Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sweet Potato Pot Stickers plus Using Leftovers

Two things I love in this world, together, at last. Pot stickers seem complicated, but they are easy to make and will impress everyone. They do take a little time to assemble, but that is the really the only hard part, the time it takes.

I made up the filling as I went along, so feel free to substitute or modify as you see fit.

Sweet Potato Pot Stickers

(This provides a lot of leftover sweet potatoes.)

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut up into chunks You can use either the white or orange variety.

1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon plus chile paste
3/4 cup crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
1 handful chopped cilantro
1 12 oz. package round wraps
oil for saute

dipping sauce: mix 1/4 cup rice vinegar with 1/4 cup soy sauce. Add 1 teaspoon chile paste or red pepper flakes if desired.

special equipment: skillet with a lid- if you don't have that, you can boil them first, then brown them.

Peel and chop your sweet potatoes. The smaller the chunks, the faster the cook!
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add sweet potatoes and cook until you can mash one with the back of your fork. Drain, and mash.
Meanwhile, chop your red onion, garlic, and mushrooms.
Heat a film of oil over medium in a skillet and add onion; cook for 5 minutes. Add mushroom, garlic, cilantro and chile paste. Sambal Oelek is my go-to paste for nearly everything. Added to a dish, it's not as spicy as you think and adds loads of flavor. Cook until mushrooms are tender.
Once onion mixture is cooked, remove from heat and stir into mashed sweet potatoes until thoroughly combined. Wipe out skillet.

Time to assemble the pot stickers. You can buy square or round wraps, but the rounds are best. In my grocery store I find them in the fridge section with the jalapenos and mushrooms.

Have a cup of water handy.
Start with one teaspoon centered on one wrap.
Moisten the edge of the round with your finger dipped in that handy glass of water. Fold in half to make a crescent and press down edge. You can make little pleats as you go. Set them on a plate as you make the rest. Try not to let them touch each other on the plate too much or they might stick.

Ready for cooking.

I made these with two different methods to speed along the cooking time. In one pan, I heated water to boil a third of the pot stickers. I cooked the rest in my skillet, in two batches.

Start the skillet method by heating a generous film of oil over medium heat. I prefer canola oil.

Add pot stickers to pan; flat sides down. It is okay to crowd them a little. Let brown for 2-3 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup water to pan and cover with lid. Steam for 7-10 minutes, or until water is nearly evaporated. My skillet is steaming in the front, the pan in back is boiling. If you are using the boiling method, boil for 7 minutes and then drain.

Once water in skillet has evaporated, add another teaspoon or too of oil to pan and brown a little more. This is to help unstick them from the pan. Do not turn over pot stickers. Is this how they got their name? I do not know these things. I just know they are delicious. Serve with your dipping sauce.

If you have 2 skillets, it will go much faster. If you boil the pot stickers, you can pat them dry on a towel and then brown them in a skillet.

Taste tasted, husband approved, the skillet browned and then steamed were far superior to the flat out boiled pot stickers. They are the nice crispy ones on the front of the plate.
As you can see here, however, all pot stickers were consumed.
Now with the above recipe, I only used half of my sweet potato mix because I was only feeding the two of us. If I had been having a party, I would have marched on and made all of the pot stickers.

Instead, the next day I used the sweet potato filling in quesadillas with cheddar cheese and avocado. Delicious.

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