Okay so I haven’t blogged about my cooking ventures before, so here goes nothing.
This was the first time I cooked in 2022, and I decided to make something I hadn’t tried before: Pot-stickers. They’re basically dumplings made on a skillet instead of steaming. For the covering, I chose all-purpose flour instead of the traditional rice flour, and for the filling, I chose a yummy mix of peri-peri, ricotta cheese(paneer as we call it) and, honey. I served it with a simple onion sauce and a side of creamed green peas.
Here are the steps I followed(stumbled through):
- As the dough needs to rest, I got to it first. It was a simple mix of all-purpose flour, vegetable oil( olive oil gives it a very good flavor too), salt and water, and kneaded it until it was well combined and stretchy. Resting is very important here to ensure good texture.
2. The sauce needs longer on the stove, so I did that next. In a saucepan, melt some butter and add finely chopped onions and garlic.[Ideally white onions, but red ones work too.] Let them caramelize well, add some salt at this stage to help them cook faster. Once they’re browning, you can add in some milk and a medium thick paste of water and wheat flour, to thicken the sauce. A small amount of the paste will work just fine. I also added oregano, rosemary, thyme, ginger, black pepper, and black salt for the flavor. Let it reduce on the stove for 30-40 mins. You can always add a little milk/water if it becomes too dense. It can sit there simmering as you get to the other things.
3. For the creamed peas, first, melt butter in a pot and add a bit of flour. Be careful so as to keep it liquid, because it’ll burn pretty quickly. [How do I know? Why I burnt it of course:) ] Add in some milk and the green peas. The level of milk should be equal to the peas to get it nice and creamy. Add in garlic, oregano, black pepper, and if you want, some grated cheese too and let it melt. Let it boil and then simmer for a few minutes, and add salt per taste. Let it sit off the stove for a while and thicken nicely: Your side is done.
4. We’re getting to the actual pot-stickers now!! Yeah, I don’t think I’m nearly the best person to tell you about rolling and shaping the actual dumplings. Unsurprisingly, I struggled through and ended up with err, uniquely shaped dumplings? We can say each one was beautiful in its own right:) The filling was pretty good though: I just mixed crumbled ricotta cheese or paneer, peri-peri sauce, a dash of honey, paprika, and salt, of course. You’ll do well to have each dumpling roughly the length of your middle finger[ 🙂 ] and about 2 inches wide. You can also use tofu in the filling.
5. Cooking them is probably where you should be most careful because they can go from crispy to burnt in a few seconds. Thankfully, none of my dumplings[or fingers] got burnt. You can give them about 30 seconds on each side on a medium-high flame, with a few drops of oil coating them all over. But again, the skillet gets hotter over time and later ones may require lesser time. This is assuming of course, that they’re all roughly similar in weight and shape[ unlike mine:) ].
6. Serve them hot with the sauce and creamed peas, and top it off with some oregano and peri-peri sauce because why not.
I know the combo of an Italian-inspired sauce and peri-peri is pretty unusual, but I did enjoy it very much. Overall, I feel like I could have gotten the dumpling skin much thinner but otherwise, it all turned out well.
Here’s the final look before it saw the murderous inside of my mouth:-
Cheers to my very first cook of 2022, and also my first cooking blog post!!