Potstuck

Since I got serious about cooking a few years back, I have mostly been concentrating on Italian cooking, which suits most of my tastes perfectly. I would like to branch out to other cuisines, and do so here and there, but my pantry has a strong Italian bent and I’m missing out on some of the equipment and basic cookbooks I’d need to really do justice to them. I’m building up slowly, so for now I’m just taking it one dish at a time.

Pork Potstickers

For instance, on Tuesday night, following a trip to LifeSource for a few items, I decided to be brave and try making homemade pork potstickers for dinner. I based the meal on a recipe at Confections of a Foodie Bride, and for the most part, it worked out really nicely. The filling was easy to make and had great flavor, and although I doubt that I folded them into anything approaching a traditional potsticker shape, they held together pretty well on the stove. I prepped a plateful of potstickers, and got them going in my biggest skillet while I worked on the next batch.

When the time was up, I checked on them… and discovered they were all irrevocably stuck to my stainless skillet, despite the oil. Guess they don’t call these things potstickers for nothing! I ended up scraping viciously at the pan with a turner, dumping the mangled potsticker remnants on a plate and the wonton-encrusted pan in the sink. A taste-test of the broken ‘stickers indicated that they would indeed be worth the aggravation of making more, so I gave it another go using my only nonstick skillet, a little 8″ guy that worked perfectly for a much smaller batch of ‘stickers (really need a larger nonstick skillet). I had some rice steaming away in the rice cooker while working on all this, and served the ‘stickers with that and some sweet ginger chili sauce from Ginger People for dipping, although it turned out to be a little too spicy for me.

Were they worth the trouble? You better believe it! They were the best tasting potstickers I’ve ever had—even the broken, potstuck ones—and it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling to know for certain what was in the meat filling I was eating: ground pork, Napa cabbage, green onion and chives, and a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil. I think I might be able to recruit Jeremy’s assistance with prep next time, and would even consider making a double batch and freezing them for future meals.

Update 8/30/08: I’ve made these potstickers numerous times now. Tonight I doubled the filling recipe and used up an entire package of wonton skins to feed Jeremy, myself and a friend of ours, along with freshly cooked rice and sauteed Napa cabbage. Still wish I had a larger skillet. This time I used a 1lb chunk of pork loin trimmed off of a large loin that wouldn’t quite fit in my oval Le Creuset for another dinner; I was feeling pressed for time, and just popped it in the food processor rather than using my meat grinder, and it worked out just fine.

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