Book Update: I found “The Giver”! I’m so excited that I found it! I knew I had that book somewhere. Beginning to read a book you read so long ago is nostalgic. It is such a classic. Ordering soon are “Love Trumps Grief” by Kristin Akin and “Comfort Food Makeovers” by America’s Test Kitchen. Kristin Akin came to our MOPS group to tell her testimony of how she had two boys, and the second one went into liver failure at 10 weeks. Years bouncing through children’s hospitals, torn between her first son and dying son only to find out that the rare HLH disease that the second son had could also be found in the first son. The first son also received a bone marrow transplant and died as well. You should really read her book. The paperback is slightly more expensive than a typical paperback, but all the proceeds go to the Matthew and Andrew Akin Foundation. The 90-minute speech left the entire room in tears. Go read it!
Recipe: I never had potstickers growing up. I mainly remember eating Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup from the can and Chef Boyardee. Potstickers? What was that? Then, Alton Brown started this fun show called “Good Eats” and taught his audience how to make potstickers. It was quite easy actually. You don’t NEED to make your own potstickers for potstickers soup. Pleasantly surprised, Trader Joe’s makes a great potsticker in a variety of fillings. Costco also offers potstickers, but I found these were too spicy even for me. My spice tolerance is medium heat. Pineapple salsa, peach salsa and all the other ones that say “medium heat” – I ‘m good. Above that and I’m saying, “Hey, honey? You can have the rest of those.”
The soup was much better than I expected and really fast if you use frozen potstickers. I love sneaking spinach in when I can!
Homemade potstickers are time consuming, but these were really good. Surprisingly, these are one of those items I made a lot more before kids.
The title of the recipe from Alton Brown is “Perfect Potstickers.” Normally, I would roll my eyes anytime someone includes absolute adjectives in their recipe titles. (Nerd Alert: absolute adjectives like “unique”, “perfect”, etc.) However, I make an exception in this case.
yield 35-40 potstickers
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
2 Tb. finely chopped red bell pepper (freeze the leftovers for later!)
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp. ketchup
1 tsp. mustard (I hate mustard, but it just adds to the flavor profile. You won’t taste it.)
2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
35-40 wonton wrappers (the small ones. I find mine in the produce section)
3-4 Tb. vegetable or canola oil
1 and 1/3 cup chicken stock
1. Preheat oven 200 degrees.
2. In a big bowl, mix up pork, scallions, bell pepper, egg, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, light brown sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne.
3. Now, take your wonton wrapper and lay it flat. Keep the others under a wet towel to keep them from drying out. Brush 2 edges of the wonton with water. Put about 1/2-1 tsp. of the meat in the center. Seal edge. Place on a cookie sheet under a damp towel.
4. Do that about 35-40 times.
5. Heat up a large skillet to medium. Brush the bottom with some oil. Add 8-10 potstickers. Cook 2 minutes. Add about 1/3 cup stock. Turn to low. Cover. Cook 2 minutes. Put potstickers in a roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet that can keep warm in the oven.
Deglaze the pan with water and start over: Brush with oil, add potstickers, add stock, turn down to low, Cover, cook 2 minutes, put in oven. Repeat.
I love to eat these plain with soy sauce!!!
Recipe by Alton Brown
2 Tb. olive oil, divided
16 oz. potstickers (Trader Joe’s calls them Gyoza)
2 carrots, chopped small
1 celery, chopped small
1/2 onion, diced
32 oz. chicken broth (I prefer low sodium)
16 oz. fresh or frozen spinach (Use as much or as little as you like!!)
1 Tb. soy sauce
Options: cilantro, salt, soy sauce, etc.
1. Take your frying pan and 1 Tb. oil and heat to medium-high. Fry those potstickers on both sides for 10 minutes.
2. In the meantime, add another 1 Tb. of oil to the 5 or 6 qt. pot. Put over medium heat. Toss in the carrots, celery and onion. Cook until the onion is translucent.
3. Add your chicken stock. Cook until it begins to simmer.
4. Add in your spinach and soy sauce. Cook until it is really simmering.
5. Toss in those cooked potstickers. They should be done by now. Serve with cilantro, soy sauce (I love soy sauce!), etc.
Recipe adapted from Trader Joe’s