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Monday, October 29, 2012

Everyone loves a dumpling

At the invitation of BBQDude over at Indirect Heat, I recently headed out to the Boston area for a collaborative cooking session (aka, Foodapalooza 2012) where we cooked up and served an epic 12 course tasting dinner. Photos and a brief overview of the meal is adequately described there; I'll be writing about small details of the individual courses.

One thing we had decided on was making 8 hour smoked pulled pork butt, but serving it in a different fashion. After a short debate over two different presentation approaches, we settled it easily by choosing to do it both ways (the other way was pulled pork fish sticks).

I elected to make potstickers with the pulled pork. The idea was easy enough: I mixed the pulled pork with ample amounts of chopped scallions, some sesame seeds, and seasoned it with a little mirin and salt. I kept it simple to keep the nice smoky flavor. The real challenge is that pulled pork has various textures, including some sharp edges that can poke through the wonton skins. I ameliorated this by carefully chopping bigger chunks.

Freshly stuffed pulled pork potstickers
Stuffing potstickers is a very zen routine, and worked well while watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Service was simple, of course. The dumplings could be boiled, or pan fried/steamed. To accompany, A sprinkle of fresh scallions, and a vinaigrette made from olive oil, mustard, and the juice from sweet pickled serrano chiles.

The finished product with accompanying sauce.

A small anecdote - I accidentally burned a batch of these dumplings before making this replacement batch, but they proved so popular with the crowd, our guests gladly stomped into the kitchen, and devoured the burnt specimens. Potstickers also freeze easily.

Bonus: I also served a more traditional dipping sauce of soy sauce, mirin and sesame seed oil which proved very popular as well. I do think the vinaigrette allowed more of the smoke to shine through, though.

The 12 courses of Foodapalooza 2012.

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