Today’s post shows exactly why we head over to the public library several times a week. We look up books on-line, reserve them, then stop and pick them up when they’re available. Because it’s so easy to get the books, we select books that we might never even have looked at or considered if we were planning to buy books. And, by doing so, we’ve often been pleasantly surprised, and found recipes and ideas that we would never have known of otherwise.
Since it was on the new books list, we reserved The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook, by Jere and Emilee Gettle. Now, we had no idea what Baker Creek was, but we figured it might be some sort of restaurant that became popular enough to warrant a cookbook. It isn’t. Instead, it’s an heirloom seed company, go figure. So, what are they doing publishing a cookbook? Well, they also have a restaurant, so there is some connection to cooking.
As you’ve probably guessed, this recipe comes from them (well, at least the potsticker dough and cooking instructions), so let’s scratch out some potstickers. Ready?
Note that the recipe calls for flour; we used white whole wheat, but we think any wheat flour will work, so use what you have on hand. For the filling, we used a mix of vegetables that we had in the fridge, along with some available condiments. Feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand, or even use leftovers. It’s not as if these are authentic potstickers (but, as you’ll taste, they are good), so why not mix it up?
Procedure in detail:
Make dough. In a medium heat-proof bowl, combine flour, salt, and boiling water, and quickly stir into a soft dough. The boiling water helps to develop gluten in the flour so the dough will be stretchier and more pliable. Be careful, since the water is boiling hot.
Knead dough. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, take it out and start kneading. You can do this on a work surface, or you can do as we do with such small amounts of dough, and just knead it between your hands by pressing it out into a disk, folding it over, and repeating. Knead the dough until it’s smooth, about 4 minutes.
Rest dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and set it on the counter to rest while you make the filling.
Make filling. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add vegetables, soy sauce, and harissa, and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender and most the liquid released from the vegetables has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
Shape potstickers. Divide the dough into 12 approximately equal pieces. Dredge each piece in flour, then roll into a disk about 3 inches in diameter. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center and fold the dough over and seal. You can make half-moon shapes, or a ball, or another shape of your choosing. We did both the ball and half-moon. As you make each potsticker, set it aside.
Fry. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, arrange potstickers in the skillet, but, once placed, don’t move them. Let them fry and sizzle for about 2 minutes.
Steam. Okay, be careful with this step. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of water to the skillet — it’ll spatter like crazy — and quickly cover with a tightly-fitting lid. Reduce heat to medium and let steam until the water is evaporated, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Serve. Since we don’t know how authentic these are, we suggest that you serve them with whatever you feel is appropriate for your filling.
Years ago we used to make potstickers occasionally, using wrappers that came in packages from the store. Then we just stopped. We don’t know why, since we like potstickers, but we did. Perhaps because we don’t buy much produce at the store, so we don’t see the wrappers in the refrigerated case, but now that we know just how easy it is to make up something that’ll pass for the wrapper (we think authentic wrappers might be made from rice flour), we just might start making them again. Since making the dough is so easy, and you can fill them with anything, we say five stars.