DATE NIGHT!!! Asian Style and Sans Dessert

Date Night was really fun and delicious for the most part this time around. I found all the recipes in the February/March 2010 issue of Fine Cooking Magazine. We did Asian stuff for each course. We began with Shrimp and Pork Pot Stickers, then had Soy Orange Glazed Chicken Thighs with Shiitake Mushrooms, and for dessert, I attempted to make an Orange Marmalade Souffle. It was my first attempt at a souffle, and it was not successful. Probably due to the fact that I didn’t follow directions exactly. So we didn’t have a dessert this week, oh well! I’ll try again sometime. 🙂

The savory part of the meal was incredible though! This was quite exciting for me because tonight was the first time I’ve ever SUCCESSFULLY made pot stickers. No, it’s not the first time I’ve made pot stickers, more like the 3rd time. The first time, I stupidly did not use a non-stick skillet and they stuck and ripped when I tried to remove them. The second time, for whatever reason they just wouldn’t brown. So I haven’t even attempted them in a good 3 years or so. But these were amazing, and the recipe makes them so easy! I definitely recommend you try them sometime. This recipe calls for making the pot sticker skins from scratch, but I just bought wanton wrappers and they worked great.

12 oz. ground pork
8 oz. peeled and deveined shrimp, tails off and coarsely chopped
3 medium scallions, thinly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs dry sherry
1 1/2 tbs grated fresh ginger
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp Asian sesame oil
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
Fresh cracked black pepper
1 package wanton wrappers
Soy Dipping Sauce (recipe to follow)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure they are well mixed. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, preferably a little bit longer.
Fill a small bowl with some water. Place about a teaspoon of filling in the center of each wanton wrapper. Using your finger, wet all four edges of the wrapper. Then take two corners and bring them together; seal them shut. Bring the other corners, one at a time, to meet the center, then pinch the folds closed. You can pretty much close the pot sticker any way you want, just make sure there is a flat bottom surface for pan frying.
Heat 2 tbs vegetable or canola oil in a non-stick 12 ” skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working quickly, place stickers in the pan, making sure not to crowd them. Do this in batches if necessary. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Then pour in exactly 1/2 a cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook until the water has been absorbed, 2-3 minutes. Remove lid, reduce heat to medium, and contine cooking until stickers are crisp on the bottom, another 3-4 minutes. Loosen the stickers gently with a spatula. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.
3 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp hot chile oil, or sesame oil
1 small scallion, thinly sliced
In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves, then add oil and scallions. Serve.

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
16 medium shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
3 medium scallions, cut into 3 ” lengths
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tbs mirin
1/2 tsp grated orange zest
2 tbs fresh squeezed orange juice
1 1/4 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp sesame seeds
Position an oven rack about 7″ from the broiler and preheat to 450 F. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, and put a cooling rack on top. Spray with cooking spray.
Season the thighs with a little bit of salt and lots of pepper. Arrange the shiitakes in 8 pairs of 2, positioned side by side. Season with salt and pepper, not too much salt. Place scallion pieces on top. Then put a chicken thigh on top of each shiitake pair, pressing down with your palm. Roast until done, about 20 minutes. Turn the broiler on high, and broil until the skin is crispy and browned, 5-6 minutes, rotating the pan once for even browning.
While the chicken is cooking, combine soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and zest in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. In a small bowl, mix together orange juice and cornstarch. Pour the slurry into the soy sauce mixture. Return to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and glossy, about a minute or two.
To serve, transfer chicken with the mushrooms to dinner plates, drizzle sauce over them and sprinkle with sesame seeds. White rice would be a great side dish, that was originally my plan but we ate so many pot stickers it was not needed. Enjoy!

About jwall915

I love to cook and I love to travel! This blog explores my love of both. I share recipes and restaurant reviews, and I blog the trips I take.
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