Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 06:00 pm
So my friends and I are having a dinner in October and we are having an Asian theme. So now I have to come up with a dish to feed 10-14 people and I do not usually cook Asian food.

Suggestions? I am thinking of something like a garlic chicken or maybe a lo mein.
 
Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 06:42 pm
@McGentrix,
A real crowd pleaser here is mandarin chicken bits--like boneless chicken tenders, not whole pieces--slice up boneless chicken breasts to make it easy--cooked done and then simmered in a good orange mandarin sauce until firm but not tough, served with rice. You can pile a ton on a couple of big platters and bowls of rice to feed a small army and it looks great. Garnish with spiced red apple rings (canned from the grocery store), a heaping bowl of chinese vegetables, well seasoned, bread, gallons of ice tea. For a nice touch get a big bunch of egg rolls and fried won tons from a local chinese place--fast food places usually make the best ones for transport. Dessert can be simple ice cream scoops garnished with almond cookies (you can also get these from a Chinese place.)

Nobody doesn't like this stuff and it doesn't work you to death in the kitchen leaving you time to enjoy your own party.
McGentrix
 
  3  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 06:44 pm
@Foxfyre,
It's a pot luck thing. Everyone will be making something. Were it up to me, I'd stop at a chinese place place and get stuff and put in a bowl... But, we are supposed to prepare it on location.

What's in Mandarin sauce?
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 06:46 pm
@McGentrix,
Hmmm. Well the mandarin chicken and rice is still pretty easy. Let me see if I can find my sauce recipe.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 07:23 pm
@Foxfyre,
Okay this is close. (I rarely use an actual recipe and pretty much cook by guess and by golly):

Slice boneless chicken breasts - I would allow 3 to 6 ozs per serving depending on how much other food will be there. Salt & pepper and toss/stir fry in a bit of olive or canola oil in a large wok or skillet until done all the way through.

Add a good sweet and sour sauce - lots of good ones at your local Asian market or any large super market (ethnic foods aisle) and toss for a bit until all the chicken is coated. Add sliced cooked carrots, pineapple tidbits or chunks (drained), drained mandarin oranges, sliced bell pepper, sliced water chestnuts (canned/drained), and coarsely chopped sweet onion (or scallions). Toss together and heat until all ingredients are flavored with the sweet & sour sauce and heated through. Add a bit more sauce if it looks skimpy. If you want to be really fancy throw in a handful or two of slivered almonds and/or cashews.

The rule of thumb here is to taste as you go along until it tastes good and looks great.

Serve hot over prepared rice.

(If you want to make your own sauce there are a gazillion recipes on the internet for sweet & sour sauce or mandarin sauce or orange mandarin sauce. Just type in your buffer and pick one that doesn't require a gazillion wierd ingredients.

The above recipe also works with pork, but its harder to get pork really done unless you fry it and I haven't found the results to be as satisfactory.

Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 07:34 pm
@Foxfyre,
Addendum. When you're preparing the chicken and sauce before you add all the other stuff.....be sure the chicken is done then cook/toss with the sauce until the meat is kind of firm and the consistency is a bit sticky. Then add the other stuff.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 07:36 pm
@Foxfyre,
Final addendum - you get a great texture for your chicken if 'health food' is not a criteria by breading the chicken pieces in salt and peppered flour and deep frying until done. Then toss the fried chicken pieces in the sauce with all the other stuff.

Good either way though.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 08:41 pm
@McGentrix,
I've eaten a whole lot of asian food in my time and like a lot of it. I cooked with a wok for years before I went italo-mad. I'm especially fond of japanese, chinese, vietnamese, indian food, pakistani food, and a lot of varieties of those..

this by way of saying that my favorite, hands down, are good pot stickers.

So... when someone asks what they can bring and they don't cook, instead of saying bring x cases of beer, say... stop at ---------- and get x orders of pot stickers. (well, I would say that). Unless your friends really like to cook and then.. pot sticker time at their house.

I'm not sure how one reheats them... microwave, I suppose. (I don't usually order chinese to go, so I'm dumb on this.)
I used to make shiu mai, and those could be steamed - back then I had the right utensils/baskets/blah blah.

Another fun thing, but maybe not with a crowd, is to make tempura. But, that takes a little finesse, not that it's hard, just doing it right.

Hope ehBeth stops by, she knows a lot..
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 08:48 pm
@ossobuco,
I've gotten into food blogs lately. I'm not sure I've an asian one on my list, but I'll double check and also see if there are any links on the ones I do have (they usually list the blogger's favorite blogs on the side of the blog page). A lot of the blogs have photos and do a good job of explaining things. The danger is that you get very hungry reading them.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 08:51 pm
@McGentrix,
You can stir fry just about anything. My sister taught me a yummy swiss chard stir fry. I will recount it as best I can, and I do not have exact measurements.

Get a bunch of swiss chard -- red works well.
Strip off the leaves and julienne the stalks.
Fry in oil, hot pepper paste, and minced garlic until the leaves are completely wilted.
Cover and simmer.
While it simmers, make a sauce of half water, half soy sauce, and a little corn starch (for thickening).
Add the sauce to the chard and turn the heat up a little until it cooks down to a gravy like mix.
Serve over rice.

It is a veggie dish but it is really yummy, especially if you like spicy.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 08:52 pm
@FreeDuck,
agree...
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 08:52 pm
@ossobuco,
Mmm, potstickers. You can buy them frozen and fry them up fresh at home. I think I have found them at Costco before.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 09:11 pm
@FreeDuck,
Didn't mean that as a knock.. I often like costco stuff.

Quote:
Haven't tried those..

I'm a fool for good ones, comfort food almost right after you sat down on a rainy night at Chun King (well, back then they were good).



Foxfyre, that sounds good.. I can kill chicken a second time, so as simple as it seems to do, I'd try it at home first..

ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 09:17 pm
@ossobuco,
well, hey, right here in the Bitten blog,

pot stickers with swiss chard --

http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/09/pot-stickers-meet-swiss-chard/
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 09:25 pm
@ossobuco,
Bitten blog so worth it if you don't know it already.
This is the one about the pot stickers, but I didn't include photo or the comments, which can sometimes be as good as the article. And the video link
is there, I think.


September 9, 2008, 2:11 PM
Pot-Stickers, Meet Swiss Chard

(Edward Schneider)
I doubt you will find a more lucid or enlightened discussion of making pot-stickers than this one provided by Ed. "MB

One recent weekend, Jackie had a yen for pot-sticker dumplings and for the pleasant repetitive task of wrapping them. Since I always have at least a latent yen for pot-stickers and don’t actually mind the job of making them, I signed up right away. What I would not sign up for, however, was leaving the house to go shopping, so for some ingredients we had to improvise. In the past we’d often made pork dumplings under the watchful eye of a Chinese friend who, besides being a wonderful cook, was a little skeptical about innovation. But now we were on our own and could go mildly crazy if we wanted to.

A fairly typical basic recipe for the filling might include pork, napa or other Chinese cabbage, scallion tops or garlic chives, ginger, Shaoxing wine (or sherry), soy sauce and sesame oil. Pork we had (nice fatty butt " a good cut for this as for so many other things in life). Likewise ginger, soy, sesame oil and sherry. But there was no napa, bok choi or anything else in the cabbage family. There were no garlic chives either. There was, however, some nice Swiss chard and a bunch of particularly fresh spring onions. Chard has nothing to do with cabbage " botanically, it is the same plant as beets, but bred for its leaves rather than its root " but on the “I say it’s spinach and I say the hell with it” theory, that’s what was going into these dumplings. Anyway, it’s a favorite of ours and it was bound to lend a likable if distinctive flavor to our filling. There were other things in the fridge too, and some of them seemed like good candidates.

Here’s what I came up with; these quantities made exactly three dozen dumplings, though I defy them to make such a round number the next time.

Dough (one of the world’s easiest both to make and to work with): put 2 cups flour into a food processor, set it spinning and pour in 1 cup boiling " yes, boiling " water. Run until it comes together. Knead into a ball and set aside, wrapped up, to cool.

Filling: a generous quarter pound of Swiss chard, finely chopped (I did all of the chopping in the food processor), then placed in a strainer, tossed with a teaspoon of salt and left to drain for ten or fifteen minutes (it will exude lots of green liquid). Three quarters of a pound of pork butt, finely chopped but not turned to a paste. Also finely chopped: six fresh shiitake mushrooms; the greens from half a bunch of spring onions or a whole bunch of scallions; 1 inch of ginger; a big handful of cilantro, both leaves and stems; and a small poblano chili (poblano was chosen for its good vegetable flavor " hand-chop this).

Squeeze the salted chard fairly dry and combine it with all the other ingredients, plus a tablespoon each sherry, soy sauce and sesame oil; one heaping tablespoon cornstarch; an egg white; salt and white pepper. Use your hands to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed. Sauté a little of the filling and taste it for seasoning. It will probably need more salt; most things do. Let the filling sit in the fridge, covered, for half an hour or so.

You can either get someone to teach you how to roll out the perfect wrapper with a doll-sized rolling pin, tapered edges and all, or you can use that hand-cranked pasta machine that you bought fifteen years ago, which is what I did, except that mine is twice that age. Breaking off handball sized pieces, roll the dough to the third-from-thinnest setting (at least that was the setting on my machine) and use a 3-1/2-inch cookie cutter to produce circles. This hot-water dough is very rollable (but not very stretchable), and scraps can be combined and re-rolled without getting strange, so there will be no waste.

Each dumpling will accommodate a tablespoonful of filling. Here is a YouTube video that shows a dead-simple method for a beautiful wrap yielding the requisite flattish bottom, though your wrappers should be a little thicker than those in the video, I wish we’d looked at it before we started. More complicated classic techniques are also scattered around YouTube, and indeed in cookbooks, so feel free to poke around if you want to make more work for yourself. Whatever wrap you use, note that this hot-water dough will stick to itself without being moistened " another advantage.

The way pot-stickers are cooked is one of history’s genius inventions, surely ranking with the steam engine or Velcro. To cook eighteen, put just two teaspoons of oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet that has a lid. Arrange the dumplings flat side down with the plump back of one overlapping the crimped edge of the next. Add about a quarter inch of water, cover the skillet and bring to the boil; now turn the heat to low. By the time the water has evaporated, about seven or eight minutes, the dumplings will have steamed to doneness, so you can remove the lid; the dumplings’ bottom surfaces will now commence to browning in their own fat and the little bit of oil. When they’re good and crunchy, remove from the skillet and serve browned side up, with a dipping sauce made of soy sauce, grated fresh ginger, sesame oil, chopped cilantro and a little balsamic or sherry vinegar (unless you happen upon a brand of Chinese black vinegar that doesn’t taste awful).

Even with all the Asian seasonings, you can still taste the Swiss chard. And you know what? It may just be an improvement over bok choi.

0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 09:32 pm
@ossobuco,
Hey, good find!
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 09:52 pm
@FreeDuck,
Aha, I did save the link to an asian food blog -

http://hungerhunger.blogspot.com/2008/06/sichuan-wontons-chao-shou.html

I could spend a lot of time at that blog.. I think the family is malaysian.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 09:57 pm
@ossobuco,
Another one I saved..

http://www.desertmodernism.com/blog/2007/11/pan_fried_har_gow.php
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 10:01 pm
@ossobuco,
Gotta say, the internet is amazing.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 06:36 am
Read some of these posts with the concept in mind that one thinks swiss chard is a cheese and a pot sticker is, uh, well you have never heard of a pot sticker.
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Asian food
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 04/19/2019 at 06:23:24