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Potstickers

PoststickersMy grandfather was a pioneer in introducing the American public to Cantonese cuisine at a time when chop suey was considered authentic Chinese fare. In 1952, Grandpa Kan opened Kan's which would become an award-winning restaurant, on Grant Avenue in San Francisco. Celebrities often dined at Kan's. Their pictures (in black and white!) graced the walls and my childhood autograph book contain the signatures of such legends as Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Tony Bennett, and Danny Kaye. In 1963, Grandpa published a cookbook, Eight Immortal Flavors. The appreciation for food and cooking has been in our family for five generations now and although only one of our daughters speak Chinese, they all love their Chinese food. The offspring don't get home very often these days, but when they do, they always ask what day Potstickers (also called gyozas) and chow mein will be served for lunch.

Potstickers (Gyozas) Makes 60-75
Two packages of potsticker wrappers - if available, Dynasty is the best brand because they are pliable and forgiving, especially if you're hand wrapping. Hand wrapping is labor intensive so around our house everyone, guests included, are invited to "wrap and gab".
Filling:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro
  • 2 tsp pickled ginger or 1/4 inch slice fresh
  • Optional - add one or both
  • 1 small can shredded bamboo shoots
  • 8 shitake mushrooms, softened

Combine the above ingredients a food processor and mince. Gradually add 1.5 pounds pork butt and chop medium coarse. Transfer to a bowl. (If you don't have a food processor, have the butcher coarsely grind the pork. Mince the vegetable ingredients and combine with the meat.)

Press Wrapping: Place one wrapper on the potsticker press. Place one scant tablespoon of filling in the center. Moisten the outer half of the circle with water. Press to seal. Gently flatten the bottom of the potsticker and shape into a crescent. Place in a nonstick frying pan. Continue making potstickers, forming a circle along the outer edge. A 14-inch pan holds two full circles. Fill the center in with four or five potstickers.

Hand wrapping: Place one scant tablespoon of filling in the center of a wrapper. Moisten half of the outer edge with water. Bring the center of the dry side to the center of the wet side. Pleat towards the center on each side, sealing as you go. Gently flatten the bottom of the potsticker and shape into a crescent. Place in a nonstick frying pan. Continue making potsticker, forming a circle. A 14-inch pan holds two full circles. Fill the center in with four or five potstickers.

Cooking: Pour 1/4 cup water into the pan and cover. Cook over medium high heat until water evaporates - about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove cover and continue cooking 10 minutes or until the bottoms of the potstickers are evenly browned and crisp. Invert (browned side up) onto a warm platter. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Sauce: Each diner can mix their own sauce to taste at the table or serve a pre-mixed sauce of:
1 part regular or low-sodium soy sauce
1 part black or rice vinegar chili sauce to taste minced green onion

Tomato-Beef Curry Chow Mein Serves 6 to 8

Cook 2 pounds Chinese egg noodles. Fresh is best, but dried noodles will work in a pinch. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

1 Flank Steak - cut in four pieces lengthwise then thinly slice each piece diagonally against the grain. Marinate with 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside.

Vegetables:

  • 6 medium tomatoes, cut in eighths
  • 1 medium bell pepper , cut in one inch squares
  • 1 medium onion, cut in one inch squares

Sauce:Vegetable

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/3 cup catsup
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chicken stock or bouillon

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat and add 3 tablespoons oil. Place half the noodles in the pan, browning "pancake" style. Flip and brown the other side. Drain on paper towels and keep in a warm oven while you brown the remaining noodles.

Brown the flank steak quickly at high heat and transfer to a bowl. Add one tablespoon oil to hot pan. Add vegetables and toss at high heat for one minute. Add curry powder and mix well to bring out the flavor. Add remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Thicken with 2-3 tablespoons corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup water. Add meat and heat through. Pour over warm noodles. Garnish with green onion slivers and cilantro leaves.



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