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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lemongrass

For our latest Supper Club hosted by Jenni & Arnie the theme was Lemongrass = each dish/course was to include lemongrass as an ingredient. Our version of Supper Club Iron Chef.

This week G and I took appetizers. As mentioned previously Lemongrass is an Asian herb we love to cook with.

We went with two different recipes and a cocktail for this week's supper. The first is from Food & Wine: Chicken & Lemongrass Dumplings and the second from Foodnetwork: Bacon-Pork Pops on Lemongrass Sticks. Our cocktails was also from Food & Wine: Lemongrass Lemonade.

After a trip to a couple of Asian markets I was ready to start our appetizers. (G was skiing on the last day of his season's pass and arrived back just in time to help me clean up and get ready to go this weekend.)

This Chicken and Lemongrass Dumpling recipe called to make your own dumpling dough. G & I have been making dumplings, gyoza, potstickers for many years now. We love them. Our favorite recipe comes from Tom Douglas' cookbook; Shitake & Lobster potstickers. And a few years ago we made some from Fine Cooking where we made our own wrappers and we learned what a treat making wrappers from scratch is. Of course you could use pre-made ones as well.

It's pretty amazing to me that the wrapper dough is absolutely just flour & water. You stir the flour & water until it becomes a stringy dough

and then you turn it out onto a board and knead it for 5 minutes before letting it sit covered in plastic for 15 minutes at room temperature.

While I waited for the dough I made the filling. First sliced nappa cabbage

then cilantro

2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass

chives

ginger, I used Galanga found at the Asian market

and garlic

you mix all of this with ground chicken, salt and 1 egg and you get this:

Next I divided the dough into 4 parts

rolled each fourth into a log that I divided into 12 pieces

I rolled each piece into a ball and then flattened it into a thin circle

put a small scoop of filling (the trick is to keep the scoop small enough as to not touch the edges of the dough)
then fold the circle in half 
 
 and pinch the edges together like this:
You do this over and over
and over

until you eventually end up with 48 dumplings. The tedious task is cumbersome but worth it truly.
Next you heat some vegetable oil in a pan, fry them in batches for about 2 minutes

then add 1/2 cup water and cover for 5 minutes while the dumplings steam.

I made the dipping sauce in between batches: super easy don't leave out the sesame oil it's the "it" ingredient.
1/2 Cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon chile garlic sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil


Chicken & Lemongrass Dumplings from Food & Wine

Ingredients

  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 pound ground chicken
  4. 1 cup thinly sliced napa cabbage
  5. 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  6. 2 tablespoons finely grated lemongrass (2 stalks)
  7. 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  8. 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  9. 1 large garlic clove, minced
  10. 1 large egg
  11. 1 teaspoon salt
  12. 1/4 cup vegetable oil

    Directions

    1. Put the flour in a medium bowl. Add the water in a steady stream, stirring until a raggy dough forms. Turn the dough out on a work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the dough with flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
    2. In a large bowl, knead the chicken with the cabbage, cilantro, lemongrass, chives, ginger, garlic and egg and salt.
    3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. Quarter the dumpling dough. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece of dough into a 12-inch rope. Cut each rope into 12 pieces and roll into balls; sprinkle with flour. Working with 5 or 6 balls at a time, roll to 3 1/2-inch rounds. Brush the excess flour off of the rounds. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling onto the center of each round. Bring up the sides of the wrapper; press and pleat the edges to seal in the filling. Lift each dumpling by the pleated edge, transfer to the baking sheet and press down lightly to flatten. Repeat with the remaining dough.
    4. In a very large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Arrange half of the dumplings in the pan, pleated edge up. Cook over high heat until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water to the skillet, cover and cook until the water is evaporated and the dumplings are cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Uncover and cook until the bottoms are well browned, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the dumplings to a plate. Cook the remaining dumplings in the remaining oil and serve.

    Next I went on to make our second appetizer; Bacon Pork Pops on Lemongrass Sticks.
This one was quite simple. I minced 1/2 pound bacon and mixed it with 1 lb. ground pork. Added chopped garlic, cilantro, ginger. A teaspoon sugar, 2 Tblsp soy sauce and some salt & pepper.

You divide the pork mixture into 12 meatballs and then form the meatballs around the lemongrass stick to create a "pork pop"
you broil them for 4-5 minutes per side and serve with a sweet chile sauce (we used our go to Mae Ploy Sweet Chile Sauce)

Ingredients from Food Network

  • 1/2 pound thin-cut bacon, minced
  • 1 pound ground pork butt
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 stalks lemongrass, cut into twelve 4-inch sticks
  • Sweet chili sauce, for dipping

Directions

Preheat the broiler. Lightly mix the bacon, ground pork, garlic, cilantro, ginger, sugar and soy sauce in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Dampen your hands. Form the meat into 12 balls. Thread a piece of lemongrass halfway through each ball; press the meat mixture down the stalk to form a sausage-like shape, leaving some of the stalk uncovered for the handle.

Put the pops on a foil-lined broiler pan and broil until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve with sweet chili sauce.

 


We tried a Lemongrass Mojito recipe we found with our friends J&J before heading to Supper Club for the evening.

We ended up making the Lemongrass Lemonade recipe (linked) to bring to Supper Club.

Lemongrass Lemonade from Food & Wine

  • SERVINGS: makes 1 drink

Ingredients

  1. Ice
  2. 2 1/2 ounces lemon vodka
  3. 1 1/2 ounces Lemongrass Syrup
  4. 1 1/3 ounces fresh lemon juice
  5. 1 lemon twist

Directions

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, Lemongrass Syrup and lemon juice and shake well. Strain into a large chilled martini glass and garnish with the lemon twist.
When we arrived we started the evening with both Lemongrass Lemonade and J&A also made Lemongrass Mojitos for starters too.

We had our Chicken & Lemongrass Dumplings and Bacon Pork Pops on Lemongrass sticks.
We all loved appetizers and Tapas in generals so we were a happy group.

We then moved onto dinner in the dining room lovingly set up by our hosts of the evening J&A.

The main course was Lemongrass Beef Curry made by J&A.
It was accompanied by J&J's Coconut Lemongrass Rice

L&D made roasted asparagus with a Lemongrass Vinaigrette.

We enjoyed our lovely refreshing meal and then ended the night with J&J's Lemongrass Bars,
 We celebrated Jason's upcoming 40th birthday a bit,


The lemongrass bars were so heavenly wonderful one of them thought they'd enjoy a bath in my glass of wine.

Again our group had a great night as we always do enjoying our labors of love this time all made with Lemongrass. A theme we all really enjoyed this month.

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