Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shrimp Dumplings with Dippin' Sauce

Muahaha, Karen graciously let me hijack her blog, so looks like you're stuck with me again! In an effort to hedge against the ballooning food costs plaguing the world, we've tried to cut down on our meat consumption as it's one of the most expensive items on our grocery list.

As a result, I've been faced with a new challenge - trying to keep dinners interesting without copious amounts of meat. To be fair, I did use some shrimp for the dumpling filling, but you could just as easily make it completely vegetarian by substituting bok choy or bell pepper. I ran the filling through a meat grinder to make it fine and well-blended. A food processor would probably achieve similar results. So here we are: my rendition of fried dumplings.

  • 8-10 eggroll wrappers (you can find these in the refrigerated area of your produce section)
  • 1/2 small head of cabbage, shredded
  • 2-3 carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 bunch of green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 dozen cooked shrimp
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Dipping Sauce:

(Combine all dipping sauce ingredients in a ramekin)

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp grated garlic
  • Dash of sesame oil
  • Sprinkle of red chili flakes

Combine all of the dumpling ingredients, excluding the shrimp, into a sauté pan and cook over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Process these ingredients (either through a meat grinder or in a food processor) until smooth. Use a tablespoon to add the filling to each wonton. If you have an awesome significant other (my obligatory shoutout to Karen), I suggest having him or her do the wrapping part. I may be great in the kitchen, but I lack the patience to wrap wontons.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan until hot...but not smoking....nobody wants the fire department to show up. I added enough oil to fill the saucepan by about 1/4 inch (maybe 1/4 cup?). Drop a few wontons in at a time and cook for about 2 minutes per side, until golden brown.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Hanging Gardens of Beaubylon

After a quick trick to Home Depot on Saturday, I repotted these plants while Beau glued an embarrassing number of beer caps to the table he made. Then we sat outside for three hours listening to Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney. I'm officially ready for spring.

Dill, basil, cilantro, romaine and tomatoes

I am determined not to kill them all by May. I know serial killers have said similar things in the past but I really mean it. Unlike like last year when my seedlings all baked to death on my skillet of a deck. This year, I'm not going to close the curtains and forget about them. I swear.

Terrified lettuce

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Behold My Restraint!

I've been bad lately. The pizza delivery guy knows the sound of my husband's voice. When our take-out Thai lady stopped to catch up for five minutes the last time she was here, I knew we had to get back to our usual routine. Today, we stocked the house with healthy food and veggies but there are still land mines all over my kitchen. Like the tub of Fudge Tracks ice cream that I would like to bathe in. To keep myself from further temptation, I created the Compromise Milkshake.

Compromise Milkshake

1 cup skim milk
2 spoonfuls of ice cream (be honest, you know what a real spoonful looks like)
Dollop of whip cream (and one hit from the can while your husband runs the garbage outside)
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Combine the milk and ice cream in a sizable bowl. Mix with an immersion blender. Pour into cup and top with whip cream and cinnamon. Guilt free dessert!