Sunday, March 31, 2013

Foodie 4: Grape Pie

I have never in my life had nor heard of a grape pie. Then pie-day (3/14) came along, and I was looking around for an interesting pie to make, and behold, I found the the Concord Grape Pie!

Of course, I couldn't find concord grapes at Food-4-Less, so I used red seedless grapes instead. You can see the results below.

Completed red-seedless grape pie, fresh out of the oven
A note to the individual who is going to take my path and make this pie with red seedless grapes: you probably don't need to squeeze the innards out of each and every grape because they are already seedless; you can probably just cut them in half and boil them like that.

It was worth the work, though.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Foodie 3: Rice-Noodle Potstickers

There are two dishes in this life I cannot go without: potstickers and a bean-burrito-with-green-sauce-and-no-onions from Taco Bell. The story with the pot-stickers is that my mother would go across the street from her work when she was pregnant with me to get them for lunch almost every day. Or something like that. I legitimately think my hemoglobin depends on potstickers these days; I still have them once a week and never tire of them.

The problem is that my mother has gluten allergies now. The good 'ol store-bought Ling-Ling chicken potstickers from Costco just won't cut it. I can still have them, but perhaps one day I'll suffer similar food allergies as she does. Anyway, I wanted to eat potstickers with my mom last Winter Break, so I experimented and made nice-noodle potstickers. You can see the finished product below.

Rice-noodle potstickers piled high on a white plate
Rice-noodle potstickers with a healthy portion of broccoli and brown rice
I didn't take extensive notes on how to produce the end result. Honestly, I used some leftover Italian sausage and leftover ground beef from a few previous meals, and then mixed that in with a standard potsticker filling recipe. You're on your own with that one. However, I can pass on some tips regarding the rice-noodles, which I had never worked with before this.

I bought the rice-noodles from Raley's supermarket. They come as hard, flat circles. To make them workable, heated some water on a plate and dipped each side of a noodle on it and then the noodle aside on some wax-paper to soak up the water. Too much water and they're too slippery, not enough and they will crack when you try to roll them.

Damp rice noodle on wax paper
Next, I spooned in the filling close to one side. At first, I tried making potstickers in the traditional shape, but I quickly found out that didn't work very well. Eventually, I resorted to rolling them up like an egg roll.

Spoonful of filling on top of the rice-noodle

Noodle folded over the filling in thirds in one direction

"Potsticker" completely rolled up in the second direction, prior to cooking
My only tip after that is to find a way to double up the ends if you roll them, because when we were cooking them, they wanted to burst open the sides. For cooking, though, I just pan-fried them with some cooking oil in a pan just the way I would if I were cooking Ling-Ling potstickers. The ones we didn't use got rolled up in wax paper and frozen for future meals.

If you try this out, I'd like to hear your experience.