Friday, January 18, 2008

*Heartening Dumplings and Pot Stickers*

The last warm-up course from the dinner I served Jane and Christi was pot stickers and dumplings. Had I been able to find a source, it would have been pot stickers, dumplings and Shu Mai, but sadly, no Shu Mai were to be found last week. Still, our two-variety mini dim sum was fun and tasty.

Before cooking the pot stickers and dumplings, heat an oven or toaster oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This will allow you to keep a course warm while the other finishes cooking...

Use the "pan frying" method detailed on the packages, as it is far superior and allows you to be creative with the process, such as putting some pulverized ginger into the water when you add it (which I did not do this time... next time, though).

The most important part of this dish is the sauce selection. We had three, two of my own and leftovers of the cilhini plus Marcie's favorite, the Ling Ling company's base sauce. Christina invented one of her own combining two of the sauces, which I have added here. It was good!

Red Hot Marcie Dip

This is a sauce about how I felt about Marcie, not about how she liked to eat. Marcie was, simply put, hot. HOT hot HOT hot HOT! She like to be spicy, something I appreciated. But she was also flavorful...

2 Tbsp Hunan Red Chili Sauce
2 Tsp honey
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar(spiced)
1-3 drops almond oil
A pinch of lust for life and love

Taste liberally as you work. Mix the honey, almond oil and the vinegar together first until the former is thinned into the latter and the middle ingredient is obscured. Add them to the chili sauce. Let the sauce settle in a refrigerator to thicken and separate a little (overnight).

Sweet Hot Jane Sauce

This sauce is not ready to go as soon as you have made it, so I named it after Jane. It will be ready in its own time. This sauce is laid out in proportion, but flavor to taste! Some like it hotter.

1-2 Tbsp Hunan Red Chili Sauce
4 Tsp honey
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 drop sesame oil
1 light pinch of powdered ginger
A moment of careful consideration at each step

Mix the honey and soy sauce, add the pinch of powdered ginger, more if you would like, but don't overdo it. Add the drop of sesame oil and watch it float a bit, then stir it in, too. This must sit overnight so that the ginger saturates the sauce. Stir and then serve; never serve it settled.

Auburn Sauce Christina

This mix cannot be made in advance, but must meet exacting standards on the fly instead. Leave it to Christina. This does combine for a distinct flavor separate from a simple combination of the others.

1 portion Red Hot Marcie Dip
1 portion Sweet Hot Jane Sauce
1 portion Ling Ling dipping sauce
1 small portion Mischief (hold the capers)
1 portion Verve

Gather the remains of the above two sauces on the table after eating for a while. Mix them together on your plate and demand everyone else do the same. Enjoy. Proclaim loudly and happily that it's delicious. Accept consensus of same.

I hope you enjoy the sauces. We did. I recommend this all be served with red wine (Barefoot Zinfandel is nice) or Vodka, up with olives.