Chinese Steamed Chicken Buns ~Bread Machine

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When I was in Jr. High School my mom worked with a gal Keng, from Singapore.  Occasionally Keng would bring in food that she had prepared.  Sometimes it was noodles and once in a while it was these deliciously savory, fragrant and chewy steamed buns.  They were like nothing I had ever tried at any Chinese restaurant.

I was recollecting Keng and her amazing steamed buns and decided to make them.  I had just bought an industrial size pack of boneless, skinless chicken breast and was tired of oven fried chicken, I needed something more complex and savory. Sadly, I cannot honestly recall what the meat was in Keng’s buns.  I believe it was ground pork.  That would be amazing too.

I found a recipe or two online and one in my bread machine cookbook and combined them all to create my own recipe.  My girls and husband were crazy about them and The Mr. promptly said “You can make these anytime you want!”  I laughed and assured him, it was going to be a while before I did these again.  Not because I did not enjoy them, but they are a lengthy project to undertake.  But, yes… they are mighty tasty!

Dough Ingredients:

5/8 cup lukewarm milk

2 cups unbleached white flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon room temp butter

1 teaspoon rapid rise yeast

Pour the milk into the bread machine and add the butter.  Sprinkle the flour to cover the milk.  Add the salt and sugar into separate corners and put the yeast directly in the center.  Use your dough cycle on your machine.  Allow the dough to rest after the cycle ends.  I allowed mine to hang out for about three hours after the cycle ended.

Filling Ingredients:

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

2 inch piece of ginger root finely minced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1/8 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder (*this seems like a small amount but the flavor is needed)

8 ounces chicken breast, thinly sliced and cut into 1″ pieces

3 scallions chopped

1 tablespoon cilantro chopped

Salt and pepper

Mix all of the ingredients and marinate for at least 1/2 hour.  Heat a non stick skillet and add 1 tablespoon of oil.  When the skillet is hot add 1/2 of the chicken and stir fry for approximately 3 minutes. Remove from skillet and add the second batch of chicken.  Cook for 3 minutes and add the the first batch.  Let rest for 1/2 hour to cool the ingredients.

Vegetables For Filling:

1 small can sliced water chestnuts ~ Drained

2 carrots peeled and roughly chopped

1 small onion roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic roughly chopped

Add all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are well chopped.  Add the chopped vegetables to the chicken, once the chicken is cooled and easy to handle.

Dough Preparation:

Sprinkle your work surface with flour and roll the dough into a log shape.  Cut the dough into eight uniform segments and cover with a tea towel.

Take the first piece of dough and roll it into a 5″ round.  Recover and roll out the remaining dough balls into 5″ rounds, covering the dough as you work to keep it from drying out.

Heat approximately 6″ of water in a large stockpot and place your bamboo steamer on the pan.  Heat the water to a boil.

Take one round of dough and add about 2 tablespoons of filling and pull the dough out a bit.  Run a small amount of water around the edge of the dough.  Bring the sides of the dough to cover the filling and pinch the edges together to seal.  Place the bun on a small square of wax paper or parchment.  This is used to keep it from sticking in the steamer.

Cover the completed bun with a tea towel as you create the remaining seven.

Load the buns into the steamer, being careful not to allow them to touch the sides of the steamer or each other.  Keep in mind that the buns will expand as they cook.  It’s quite surprising how much larger they get while steaming.

steamed bun

Steam the buns for ten minutes and serve immediately.

Pad Fry ~ Thai Sweet Potato Fries

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I have a weakness for sweet potato fries.  I’ve managed to have gotten one of our daughters totally hooked on my sweet potato fries with curry mayonnaise, an old fav of mine from the British pub days back in New England, that I’ve recreated.

Looking around today on Food Network I found this recipe for Thai sweet potato fries!  A warm and spicy combination of sweet potatoes, cilantro, lime, fried onions Sriracha and yes, BACON!

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Ingredients

1 16-to-20-ounce bag frozen sweet potato fries
3 strips bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons Asian chile sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Prepared fried onions or fried shallots, for topping

Directions

Bake the sweet potato fries as the label directs.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the brown sugar, fish sauce, chile sauce, lime juice and lime zest to the drippings. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Transfer the fries to a serving dish. Drizzle with the chile sauce mixture, then sprinkle with the bacon, cilantro and fried onions.

Photograph by Charles Masters

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/name-this-dish-french-fries-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

 

Maine Mussels with White Wine and Herbs

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Fresh mussels from Maine cannot be beat!  They are rich, meaty, slightly sweet and slightly chewy.  Make sure you find wild caught and not farm raised mussels if you can.  Look for bright, unopened shells and keep them refrigerated in their net bag, but not in a plastic bag when you get them, or you can suffocate them.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 pounds mussels, about 48, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche, or sour cream

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook until transparent, about 3 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaves, and wine. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add mussels, and cover. Cook, shaking pan often, until mussels open, 5 to 6 minutes. Discard any mussels that fail to open. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to a large bowl, reserving liquid in pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup parsley over the mussels.
  3. Remove and discard bay leaves and thyme. Return liquid to low heat; stir in creme fraiche and remaining 1/4 cup parsley. Cook just until warm again, and pour over mussels. Serve hot.

Cook’s Note

Fresh mussels can be stored in the refrigerator, covered with a damp cloth, for one to two days; do not store them submerged in water or they will drown.

 

Egg’n’Grog

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Holiday Eggnog (Spirited)

1 dozen eggs

1 pound powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup vanilla

8 cups evaporated milk

3 cups water

1 quart spiced rum (optional)

Nutmeg, to garnish

Beat eggs until light in color, gradually add sugar, salt and vanilla. Then add milk and water. Stir in rum (brandy, bourbon or rye may also be used). Cover the nog and ripen for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Stir again and garnish with whipped cream, a cinnamon stick and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Bacon Wrapped Feta & Almond Date Appetizers

Ingredients

16 large dates
2 oz. Mild Feta Cheese
32 PLANTERS FLAVOR GROVE Skinless Almonds Sea Salt & Olive Oil
8 slices bacon, cut in half
Directions

  1. Cut slit in long side of each date, being careful to not cut completely through date. Remove and discard pits. Cut cheese into 16 (1×1/4-inch) sticks. Stuff each date with cheese and 2 nuts.
  2. Wrap 1 bacon piece around each date, completely enclosing cheese. Place on rack of broiler pan.
  3. Bake 14 to 15 min. or until bacon is crisp, turning after 8 min. Cool 5 min; transfer to plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Creamy Mushroom Tartlet Appetizers

1 Tbsp.
butter
1 pkg.
(8 oz.) fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 cup
(1/2 of 8-oz. tub) PHILADELPHIA Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
1/4 cup
 Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 can
(8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 tsp.
finely chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add mushrooms; cook 5 min. or until tender, stirring frequently. Add cream cheese spread and Parmesan; cook and stir 1 min. or until cream cheese is melted. Remove from heat; set aside.
  3. Unroll dough into 2 long rectangles; firmly press perforations and seams together to seal. Cut each rectangle into 12 squares. Place 1 square in each of 24 mini muffin cups with corners of squares extending over rims of cups. Firmly press dough onto bottom and up side of each cup. Spoon about 1-1/2 tsp. mushroom mixture into each cup.
  4. Bake 10 to 12 min. or until golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley. Cool in pan 5 min. before serving.