On the topic of going grocery shopping in your own kitchen . . .I’ve found a few interesting things, all of which seem to be spicy.
There’s this jam, which my mother-in-law picked out for me at the Salish Lodge‘s gift shop, near Snoqualmie Falls:
I’m not sure what to do with it, but I know a certain person (hint: I live with him) who will undoubtedly make a peanut butter sandwich with it.
I bought these fabulous travel-sized tabasco packets in Hawaii:
I’ll probably dole them out to my family members; I’m the least addicted to Tabasco of anyone in the three living generations, I think.
And then I had half a can of chipotle peppers, which I still had leftover from the smoky tomato soup I made for the Soup Swap. My mom’s been asking what to do with her leftover chipotles (actually, she asked me what to do with the sundried tomatoes in the spicy smoky sauce, but no matter), so I had a goal.
I also have two or three packages of wonton wrappers I bought in the fitful shopping panic that overtook me the last time I walked into Uwajimaya. I think growing up in Boise instilled me with a permanent instinct to buy good ethnic products the second I see them, lest they disappear altogether.
Gyoza are the Japanese equivalent of a pot sticker, traditionally made with round wrappers.
If you’ve never used a bamboo steamer before, or don’t have one, they’re cheap and easy to use, so this is your opportunity.
Recipe for Chipotle Pork Gyoza
Recipe 61 of 365
Dim sum wrappers don’t typically bring Mexican flavors to mind, but this is an unlikely combination that works well. If you can’t find prepackaged carnitas or pulled pork (or don’t feel like making any), pulled leftover chicken or steak would both work well.
The gyoza can be steamed as directed, or fried, or brushed with oil and baked in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes. If you’re using a steamer, don’t forget (like I did this time) to buy some romaine lettuce or green cabbage to line the steamer.
TIME: 5 minutes to make filling, plus 30 to 45 minutes for forming and steaming
MAKES: 36 pieces
2 to 5 chipotle peppers from a can of chipotle en adobo (found in the Mexican food section of most large supermarkets), depending on desired spice level
1 (12-ounce) package traditional carnitas from Trader Joe’s, cut into 1” chunks
4 ounces finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons sour cream, plus more for dipping
1 (1 pound) package 3” round wonton wrappers (also called Suigow wraps)
Cabbage or lettuce, for lining the steamer, if using
Pulse the peppers and the pork in a food processor until very finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl, add the cheese, cilantro, and sour cream, and stir to combine. (You can do this up to 2 days ahead.)
Fill a small bowl with water, and find a clean, dry cutting board.
Working with a few wrappers at a time, scoop a tablespoon of the filling into the center of each wrapper. Dip a finger into the water, and draw a circle of water around the edge of each wrapper. Dry your fingers, and fold the wrappers onto themselves to form a half-moon shape, pressing out any excess air and pinching the edges together gently to form a seal. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers, transferring the gyoza to a wax paper-lined baking sheet as you go.
Line each level of a bamboo steamer with a single layer of cabbage or lettuce leaves. Arrange the gyoza on both levels of the basket, four or five per level, so that the gyoza don’t touch each other or the sides of the basket. Restack the baskets and secure the lid.
Place about a cup of water in a wok or skillet large enough to hold the steamer. The water should cover the bottom of the pan, but shouldn’t be so high as to filter through the bottom of the steamer when you set it in the pan.
Bring the water to a boil. Set the steamer in the pan, and steam gyoza for about six minutes, carefully switching the bottom and top levels of the steamer about halfway through. Repeat with remaining gyoza, adding more water to the pan as necessary and serving them when they’re hot, as soon as they come out of the steamer, dipped in sour cream.
Note: The gyoza can be prepared and frozen directly on the baking sheet until firm. To store, repack them (already frozen) in an airtight plastic bag, and defrost overnight in the refrigerator before steaming, frying, or baking.