Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sound Opinions Show #187: Food & Music

A while ago commenter Jeff, who also happens to be my brother, turned me on to Chicago based rock radio show Sound Opinions and their podcast. On June 26th they aired an inspired show about the relationship between food and rock, featuring an interview with everyone's favorite culinary pirate, Anthony Bourdain, as well as some Midwest area chefs, and a discussion of songs inspired by food stuffs. You can listen to it streaming on their web page, or download a free mp3. Warning, you may want to fast forward through the MJ tribute that starts the show...or not. It's actually one of the better ones I've heard.

Take away:
1. Portishead=Bad. Stooges=Good.
2. People like free stuff
3. If you are to be a true, if recovering, hedonist like our friend, Tony B, you must love food, rock and sex

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dumpling Fest!

Sorry posts have been few and far between. I moved into a new apartment, which thankfully includes a brand new and much improved kitchen (pics to come) and have been distracted by settling in. I have been cooking, but haven't been dilligent about sitting my bum down to write about it!

I do want to write about these tasty, easy and cheap dumplings which I will be making for a second time this Friday night. I cribbed the recipe and idea from this Eat for Eight (dollars) post on SeriousEats. Dumplings require a fair amount of labor upfront, but freeze so well (freeze, uncooked in a single layer, then put in a plastic bag), that they'll keep for a month! They're great for a casual meal, snack or appetizer.

Boiled Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

Yields about 50 dumplings

1/2 pound Napa cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 pound ground pork
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, grated on a microplane
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon fine salt

store-bought wonton wrappers

bowl of cold water

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Blanch cabbage until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and rinse in cold water. Drain, squeeze out excess water, and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

2. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl containing cabbage. Knead by hand until thoroughly combined.

3. Put a large pot 3/4 full with water on stove-top to boil.

4. With the aid of cold water (to seal edges) fill dumlings with pork mixture and fold like tortellinis according to pictures below.

5. Lower dumplings into boiling water in batches. Boil approximately 3 minutes. Remove with strainer and serve immediately

One of my favorite dipping sauces to serve with dumplings is an acidic/sweet mixture of lime juice, sesame oil, hoisin and minced scallions. Experiment with the ingredients leftover from filling (including ginger, soy sauce, garlic, etc) to find your favorite.