June 15, 2009
Dumplings and Pineapple Fried Rice
I decided to try and participate in the Daring Cooks challenge this month, which was to make homemade dumplings. The challenge was put together by Jen of Use Real Butter. She has an awesome site and I've been a loyal follower for quite some time now. I was pretty excited that she picked dumplings, but was curious as to how difficult the process was going to be. I'll let you know right from the get-go I wasn't too thrilled that this would involve dough. The whole reason I never even contemplated doing Daring Bakers is because I'm a bit of a doughphobic. It's just sticky, finicky and destroys a clean kitchen. But this recipe only involved flour and water - how hard could that be? Ha.
Although time consuming, the pork filling was simple to make and smelled delicious. The dough also came together very easily and was pretty manageable to shape into little circles. Making those gash darn pleats were near impossible though. After throwing away like a whole dozen, I decided to scratch the original plan, and to fold them all like mini calzones. Way easier, and they worked fine in the cooking process.
I decided to try all three methods of cooking: steaming, boiling and frying. Steam and boiling were super easy, and yielded tender little pork filled pockets. Frying though, destroyed my kitchen. I've been cooking long enough to know that dumping water into hot oil is going to cause a serious (not to mention dangerous) mess. Not my brightest moment. Did you ever see that episode of The Newlyweds where Jessica Simpson was yelping as the oil burned her? Yeah, that was so me. Frying paid off though, as these were the tastiest of the three methods. No surprise, frying is always the tastiest.
If you would like to a give these a shot for yourself, please visit Jen here for a step-by-step guide. Thanks Jen for a great challenge!