Quarantine Make Along: Salad + Dressing

The one thing I crave the most often is a really delicious salad. I often get weird looks when I tell people that, but it’s true. I’ve always loved vegetables and a really good salad always hits the spot for me. My favorites are ones loaded with fresh and dried fruit, some nuts for texture, and a puckery but balanced vinaigrette.

Vinaigrettes are really easy to make at home in a mason jar. We haven’t purchased that kind of dressing in years, and it’s nice because you can customize it based on what you’re feeling.

Dressing Recipe

  • 1:1 ratio of citrus juice (lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime) and extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • If you like extra flavor:
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • Your favorite vinegar of choice, to taste

Shake up everything in a mason jar until well emulsified, taste, and add to your favorite salad! Keep in mind that your greens and vegetables are not seasoned so you’ll want to compensate for that by salting your dressing a bit more than you think.

Quarantine Make Along: Potsticker Dumplings (鍋貼, Guōtiē)

There’s much that I appreciate about my Asian heritage, especially the food, more so now than ever. Growing up Asian American was difficult and I felt like I had to subdue my Asian culture in order to be “cooler.” Along with this came me not appreciating a lot of traditional Asian foods that I am now so thankful for. Dumplings fell under that list of things. I have no idea why I didn’t like them that much growing up because now I fricken love them, especially in potsticker form.

Homemade potstickers/dumplings do take a bit of effort to make, but they’re so worth it. They taste SO much better. And they remind me of my childhood. These ones that I made are pork loin and cabbage. My mom always makes them with pork, shrimp, and Chinese chives. No matter what combination you use, they’ll turn out tasty!

A Brief Potsticker/Dumpling History

Dumplings have been around for over 1,800 years and potstickers have been enjoyed since the Song dynasty (960 to 1280 A.D.). According to legend, they were invented by a chef in China’s Imperial Court, who accidentally burnt a batch of dumplings after leaving them on the stove for too long. With no time to prepare a new batch, the chef served the dumplings with the burnt side on top, announcing that they were his own special creation. Fortunately, court members loved them.

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Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Ingredients

Wrappers

  • 300g all purpose flour
  • 200 ml boiling water
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 2/3 lb (300g) pork, shrimp, beef, or mix (can make vegetarian with tofu or mushrooms)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 lb (200g) finely chopped vegetables (cabbage, bok choy, leeks, chives)
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black vinegar (or your favorite Asian vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon laoganma chili crisp or chili oil

Instructions

  1. Mix the flour, salt and boiling water in a large bowl you have a rough ball shape. Remove from the bowl and knead for 10 minutes until smooth. Cover with cling film and rest for 20 minutes.
  2. Combine the protein, baking soda, corn starch, seasonings, and liquid ingredients. Stir vigorously in one direction until all the liquid is absorbed and the pork begins to bind to itself. Mix in the vegetables, spring onions, ginger and garlic.
  3. Lightly flour your work surface. Divide each piece of rested dough into 16 even-sized pieces. Lightly dust the dough pieces with flour. Place a piece onto the work surface with its cut side down, and flatten with a floured palm. Roll each piece of dough into a thin disc, roughly 3″ in diameter.
  4. Place a heaped teaspoon of filling into the center of each wrapper. Fold over into a half moon shape. Cradle the wrapper in one hand and use the other hand to create pleats along the edge furthest away from you, pinching the two edges together after each pleat as you go, to create a crescent shape. Avoid getting any filling on the edges and be sure to pinch firmly as you pleat to create a good seal.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the dumplings flat side down for about 2 minutes until a golden crust forms on the bottom. Add the cold water and immediately cover with a lid. Let the steam cook the dumplings for 8 minutes or until all the water has evaporated. Remove the lid and let the dumplings to cook for a further minute until they lift off from the bottom of the pan easily.
  6. While the dumplings are cooking, prepare the dipping suace by mixing sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and laoganma.
  7. Serve the dumplings in a big pile, making sure to show off the golden bottoms. Drizzle the spicy soy sauce on top, or serve on the side for dipping.
  8. You can always freeze the dumplings that you don’t use and pop them out whenever you want to eat them!

Adapted from Dumpling Sisters.

Quarantine Make Along: Homemade Fresh Pasta

Making fresh pasta at home is a labor of love, especially if you don’t have a pasta roller (me). But machines didn’t exist from the beginning and I do love the art of slowing down and taking the time to make something in the kitchen, particularly now when we’re stuck at home. If you’re up for the task, the reward is a lovely fresh pasta noodle that need not be dressed with anything but some cheese, pepper, salt, and olive oil/butter.

Brief History of Pasta

It is believed that pasta as we know it made its way westward from Asia, perhaps by nomadic Arab traders. According to Culinary Lore, “There are written reports of ‘a food made from flour in the form of strings,’ in Sicily, described by an Arab trader named Idrisi in 1154. At the Spaghetti Museum in Pontedassio, Imperia, there are several documents from 1240, 1279, and 1284 which refer to pasta, maccheroni, and vermicelli as known foods.

Pasta Recipe

  • 200g 00 flour or all purpose flour (1 1/2 cups + 1 Tbsp)
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Make a well with the flour on your countertop (it’ll look like a volcano).
  2. Crack the eggs into the hole and using a fork, gently beat the eggs until they start incorporating into the flour.
  3. Continue mixing until the dough comes together into a rough ball. Knead until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. If really dry, add a little bit of water; if too sticky, add some more flour. The dough ball should be pretty stiff but slightly tacky.
  4. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes).
  5. At this point, feel free to use the dough with a pasta roller. If rolling by hand, divide the ball into 4 pieces. Cover the pieces when not in use.
  6. Roll the dough ball in one direction until very long and thin (about 1/16th inch, the thickness of a dime).
  7. Dust the rolled dough with flour and fold into thirds. Cut the dough into desired thickness using a sharp knife.
  8. Gently unfurl your noodles and toss with some flour to make a pile of noodles. Continue with the rest of the dough balls.
  9. If cooking immediately, bring some salted water to a boil and cook the noodles for 3-4 minutes until al dente. Use as desired.
  10. To dry pasta, hang the pasta noodles on a drying rack until fully dry then package up as use as desired.

Quarantine Bake Along: Pie/Galette Crust

The next recipe in our Quarantine Bake Along lineup is another one with very minimal ingredients: pie/galette crust! All you need is flour, butter, water, salt, and sugar. It’s pretty amazing that just these ingredients can produce the beautifully flaky and buttery crust that we all associate with a good pie. Pie crust need not be limited to traditional pies, however. You can use pie crust to make sweet or savory galettes (rustic, free-form pies), as a base for fruit tarts, or as crackers.

I know that a lot of people are sometimes intimidated by pie crust, but it’s really not hard to make and most people have the ingredients on-hand. Once you have this crust down, you can use it as a base for any pie/galette recipe you’d like to make. If any of you have some canned pie filling sitting around or a bag of frozen berries, those would be perfect here. If not, make a galette with the fresh fruit you have or a savory one for dinner!

A Brief History of Pie Crust

Historians trace pie’s initial origins to the Greeks, who are thought to be the originators of the pastry shell, which they made by combining water and flour. Pies were originally meat-based in Europe, but once the Pilgrims settled in the colonies, the pie’s role as a means to showcase local ingredients took hold and with it came a proliferation of new, sweet pies.

Pie Crust Recipe

The recipe I use is from Stella Parks at Serious Eats. She does an amazing job explaining the whole process and I’d rather not reinvent the wheel. I do halve the recipe if I know I’m only going to make one pie or galette.

Savory Galette Recipe

  • 1 prepared pie crust (above), after its fridge rest
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened (about 3/4 bar),
  • 1/4 teaspoon of all your favorite dried herbs and spices you can find in your pantry
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Odds and ends of hearty vegetables and meats, cut into 1/4in thickness if applicable (asparagus, potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, tomatoes, and chopped up bacon and ham work well)
  • Goat cheese, optional
  • Balsamic vinegar, optional
  • Honey, for drizzling
  • Maldon salt, for finishing
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix your spices, salt, and pepper into the cream cheese until well combined.
  3. Place your cold pie crust on the baking sheet. Spread the cream cheese mixture all over the crust, leaving a 1 inch border.
  4. Layer your veggies and meats on top of the cream cheese mixture, no need to be precise about how much, as long as the crust can fold over the center it will be fine.
  5. Fold the edges of the crust towards the center, going all around and gently pressing in place. It will look “rustic!”
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes in preheated oven until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.
  7. Let cool slightly and serve.

Beet and Sweet Potato Galette with Almond Crust

Galettes are just rustic one crust pies. Or at least that’s what I think. They’re my lazy, often savory, pies.

I’m a huge lover of buttery crust so I’m always on board when a dinner is tasty and has a ton of crust. It’s probably not the most healthful thing, but oh well, I’m eating all my veggies too in this one!

In order to make myself feel slightly better, I made the crust with mostly almond flour. You can let me know whether or not that’s actually “better.” 🙂

Ingredients

For the crust

  •  cups almond flour
  • ½ cup tapioca or all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • tablespoons cold grass-fed butter, cubed
  • egg cold

For the filling

  • 4 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 medium beet, peeled
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper and thyme, for garnish
  • Feta or goat cheese, optional
  • Honey, for drizzling, optional

Instructions

  1. Combine the almond flour, flour, seasonings, salt and butter in a food processor, or use a pastry blender in a bowl. Pulse or blend until the texture of coarse meal.
  2. Add 1 egg and pulse/mix again until dough comes together. If you’re mixing in a bowl, you may want to use your hands to bring the dough together at the end. Turn out the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, paprika, thyme, garlic, and salt. Set aside.
  5. Thinly slice the sweet potato and beet in rounds.
  6. Roll out the dough into a rough circle about 1/4″ thick and place onto a parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet.
  7. Spread the cream cheese filling on the bottom, leaving about 1″ of dough around the circle.
  8. Arrange and layer the sweet potato and beet slices over the filling, piling it up in the center. Sprinkle the sliced onions on top and the cheese if using.
  9. Gently fold the edges up, creasing the dough together as you go. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme.
  10. Bake the galette in the oven for approximately 40-60 minutes until sweet potatoes and beets can be pierced with a knife. This largely depends on how thinly you sliced them and how full your galette is.
  11. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before digging in! Feel free to drizzle some honey if you like the flavor combo.