Last night I made a little Lunar New Year dinner for our friends Fireweed and Mike, after Mike and DH had finished watching the Super Bowl game. It was a bit impromptu, so I used what I had in the house, but it was well-received!
One of the starters was a plate of Vegan Char Siu (Chinese barbecued "pork"), a recipe from my book "Authentic Chinese Cuisine for the Contemporary Kitchen":
It was a little chewier than I prefer, because I'm trying to keep the fat down in our diet, and I was a bit rushed for time, so I didn't have time to bake the gluten chunks, and I didn't want to fry them, so I boiled them. But they were delicious, anyway, due to the delectable sauce.
We also had a Thai cabbage salad with peanuts, which I forgot to photograph (not very photogenic, anyway), and a soupy noodle dish (but not really a soup!), with vegetables, mushrooms, and sliced Gardein "Meatless Chicken Breast" in a tasty broth:
I forgot to photograph the main dish altogether! It was a simple stir-fry of tofu, Soy Curls, broccolini and cashews in a simple sauce, with brown basmati rice.
But the favorite seemed to be the mushroom gyoza (potstickers or jiaozi). I've posted my usual recipe at this blog post, and you can go there for instructions on how to fill and steam or steam-fry the dumplings, plus info on the wrappers. Just substitute the filling in the recipe below.
For dessert, DH wanted something chocolate, but I wanted something light, low-fat, and Pan-Asian, I suppose you could say. So I ended up making my Tofu Chocolate Mousse (recipe in my book "Soyfoods Cooking for a Positive Menopause"), but I used sherry as the liquor, strong coffee as the liquid, and added grated orange zest. I wasn't sure about the sherry with chocolate, but it was actually delicious, although you couldn't tell exactly what made it different. On the top a scattered crushed crispy anise pizzelle cookies that I had made some time before, and minced organic candied ginger. A success!
Now, for that mushroom gyoza filling:
BRYANNA’S MUSHROOM GYOZA/POTSTICKER/JIAOZI FILLING (or steamed dumplings)
Enough for 75 dumplings (freeze the filling you don’t use for another time!)
1 to 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or other favourite)
12 dried shiitake mushrooms
8 oz. common white mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 to 2 cups sautéed sliced lobster mushrooms (or use oyster or chanterelle mushrooms)
(NOTE: I used these out of the freezer, so I don’t know what the weight was uncooked)
1/2 cup minced onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Soak the dried shiitakes (covered) in plenty of boiling water for about 30 minutes. When they are soaked, drain them well (save the soaking water), remove the stems and cut the caps into quarters. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the shiitakes and the white mushrooms and sprinkle with a little salt. Stir-fry until the mushrooms wilts, adding a splash of shiitake soaking water as needed to keep from sticking.
Add the sautéed lobster mushrooms, onion, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for a few minutes, or until the onion is softening, adding a splash of shiitake soaking water as needed to keep from sticking. Transfer the mushrooms to a large food processor, along with the remaining ingredients. Pulse until finely chopped. Scrape into a bowl and chill until ready to fill the potstickers/Gyoza/Jiaozi. See instuctions for filling and cooking here.
Mix together 1/2 cup Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar) 3/4 teaspoon brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon finely-grated ginger.
Monday, February 7, 2011