Gyoza (Pan Fried Dumplings)

Posted by johngl

A few weeks ago, most glorious spousal unit and I had visited Nanami Sushi Bar, a neighborhood place that serves up some really great gyoza (among many other delectable items).

A few days ago, I was poking around in the fridge and noticed another one of those pork sirloins just sitting there wanting to be eaten.

While these two happenings occurred weeks apart, they sparked an idea that became a meal. Combined with my desire to delve deeper into foods with an Asian flair, I went for it. I was short on time and didn’t want to make a grocery run, so I’d just have to wing it.

What the heck would I need to make gyoza besides the pork?

Gyoza!

I had pork, ginger, sesame oil, fresh garlic, soy sauce, and shallots on hand, so that was a good start, but I needed some greens (like Napa Cabbage or Bok Choy) and wonton wrappers. The wrappers I could make, but the greens were another matter. I haven’t perfected greens that grow on demand as yet.

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Make Your Own Orange Liqueur

Posted by johngl

There I was, perusing the latest acquisition to my cookbook collection, Jacques Pépin’s Essential Pepin, when I stumbled upon a little blurb called simply “Homemade Orange Liqueur.”

Since it is literally orange season here in Texas (yes, even with the drought, the hard-working folks in the Rio Grande valley managed to eke out some orbs), I just happened to have some juice oranges on hand.

Texas Juice Oranges

Yes, these oranges look a little, shall we say rustic. They also have seeds! Yes, despite what Sunkist tells you, oranges are meant to have seeds (actually called pips)! Even sporting their rustic outwear, they produce some of the sweetest orange juice around.

Sweetest oranges

Given that, why waste the peel?

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Under Pressure: 90 Minute Chuck

Posted by johngl

Seemingly taking exception with my penchant for sous vide (under vacuum) cooking, most glorious spousal unit recently spat in my face (figuratively, of course) by purchasing an electric pressure cooker.

Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker

WTF? We already have a pressure cooker!  Of course, we already had a KitchenAid Stand Mixer when I went out a bought another (more powerful) unit so I can’t squawk too loudly.

Anyway, contrary to sous vide, which is generally hours and hours of cooking at low temperatures, pressure cooking is high temperature cooking for a short period of time.

You wouldn’t want to use pressure cooking for say, beef tenderloin, but it’s a great cooking method  for something like braised beef chuck.

Real meat and potatoes

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Under Vacuum: 52 Hour Sous Vide Beef Tri Tip

Posted by johngl

Using The Google for it’s French to English translations, “sous” equals under and “vide” equals empty. Together “sous vide” translates to simply “vaccum”.  Under vacuum sounds better than under empty and it is more informative than simply vacuum so I will just run with it.

In its basic form, sous vide is a cooking method where food is placed in a plastic bag from which the air has been evacuated. Said bag of food is then placed in a water bath of a certain temperature and the food cooks at that temperature for long periods of time.  The idea here is to cook the food at the temperature you wish to serve the food.

52 Hour Sous Vide Tri Tip with Quinoa
52 Hour Sous Vide Beef Tri Tip with a Quenelle of Quinoa

Fancy.

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Sous-Vide Bison Prime Rib

Posted by johngl

As  my most glorious spousal unit and I were doing our regular Costco mosey, I noticed that bison prime rib was now available. I nearly piddled myself. Having had some really tasty bison prime rib during our recent vacation in Wyoming, I could hardly wait to get a roast into my sous-vide rig.

Sous-Vide Bison with Quinoa

The results were exceptionally tasty even though I nearly ruined a $50 hunk o’meat.

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