Category Archives: Appetizer

Homemade Gyoza, Recipe

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Gyoza. Dumplings. Pot Stickers. What ever you want to call them I am obsessed. For years I relied on gyoza, broccoli and rice as my go to quick weeknight dinner. Filling, healthy and easy. Well, easy when you have an amazing Japanese grocery store down the street that sells frozen gyoza for cheap. Not so easy when said grocery store closes and the American supermarket variety just don’t stack up. So whats a girl to do but learn to make her own, from scratch, by the dozen and freeze them?

After having made homemade ravioli this didn’t seem very intimidating to me as the concept is pretty similar.

For the wrappers, you can find them in most supermarkets in the produce section (by the refrigerated salad dressings) but I made my own from La Fuji Mama’s recipe. I was having a hell of a time rolling out the little circles so I actually ended up rolling out (with my pasta machine) a thin sheet of the gyoza dough and then cutting out circles with a biscuit /cookie cutter, as she suggested. A little nontraditional but it worked really well for me! Fuji Mama has great step by step photos that I can’t reproduce so check out her site for the recipe!

Now for the filling, I used this recipe found on the Darling Baker’s website. I omitted the water chestnuts though as I wasn’t particularly interested in them. Delicious.

Shrimp Filling for Gyoza
1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb ground pork
3 stalks green onions, minced
1/4 cup ginger root, minced
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp corn starch

Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).

Once you have made your gyoza with the filling of your choice you can pan fry or steam them. I prefer the pan fried method of course…

Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.

To freeze: Assemble dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. It helps to rub the base of the dumpling in a little flour before setting on the baking sheet for ease of release. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked.

I love the gyoza dipping sauce from Whole Foods but any will work (or make your own)!

Parmesan Rosemary Gougères, Recipe

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Last weekend I hosted a little dinner party. I had planned a Japanese inspired menu with homemade gyoza as an appetizer, sushi as the main course, and matcha cheesecake for dessert. Perfect, right? Well, until I went to my local Japanese grocer and found that they were out of sushi grade fish. I called around to few other fish places but had no luck. I quickly flipped the menu upside down and decided to make Fish Mollee with rice and naan for our entree and plan around that. As much as I wanted to make all components Indian inspired (can you tell I like themes?)I just didn’t have the time so went with Mixed Baby Greens Salad with Cranberries and Apples and a Maple Dressing as a starter and Molten Chocolate Cake for dessert.

I had cheese, grapes and crackers out to snack on but wanted a little something extra for my lovely dinner guests so whipped up some of these Parmesan Rosemary Gougères which are so good and yet quick and easy to make. I made them earlier in the day and then just heated them up as Judd, Jackie, and Libby arrived.

The gougères came out lovely – cooked all the way through but with the center still soft and doughy. This is a super easy recipe sure to please all your guests (or to serve as a late late snack for one – either way works!). I can also confirm that leftovers are great in the morning!

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Parmesan Rosemary Gougères

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
Large pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp. rosemary, plus more for sprinkling
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan, bring the water, milk, butter, and salt to a boil. Add the flour, stir until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and dries out a bit. Roughly two minutes.

Turn the dough out into a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each one. Add the Parmesan cheese, rosemary and pepper.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag with a half inch tip (or a disposable bag with the tip cut off) and pipe tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets at least two inches apart.

Sprinkle with cheese and additional rosemary. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm or room temperature.

The gougères can be frozen or refrigerated. To reheat, cook in an 350 degree oven for at least five minutes, or until piping hot and crisped.

Cream Cheese Penguins, Recipe

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I’ve found that there isn’t anything that will wow a crowd like food shaped into cute little animals. Most aren’t appropriate for cocktail parties (“Here’s your Hello Kitty cake pop, Mr. CEO”), but I have found one that is black tie friendly, if you know what I mean.

This particular hors d’oeuvre is not only completely adorable but also very easy to assemble. I promise you’ll get lots of comments on these little guys.

Cream Cheese Penguins

Ingredients:
18 jumbo black olives, pitted
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
18 small black olives
1 carrot

Directions:
Cut a slit from top to bottom, lengthwise, into the side of each jumbo olive. Carefully insert about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese into each olive. Slice the carrot into eighteen 1/4 inch thick rounds; cut a small notch out of each carrot slice to form feet. Save the cut out piece and press into center of small olive to form the beak. If necessary cut a small slit into each olive before inserting the beak.
Set a big olive, large hole side down, onto a carrot slice. Then, set a small olive onto the large olive, adjusting so that the beak, cream cheese chest and notch in the carrot slice line up. Secure with a toothpick.

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My army of penguins are ready to go when you are.