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Edamame Gyoza With Dipping Sauce For Fiesta Friday #57

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

One of my favorite things to eat besides sushi in a Japanese restaurant is Gyoza. Traditional Gyoza has a minced pork filling, they are succulent and delicious and loaded with umami especially when dipped in the very flavorful dipping sauce. I made these vegetarian combining my love of edamame and gyoza. The edamame are steamed, then sautéed then mashed and used as filling for these lovely little dumplings. The dipping sauce is my version of the typical gyoza dipping sauce. I added some chili paste to give it a little kick, traditional dipping sauce contains something called Rayu, I don’t have it and it’s too cold to venture out looking for it so I adapted and made my own version using soy, mirin, a little sweetness and chili paste. It tastes wonderful with the gyoza.

I thought these little beauties would make a nice addition to the hottest party in town, Fiesta Friday #57. Angie@The Novice Gardener is hosting as always and this week her co hosts are everyone, as in all of us, how about that. We are all tasked with voting for the feature recipes.

Makes 18
Making the edamame filling and gyoza:
1 cup shelled edamame cooked
1 garlic clove minced
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
1 heaping teaspoon  light miso paste (It’s actually closer to 2 tsp)
splash of sriracha
season with salt and pepper to taste
18 wonton or gyoza wrappers
water to seal the edges
sesame oil and vegetable oil to fry the gyoza
Steam the edamame, I used the microwave following package directions, cooking for 3 minutes on high. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a skillet, add a splash of sesame oil add the garlic and saute until soft, add the edamame and continue to saute for approximately 1 minute, add 4 oz of water and cover, let cook until all the water evaporates. Remove from heat. Add all the ingredients to the food processor and pulse a few times to break up the soy bean and mix everything together. Test to make sure it will hold together, should be a rough paste. Note: I did not need to add salt, the miso paste added more than enough for me and the dipping sauce is salty from the soy sauce. So use salt gingerly if so desired.

Making the gyoza

Making the gyoza

Place the wrappers on your work surface. Have a cup of water and the filling ready. Place a tsp of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper all the way around and fold over, press on the edge using your thumb and index finger until you know that it’s bonded. Heat a skillet ( I used a 12 inch skillet) on high with a little sesame oil (Note: I used the same skillet I used for the edamame so it was already oiled a splash of sesame oil was all I needed), place the gyoza seam side standing up in the skillet. Brown them, it takes only about a minute or two. Now add about 2/3 cup water to the skillet and cover. Let cook for 4-5 minutes or until the water completely evaporates. Serve immediately.
Dipping sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
1 teaspoon chili paste (or more if you want it spicier)
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
Whisk all ingredients together and serve with the gyoza




Crunchy Noodles, Pork Belly And Vegetables

Crunchy noodles, vegetables and pork belly

Crunchy noodles, vegetables and pork belly

I step a bit outside my comfort zone here. I love Asian food especially anything involving noodles but I usually eat out and don’t make it myself at home. Food52 as you know has recipe contests and this time it’s your best recipe using noodles.

This recipe is really pretty simple and straightforward but the sum of all it’s parts is delicious. Crunchy noodles, marinated pork belly fried until crisp, oven roasted bok choy and steamed snow peas all nestled in a really flavorful broth. The pork belly marinade is so flavorful and the resulting meat is delicious. The noodles are deep fried and retain texture and crunch even in the broth. Now this is not a bowl of soup, there is broth but it’s not a lot of liquid, what I went for was intense flavor.
Marinade and roasting the pork belly:

2 garlic cloves smashed
1 spring onion cut into small pieces white and green part
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 pound pork belly ( I used berkshire 3 strips)
broth (chicken, vegetable,pork. beef your choice) enough to come to middle of the piece of pork (approximately 2 cups).
Mix all ingredients together, place pork belly in zip lock bag or container and pour the marinade on the pork. Squish it around until each piece is coated and refrigerate over night.
Pre heat oven to 325. Place pork belly in a baking dish, reserve the marinade. Cover the pork half way with broth (your choice, chicken, vegetable, beef or pork) Cover baking dish tightly and roast in the oven for 1 1/2 -2 hours. When done remove pork belly and wrap in foil or place in covered container and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight Pour the broth into a fat separator, if you don’t have one refrigerate the broth and skim off the fat, reserve the remaining broth you will use it for serving.

bok toy and snow peas

bok choy and snow peas

Vegetables, noodles and putting together:

4 baby bok choy
1/2 pound approximately snow peas
vegetable and toasted sesame oil
season with salt and pepper to taste only if desired NOTE: the broth is quite intense and has salt so bear that in mind when seasoning the vegetables
1-2 packets fresh chow mien or lo mein noodles
vegetable oil to deep fry the noodles
1/2 tsp minced ginger (for broth)
pork belly and reserved marinade
Pre heat oven to 375. Cut Bok Choy in half and place on baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. Brush with vegetable oil, sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with toasted sesame oil. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the vegetable is slightly browned and soft. Remove from the oven and set aside. Steam your snow peas. (I steamed in the microwave for 55 seconds in a glass bowl with a splash of water) Set aside.

fresh noodles

fresh noodles

I used fresh chow mien noodles that came in individual packets. One packet made two servings. Take out a packet of fresh noodles. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a pot to 375 degrees. Divide the noodles into portion size desired and drop noodles in one piece into the hot oil, let fry until golden brown, turn over and fry the other side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Place reserved broth in a skillet add a little minced ginger and cook until reduced by about half, you want the broth to be slightly thickened and very rich. Remove the pork belly from the refrigerator and cut into slices. Heat a skillet with a little oil, dip the pork belly in the reserved (left over) marinade and fry on high heat until crisped and browned. Place fried noodles in a bowl, arrange, bok choy. snow pea’s and pork belly slices on top of the noodles. Pour some broth over it all, garnish with spring onions.


Dessert And Wine A Valentines Day Tasting And Guest Pairing From Anatoli@ Talk A Vino!

Pug and wine Print (Easy)

Pug and wine Print (Etsy)

This is Part II of my Valentines Post, the cake will be paired with wine,  I am not adept at pairing so I looked to my friends, the experts for the perfect pairing for this dessert. Anatoli whose wonderful, informative blog Talk A Vino is one of my go to sources when I want information regarding wine and everything involving the wine culture. I will be posting the wine pairing in a separate post. Anatoli has gone above and beyond and we will be comparing 3 different wines, I felt that this deserves a separate post. I had no idea pairing wine or Champagne or sparkling wine with chocolate is difficult but it is. Isn’t that pug the cutest, Michelle from Rockin Red Blog tweeted to me and when I saw it I had to have it, found on Etsy, bought it and I am now the proud owner of this print. The pug looks like my Izzy.

I thought it would be fun to invite some friends over on Valentines Day and have them participate in the dessert/wine tasting.  Anatoli chose a sparkling red, a Brachetto di Acqui from the Piedmont region of Italy. He suggested Rosa Regale and while searching for this wine I also came across one that sounded interesting also and Anatoli gave it his stamp of approval so I got both the one I added is Marceno Brachetto di Acqui, now this is not the wine I ordered, I wanted the Marceno Spumante Brochette di Acqui but they sent the wrong one, same grape so we’ll give it a go.  The other suggestion was a Port Wine. When I told Anatoli I didn’t like Port, he asked if I have ever tried a 20 year old Tawny to which I said no I hadn’t. I decided to add  a bottle of Taylor Fladgate 20 year Tawny port also.

The lineup of wines

The lineup of wines

Here is Anatoli’s Write up:

Pairing Dessert with Wine
When fellow blogger and a wonderful cook Suzanne asked me if I would be interested in providing some suggestions for Champagne or Sparkling wine to pair with dessert, I bravely said “of course”. Yes, “of course”, but pairing dessert with wine is generally not an easy fit, outside of nice Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot with equally nice dark chocolate. And Champagne or Sparkling wine don’t bode particularly well with the desserts, unless we are talking about lightly fizzed Moscato, which generally stands a better chance of pairing with the dessert.
Next email brought in more details about the dessert: it will be a “Chocolate cake filled with blood orange curd.cream and frosted with chocolate nutella buttercream”. Urgh. Lots of ingredients, lots of flavors – no straightforward pairing.
Pairing of the wine and food can go in three different ways. Well, to be precise, there is another option, but it it is not worth talking about as the option #4 is called “fail” – this is when wine and food don’t work together. Three positive variants can be called indifferent, complementing and contrasting. Indifferent simply means that even when you take a sip of wine with your food, both wine and food stay in their own realm and don’t bother each other. Complementing and contrasting usually means that your experience is enhanced by adding wine to the food. Big tannic wine is often works well with the steak by complementing the flavors. Cutting acidity of the white wines can be great with appetizers by bringing out sweet notes. So all of this is good in theory, but then we have a particular pairing to do at hand.
So for the dessert above, I need to think about it. First we got chocolate cake – but then we got blood orange cream, and lots of sugar – we need to go into the sweet wines here, and sweet Champagne is simply not something I have a knowledge of. Moscato? Might be, but I wouldn’t do Moscato with chocolate, we need deeper flavors. So, what to do, what to do – ahh, I know – how about some Brachetto d’Aqcui? Brachetto d’Acqui is an Italian wine, produced from Brachetto grape and typically fizzed and sweet. The red grape profile of this wine makes it better suitable for the dishes with chocolate, and sweetness typically is not overpowering, which should make it a good complement. So my recommendation was Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui, which also comes in a very nice and presentable bottle (remember, your enjoyment of the wine starts form the bottle and the label, so bottle matters).
Okay, so I found a suggestion for the sparkling wine, but considering the complexity of the flavors (don’t forget “chocolate nutella buttercream”), I wanted to suggest something else to complement this dessert. One of the first thoughts was about Pedro Ximenez Jeres, but it might be way too sweet for this seemingly delicate dessert. So, if not Jerez, then may be Port? Yes, Port should work perfectly! Not any Port – the young Vintage port will overpower the dessert, and the young Ruby or Tony will be lost on it. But 20-years old Tawny ( or anything older that that), should work fine, considering the variety of flavor such port possesses – all of the hazelnut and almond flavors, dry figs, raising, dates – there is a lot in the aged Port profile which could make it an ideal suitor of the this dessert. As an additional bonus, going with 20+ old year’s Port gives an additional advantage – lots of choices. You can go with Graham, Taylor, Sandeman, Burmester and many many others, and they all should work quite well with the dessert.
Well again – for me, it is just a theoretical exercise. For Suzanne? She actually will have to do the hard part – entertain people and drink the wines with the dessert – and I’m really curious to know how did it go.

Well, before I will turn it over to Suzanne to tell the rest of this pairing story, I have to also share my scary moment with this pairing (happy food and scary moments don’t bode well together, don’t they?) After all was said and done and Suzanne got the wines and was ready for her evening, I saw her latest post popping up on Friday, talking about “Tartlets With Blood Orange Curd, Whipped Cream And Nutella”. My heart literally sunk – this is the dessert Suzanne is serving, and it is apparently different from the original – and she has the wines – how is it going to work now? Well, Nutella still was the there, and it technically represents both hazelnuts and chocolate, so I shouldn’t lose the hope…
Now it is really the time for Suzanne to tell the rest of the story…

Dessert is served

Dessert is served

First of all I feel so badly that I changed the dessert, well it really was the same flavors but in a different form. My cake failed mainly because of the pan I bought, long story that I won’t get into now. I decided to make the tartlets, I’m sure you saw my FF#55 post. I planned a Valentines Day dinner party and invited some close friends, we had lamb kofta in a tomato sauce with eggplant, basmati rice prepared in the Persian way,  labneh  and lots of salads, and with this I served a wonderful 2008 Napa Valley Zinfandel (Green and Red from Chiles Mill Vineyards) and it paired very nicely it was really a great wine.

I served the dessert to my friends with the Rosa Regale Brachetto di Acqui. The wine was bubbly, and I served well chilled in champagne flutes. Everyone got some of the tart and I also served the chocolate cake with a simple cream cheese buttercream. The wine was light and fruity, on the nose fresh berries, it’s like springtime in a glass, tasting this wine you are immediately overwhelmed with the lovely taste of fresh fruit, strawberries, peaches and nectarines. It’s a bit sweet but in a very good way. All of my guests including myself absolutely loved this wine with the tart, it was in my humble opinion a perfect pairing, honestly it could not have been better. We finished the wine and dessert and at that point could not have anymore so decided to save the port for the next day.

Rosa Regale

Rosa Regale

I want to thank Anatoli@Talk A Vino  for helping me with this very special and highly successful pairing. It was a wonderful evening and thanks to Anatoli’s expertise and intuitive pairing a really wonderful and delicious dessert. Thank you so much Anatoli!! Please check his blog out, there is a wealth of information about wine, including great recommendations, reviews and tutorials. A definite must read for anyone interested in learning more about wine and the wine culture.

A very special thank you to Maia and Laila my young and willing helpers who decorated the Valentines table for me, isn’t it pretty!!!


Happy Valentines Day, Tartlets With Blood Orange Curd, Whipped Cream And Nutella



This combines two wonderful celebrations, Valentines Day and Fiesta Friday. This post has morphed several times with some failed attempts at a cake (cake pan problems) and I have now settled on tartlets with a layer of nutella and filled with blood orange curd. They are delicious and I hope you enjoy!

This Friday, the day before Valentines Day is very special because we are celebrating two occasions, Valentines Day and Fiesta Friday #55, how great is that?  Thank you Angie@The Novice Gardener for hosting you rock,  the co hosts this week are Sue@birgerbird and me, moi, yep I’m a co host this week no link necessary because if you are reading this you are already here!! Very excited to host with my buddy Sue.

I needed to use the blood oranges so I squeezed the juice ahead of making the curd and froze in ice cube trays, I also threw in 2 mandarins. the color is incredible!!!


Look at the color of the blood orange juice

Look at the color of the blood orange juice can you figure out which is the mandarin

Blood Orange Curd

adapted from lemon cream recipe from Tartine Bakery Cookbook

Makes about 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) (It made exactly 16 oz for me)

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (5 oz/155 ml) Juice from Blood Oranges

3 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

1 tsp orange zest

3/4 cup (6 oz/170 g) sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup (8 oz/225 g) unsalted butter

zest of one whole orange (medium size)

Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches into a saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer.

Combine the orange juice, whole eggs, yolk, sugar, zest and salt in a stainless steel bowl that will rest securely in the rim of a saucepan over, not touching, the water. (Never let the egg yolks and sugar sit together for more than a moment without stirring; the sugar will cook the yolks and turn them granular.) Place the bowl over the saucepan and continue to whisk until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 180° F on a thermometer. This will take 10 to 12 minutes. If you don’t have or trust your thermometer, don’t worry. It should thicken to the point that your whisk leaves a trail through the curd. NOTE: I don’t use a thermometer, the mixture will thicken and coat the back of the spoon, draw a line on the back of the spoon with your finger, the line will stay intact. It took about 11 minutes for mine to thicken properly.

Remove the bowl from over the water and let cool to 140° F, stirring from time to time to release the heat. Again I didn’t use a thermometer, I poured into the blender, and by the time I cut the butter into tbs size pieces it was just the right temperature.

When the cream is ready, leave it in the bowl if using an immersion blender, or pour it into a countertop blender. With the blender running, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, blending after each addition until incorporated before adding the next piece add the additional orange zest and pulse once or twice.. The cream will be quite thick.

Blood Orange Curd

Blood Orange Curd

You can use the cream immediately, or pour it into a storage container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 5 days. To use after refrigeration, if necessary, gently heat in a stainless steel bowl set over simmering water until it has softened, whisking constantly. Note: Your beautiful vibrant, brightly colored blood orange juice will turn a sort of beige color after mixing with the eggs and butter, you can if you wish add a tiny drop of food color to turn it pink, more fitting for valentines day or go au naturale and as you can see I went natural.

Pate Sucree

From Martha Stewarts Pie’s and Tarts

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks or 8 oz) unsalted butter cold cut into small pieces

2 large egg yolks

2-4 tbs heavy cream or ice water

Pulse flour, sugar and salt in food processor until well combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles course meal. Add the egg yolks and drizzle the cream or ice water and pulse until it forms a cohesive dough. If mixture is too dry add cream or water a tsp at a time until it is cohesive. Remove from processor, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

To blind bake the tartlets:

Pre heat oven to 375 degree’s. Roll out or press dough into tartlet pans and refrigerate or put in freezer for 15-30 minutes before baking. Place sheet of parchment in each and fill with pie weights or place another tartlet pan on top and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes you will notice the edges lightly brown. Remove parchment and weights or pan and place back in the oven another 4-6 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.



To make your tarts

Spoon some nutella in the tart shell ( I like to do it when the shell is still a little warm so the nutella is easier to spread) place in the refrigerator for about 15 or 20 minutes so the nutella hardens a bit, be generous, don’t skimp on the nutella. Spoon in the curd, top with some whipped cream and chocolate shavings and serve.

Happy Valentines Day to all!!




The Best of Fiesta Friday Anniversary Part 2

Look at the incredible lineup of dishes both sweet and savory and big thanks go to Angie for putting it all together and her gorgeous co hosts Selma and Nancy!!

The Novice Gardener

The Fiesta Friday Anniversary was a stunning success! It was an incredible 2-week event with a total of 226 amazing recipes being submitted. I found it extraordinary how you were able to come up with such exquisite creations. Partying for 2 weeks seemed to have helped those creative juices running, instead of depleting them. Party animals!! 😀 I want you to know that I find inspiration in each and every one of you. Thank you so much!

These posts are the best of the best! Share them with your readers by posting the collages on your Facebook page, pinning on Pinterest or tweeting about them. You can also blog about them or reblog this post. You have my permission to reblog the post in its entirety. It’s not about me getting more views. It’s about spreading the word on these extraordinary recipes.

The Best of Main Courses

the best of Fiesta Friday main courses

Here’s why they’re…

View original post 1,029 more words

Blondies For Fiesta Friday #54 And A Winner For Uncle Steve’s Giveaway!!!


Moist and delicious

Moist and delicious

Who doesn’t love a blondie? I certainly do, and when I saw this recipe for Blondies on Mama’s Gotta Bake, I knew I needed/wanted to make it. If you have never visited Sheryl’s site you are in for a treat when you do. I love her recipes and photography, she doesn’t just bake her savory recipes are amazing too. I had yet to find a recipe for Blondies that I was totally in love with, they were good, some were not, I have had more than my fair share of flops. I am so happy to report that this recipe is a keeper. It’s simple to make and results are fantastic. The recipe/instructions are spot on. Sheryl used chocolate chips, pecans and cranberries. I didn’t have cranberries so I didn’t use any fruit, but I did use both dark and milk chocolate, brown butter and pecans.


After 2 weeks of partying I’m surprised Angie @The Novice Gardener isn’t worn out,  and this week to help keep the party going she has two fabulous co hosts to help her Josette @ The Brook Cook and Sonal @Simply Vegetarian 777, this is going to be one heck of a party.  So for Fiesta Friday#54 I am bringing Mama’s Gotta Bake’s delicious blondies, I hope you all enjoy!!!



Now for the giveaway, the lucky winner of a trio of delicious sauces from Uncle Steve’s NY is……..

Liz from the wonderful blog Liz the Chef!!! Congratulations Liz, send me your address by email and I will forward to Uncle Steve’s NY!!

Uncle Steve's Sauce

Uncle Steve’s Sauce

Mange Molto!!

A Meatball Hero For Super Bowl Sunday And A Giveaway!!

Meatballs in Tomato Basil Sauce

Meatballs in Uncle Steve’s  Tomato Basil Sauce

The wonderful and very generous people at Uncle Steve’s NY’s have offered to send a lucky reader a trio of sauces (see photo below). This is a terrific gift and you will have the opportunity to try Uncle Steve’s sauce for yourself. To say thank you I am making Steve his favorite meatballs with pine nuts and raisins and I am serving as a meatball hero. My Mom also made these so when Steve mentioned it was his favorite Sunday Supper it reminded me of my Mom also. The meatballs are first fried and then simmered in Uncle Steves Tomato Basil sauce. I am really loving this, I kid you not it tastes like my homemade sauce. I will still make my own but this sauce is a great alternative when you are in a hurry or just don’t feel like cooking.

All you have to do to win is leave a comment below. The sauce will be sent to you directly from Uncle Steve’s NY and the winner will be chosen through a random drawing via The drawing is only open to those living in the Continental US, I am so sorry my dear friends overseas. The drawing will be on Friday February 6th.

Uncle Steve's Sauce

Uncle Steve’s Sauce

I used my recipe for Meatballs and added pine nuts and raisins, simmered in Uncle Steve’s Tomato Basil sauce and served on a soft roll with lots of melty cheese, now that’s a sandwich!!

Putting it all together

Putting it all together


1 lb ground beef – 80% I like chuck

1 lb ground pork or loose Italian sausage meat, sweet or hot

handful flat leaf parsley chopped

1/2 cup grated cheese – parmigiana or romano or both

2 eggs lightly beaten

2 cups fresh breadcrumbs

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup pine nuts lightly toasted

1/4 cup raisins

salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix together, gently, don’t knead the meat or press on it. Form into balls I like them to be about the size of a hand ball. Heat some oil, olive works nicely in a skillet add some meatballs and fry until they are nicely browned on all sides, make sure there is space between each meatball while frying you don’t want to over crowd the pan. When done place in pot of sauce and simmer. Because I used already made sauce I didn’t cook as long if you are cooking the meatballs in homemade sauce I like to simmer for hours, literally hours maybe 3 or 4 hours on medium low heat.

Note: It’s hard to judge the correct seasoning so I add some salt and microwave a small piece to test for seasoning.

I simmered the meatballs in the sauce around 30 minutes. Slice open your bread, pre heat the broiler, brush the bread with olive oil and minced garlic, grate some cheese on both sides of the bread and put in the broiler until just very light brown, remove and add mozzarella to one side and put back in until the mozzarella is melted. Spoon meatballs and a little sauce on one side and close it up. Enjoy the sandwich and the game!! I don’t watch football so I will be enjoying my meatball hero while watching Downton Abbey.

Out of the broiler

Out of the broiler