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Gyoza – Japanese Steamed Dumplings

Gyoza - Japanese steamed then fried pork dumplings
Gyoza is one of my favourite dumplings

Gyoza - Japanese steamed then fried pork dumplings

I discovered this when my family and I ate out at a very nice Japanese resturaunt in Florida. They are fairly easy to make but they do require a little bit of patience. There aren’t too many ingredients, most of which you will have on hand or be able to get at your local supermarket.

Makes 30 – 40 dumplings
Ingredients
For the wrappers:
I got this lovely recipe from this website at http://www.justonecookbook.com/recipes/gyoza-wrappers/
2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (120 ml – 150ml) just-boiled water, add more if necessary
corn starch for dusting
For the filling:
240 grams boneless pork rib or ground pork
200 grams green cabbage, minced
100 grams onion, minced
100 grams spring onions (also known as green onions), minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons grated garlicto make the wrappers
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil (plus more for frying, you can also use vegetable oil)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce

 

To make the wrappers:

You can do this in a mixer or by hand but I was lazy and used a mixer

1. Mix the salt in the flour

2. Add the boiling water

3. Knead the dough until smooth, about 5 – 10 minutes

4. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes

 

Time to make the filling!

1. Cut each roll in half

2. Dust surface and dough with cornstarch

3. Lightly flatten each half and roll out using a pasta machine on the lowest setting

4. Fold the dough over and put through the pasta machine again, repeat one more time after this if needed

5. Roll out to about 1 – 2 mm thick and cut out with a 3 inch round cutter or mug

6. Dust each wrapper with cornstarch to stop them from sticking together pork

 

To make the filling

1. If you are using rib pork put it in the food processor and pulse it until you have ground pork

2. Mix the pork with everything except the cabbage, spring onions and onions

3. Mix in the cabbage, spring onions and onions

4. Finish making the wrappers!

 

IMG_2028

Phew! Okay now to make the gyozas

1. Fill each wrapper with about 1/2 tablespoon of filling

2. Brush water around the edges

3. Seal the gyoza as shown in the picture unfortunately we don’t have a video of the process so you might have to go on youtube

4. Fry in oil on medium heat until the bottoms are golden brown (don’t fry the sides, just the bottom)

5. Boiling in already boiling water at a roll for 4 – 6 minutes

6. At this point you can eat them or if you really want that crispy wrapper you can re – fry them if they even make it there!

7. Make a simple sauce with soy sauce and white vinegar and Enjoy!

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Oven Baked Hot Chilli Chicken Wings

hot chilli chicken wings baked in the oven
Caution: spicy!
Easy hot chilli chicken wings baked in the ovenSpicy chilli chicken wings baked in the oven

 

frank's hot sauce If you want to turn up the heat, why not try this oven baked hot chilli chicken wings using Frank’s Red Hot Sauce?

I remember twenty years ago when I lived in England, chicken wings were considered scraps and I could buy a packet for just 99p (about US $1.50) to feed a family of five. Perhaps it isn’t the case now but chilli chicken wings are ubiqutous here in America. They call them buffalo wings – a puzzling fact!

The best wings to buy are the winglets because they are neat and easy to cook. This is a no-brainer recipe, you really don’t have to do much except throw the meat in the oven. The trick is to bake the chicken nice and slowly so that the skin dries out and gets really crispy and the inside becomes tender and remains moist. If you cook it too fast, the chicken will develop a chewy texture rather like your tennis shoe. Barbecuing wings in the summer makes quite a treat as long as it’s not a hundred degrees outside.

This recipe is actually comes from a family friend. But instead of it being a dipping sauce we used it as a glaze. Get ready for the fire extinguisher!

Ingredients
(I know you can put a ton more ingredients but the idea of this recipe is to keep it simple)
2 packets chicken wings or winglets
1/2 bottle (6 Fluid Ounces) Red Hot Wings Frank’s Sauce

3 tablespoons butter, salted (naughty but it adds to the taste!)
2 tbsp cooking oil
Method

1. Spread the wings on a baking tray.

2. Lightly brush the wings with some cooking oil.

3. Put it in a preheated oven and cook slowly for an 3/4 hours at 350°F (no salt or flavouring required).

4. Meantime, prepare the hot sauce.

5. Pour half a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce into a sauce pan, put the butter in and warm up gently.

6. When the wings are nice and crispy, remove from oven and pour the sauce over.

7. Put back in the oven and gently cook for another 10 minutes.

8. Hot chilli wings can be dipped in ranch sauce (how Americans like it) or like my case, I dip them in more red sauce left in the pan.

9. Make sure you have plenty of tissues to mop away the brow of sweat.

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Stuffed cherry peppers with prosciutto & mozzarella

IMG_7129 copy

 

Perfect with a glass of wine while watching the sun set

Cherry peppers stuffed with prosciutto & mozzarella

Simple pleasures are the best things in life

Stuffed peppers with mozzarella cheese and prosciutto ham marinated in olive oil taste delicious. However, cherry peppers are pretty hard to find in supermarkets and you have to scout around for them in local farm shops.

stuffed_cherry_peppers_in_olive_oilIf you want an instagram worthy jar, pack the peppers tightly
Recipe
5-10 cherry peppers, stems, seeds, and core removed
1 package proscciuto ham cut into 2 inch strips by 1 inch
1 inch mozzerella cubes
1 cup warm olive oile
Method

1. Cut the end of the pepper off.

2. With a melon scooper, scoop out the seeds and flesh of the pepper.

3. Cut the mozzarella cheese into small pieces.

4. Stuff the white cheese into the cavity of the pepper, pack in as much as you can but leave some room at the top.

5. Cut a small piece of the prosciutto ham, roll it into a neat ball and press into into the remaining space at the top of the pepper.

6. Pack the peppers tightly into an empty jar.

7. Fill up with olive oil.

8. Enjoy or put the lid on and store in the refrigerator.

9. I feel they are best eaten on the day but they can be stored up to three weeks.

10. Before serving, let it warm up to room temperature.

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Potato nests with cheddar and ham

potato_nests
Little potato nests

These enchanting little potato nests are baked in a muffin tin. The hardest thing about them is making sure the potatoes are cooked just right without burning the rest of the ingredients. I turned the heat down mid-way through cooking, to about 300°F  but on hindsight, I probably could get away with a silver foil loosely placed over the top and then removed for the last 10 minutes. I do like having this with salad and sour cream; there’s just something lovely about potatoes and sour cream combination.

Recipe
  • 1.1 Lbs (500g) potatoes
    1 package Ham or turkey ham
    Grated cheddar cheese
    Sour cream
Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F

2. Peel the potatoes.

3. Using a Julienne blade or Mandolin slicer, grate the potatoes to match stick sizes.

4. Coat the potatoes in a little oil.

5. Grease the muffin pan.

6. put the potato sticks in the muffin holes.

7. Place the meat on top of the potato nests and top with grated cheese.

8. Cover with a piece of silver foil loosely for 15 minutes.

9. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

10. Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce.

11. Top with a generous dollop of sour cream.

making potato nests

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Homemade Sushi

The Joy of sushi
SUSHI
homemade shushi with chirizoHomemade sushi with Fratelli Beretta but you can use chirozo. Delicious garnished with cilantro or fresh coriander leaves and dipped in soy sauce.

 

When making sushi you’ve to be prepared for a major de-ricing operation. You get rice stuck on your hair, socks, clothes, kitchen counters, and even your dog. It’s a nightmare but it’s great fun with kids.

Back to school lunch box with sushi

Sushi with omelette, carrots and avocados. Ideal for lunch boxes.
Sushi rice
2 cups Sushi grade rice
2¼ cups Cold water
2 tsp Rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/3 cup Hot water
1 Packet nori sheets made with seaweed

2 Carrots peeled and cut into thin strips
1 Avocado peeled and cut into thin segments
Soya sauce and wasabi for dipping
Equipment
  • Sushi mat
    A pair of good hands
Method for the rice

1. Use 2 cups of water to 2 cups of rice.

2. Do not wash the rice.

3. Bring the rice to a boil with the lid closed.

4. Quickly lower the heat and let the rice simmer until all the water is gone, about 20 minutes.

5. Turn the heat off and let the rice cool.

6. DO NOT TAKE THE LID OFF AT ANY POINT.

7. Meantime, dissolve the sugar in 1/3 cup hot water and pour in the vinegar. Stir well.

8. When the rice has cooled, pour the sugar and vinegar solution and coat the rice well by mixing with a wooden spoon.

Now you’re ready for the sushi adventure.

 

Sushi for school lunch box

Here’s a good video to show how to roll a shushi – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swGJ2dIu9XE

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Garlic bread knots made with olive oil

Garlic Bread Knots
BREAD KNOTS
Garlic Bread Knots

These garlicky things won’t send your kisser away – they’re so moorish! Garlic bread knots made with olive oil and sprinkled with chopped baby spinach.

Making the dough
3½ Cups all purpose flour
2 Teaspoons salt
1 Teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1⅓ Cups of warm water (110°F)
1/4 ounce (7 grams) dry yeast
Method

1. Mix together water and yeast. Let sit for 3 minutes.

2. Mix dry ingredients and olive oil.

3. Add wet mixture to flour mixture

4. Mix all ingredients together.

5. Knead for 10 minutes.

6. Oil a bowl and put dough in and cover with cling flim for 10 minutes.

7. Remove from fridge, roll out a rectangle and cut into strips.

8. Tie each strip loosely into a knot, stretching gently if necessary and place on lightly greased tray.

9. Bake in preheated oven at 375°F for 20 minutes.

Dressing ingredients
Olive oil
1 Garlic clove, grated
1/4 cup Fresh baby spinach, finely chopped
Method

1. Crush the garlic clove.

2. Wash, rinse and finely chop the spinach leaves.

3. Warm the olive oil and mix together the crushed garlic and chopped spinach.

4. Finally, pour over the garlic dough balls and coat well.