrots, grated
  • 1 med onion diced
  • 4 cloves of diced garlic
  • Small piece of grated ginger
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts
  • 1 package of noodles of your choice
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • Chili Oil
  • Fish Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying

 

     To start cover the bottom of your pot with the E.V.O.O., heat and add your chopped pork. Fry until browned. Remove the pork from the pot and put in a dish. Sit aside.

 

Frying the pork

Frying the pork!!

 

     Add some of your chicked stock to the bottom of the pot for braising, to remove all of the dark bits from the bottom. Add fresh onion, garlic and ginger. Cook until traslucent.

     In the mean time prepare you noodles in a seperate pot.

     Then add your Shrimp, the remainder of your chicken stock, water, grated carrots, bok choy, bean sprouts and your cooked pork.  Add your cooked noodles.

     When you have all of this is together it is time to add your seasoning sauces. Soy, sesame oil, chili oil and fish sauce (dont omit the fish sauce, I know some of you are thinking that it is going to be just stinky, it isn’t at all. It adds a flavor called umami, that you can’t get from anything else), also add your salt and pepper to taste. If you are a big Japanese food fan like I am you can also add a little bit of wasabi to your broth for that extra kick…

     So thats all she wrote the dish is done quick, easy and ready to eat!  ENJOY!!

Ready to eat!

From Chop Sticks to a Fork and Spoon, I am going all Italian on you with Homemade Spaghetti Sauce…. until then keep cooking and have fun!!

I would also love to hear your ideas or requests, if you have any feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line at schoonerpixie@hotmail.com

 

 

The Apple Pork Pressed Panini!!

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 “The delicious Apple Pork Pressed Panini”

This recipe was created equally by John and I and started with a trip to Pete’s Frootique’s Bakery where we found  a round loaf of focaccia bread.. Which immediately made us want to make a panini in our George Foreman grill! After shopping at Pete’s we also came out with fresh buffalo milk mozzarella, which is mozza in it’s original form and is totally delicious!

     When creating a recipe we never really know exactly what we are going to do until we see what we want. After a trip to The Real Atlantic Superstore, qw came home with a red onion and Presidents Choice Brand Carmelized onion topping.

To begin we mixed together:

  • 1/2 cup of ground pork (you can use any ground meat we use pork beacuse it is lean and has great flavor)
  • 1/4 cup of diced cheese curds
  • 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • season with salt & pepper

Form into a large patty and fry, season with salt and pepper.

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While the pork is frying time to make the apple Mayo and Prepare the Focaccia and the fixings for the Sandwich.

Apple Onion Mayo:

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 tsp carmelized onion
  • 1 tsp apple sauce

The Focaccia Bread

  • 1 tbsp of garlic butter
  • 1tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Melt in pot. Take a paint brush and cover both sides of the bread with the mixture. The put the top and bottom of the sandwich in the panini press before adding the toppings.

While the focaccia is pressing:

  • Thinly slice red onion enought to cover the whole patty
  • Slice the Buffalo Mozzarella, ready for topping

Focaccia and Toppings

By now your focaccia should be pressed, spread the Apple Onion Mayo on bothsides of the focaccia bread. Put the patty on the sandwich. then add your sliced onions and mozzarella.. Cover with top and put on the panini press!

sandwich with toppings

This is the final product.. Turned out perfect and tasted better

than what we expected!!

The final product

If you try this, good luck and enjoy!!

 Next up my first attempt at homemade corn chowder on a rainy day!!