Steamed Pork Buns

I hope that you all enjoyed your Easter. Eric and I spent a much needed low key Easter at home, catching up on sleep, relaxing and having a nice dinner with my family on Sunday; it was just what we needed. I didn’t cook much this weekend, which was nice for a change, just a simple breakfast on Sunday and that was it. Eric had been traveling on business for all of last week so it was great to spend some time just the two of us, relaxing.

The recipe I have for you today is one that I made a few weeks back, while Eric was golfing one Sunday afternoon. The recipe is not hard, but it does require a good amount of time because of the fact that it has homemade dough and uses yeast. Anytime you make something with yeast you know it will take a while because the yeast inevitably will need to rise. I made these steamed pork buns in between making a dessert and doing laundry and watching TV, like I said, easy.

If you enjoy the steamed dumplings or pot stickers from an Asian restaurant, then this is a great recipe for you. I personally always order steamed pot stickers, they are so delicious. Give me those and an egg roll and I’m one happy girl. I found this recipe on Pinterest, of course, and adapted it.

Start this recipe by cooking the pork tenderloin which will become the base of the filling in the buns. Coat the pork tenderloin with chinese five spice powder and cook in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, turning over half way through. Slice crosswise and refrigerate to cool.

While the pork is cooking, start the dough.  Combine the warm water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and let stand for 5 minutes until it looks foamy. Use the dough hook attachment on your mixer (if you have one) to mix the ingredients for the together. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

Place dough into a bowl sprayed with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in warm place to rise for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.

Once the dough is rising and the pork is cut and cooled, shred it with your fingers into a medium size bowl and add the onions and next 7 ingredients to the pork and mix well.

Cover and refrigerate.

One the dough has risen, punch it down with your fist and allow it to sit for another5 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide it into 10 equal portions.

Roll those portions into balls.

Use a rolling pin to roll the ball into a 5in circle. Fill the center with about 2 tablespoons of the pork mixture and gently fold all the sides up.

Twist the side together to seal the dumpling. Do this for all 10 dumplings.

To cook, steam the dumplings in a steamer, if using a metal steamer, spray with non-stick spray before putting in the dumplings to prevent sticking.

**Uncooked dumplings can be frozen on a tray individually and then placed into a ziplock bag in the freezer. These will keep for up to 6 months. To cook, simply pull out of freezer and steam for longer than the unfrozen dumplings. I did this with 4 of the dumplings and it was one of the best frozen leftover meals we’ve ever had, plus it was SO easy! **

Steam the dumplings until the puff up, about 15 minutes.

Serve with dumpling dipping sauce.

These dumplings were so good and worth all the work and waiting time. I was so proud of myself for making something that tasted like it came from the local Asian place we get take-out from. Plus, it made 2 dinners and 2 lunches, not to shabby for 1 recipe!

 

Here’s the full recipe adapted from Cooking Light and the dipping sauce is from PF Changs:

Steamed Pork Buns
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Author: Adapted from Cooking Light, Dipping Sauce from PF Changs
Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 4 hours
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dough:
  • 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 14 2/3 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Dipping Sauce:
  • cup water
  • cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, ground
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. To prepare the filling, rub five-spice powder evenly over pork. Cook pork on for 40 minutes, turning half way through. Remove pork from pan, and let stand 15 minutes.
  2. Cut pork crosswise into thin slices; cut slices into thin strips. Place pork in a medium bowl. Add onions and next 7 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt); stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. To prepare dough, combine 1 cup warm water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
  4. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)
  5. Punch dough down; let rest 5 minutes. Turn dough out onto a clean surface; knead in baking powder. Let dough rest 5 minutes.
  6. Divide dough into 10 equal portions, forming each into a ball. Working with one dough ball at a time (cover remaining dough balls to keep from drying), roll ball into a 5-inch circle. Place 1/4 cup filling in center of dough circle. Bring up sides to cover filling and meet on top. Pinch and seal closed with a twist. Repeat procedure with remaining dough balls and filling.
  7. Arrange 5 buns seam side down, 1 inch apart, in each tier of a 2-tiered bamboo steamer. Stack tiers; cover with lid.
  8. Add water to a large skillet to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Place steamer in pan; steam 15 minutes or until puffed and set. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

 

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Have you been invited to Thanksgiving or just to a gathering of friends and asked to bring an appetizer? Are you completely blank on what to make? I feel your pain. Appetizers are not something that I make often, I enjoy ordering them in restaurants, but when it comes to making them in my own home, I typically move right on to the main meal, skipping appetizers all together.

A few years ago, I was asked to bring an appetizer to Thanksgiving and had no clue what to make. I needed to feed a lot of people and I wanted something that wasn’t very complicated. I came upon a recipe for spinach artichoke dip and immediately knew I needed to make it. Everyone loved it and it became one of my go-to appetizer recipes.

I made some last week to take to a party and was able to make most of it the night before and finish it off when we arrived at the party. It’s a perfect take-along dish!

Start the recipe by thawing your spinach and wringing it out between paper towels. Then chop up the onions and drain and chop the canned artichoke hearts. Mince the garlic and grate the lemon peel.

Melt  the butter in a saute pan over medium heat and then add the onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Add in the thyme and lemon peel and stir. Add the flour and whisk well and cook for 1 minute.

Add the chicken stock, whisking the whole time and salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high whisking often and cook until it gets thick 8-10 minutes.

Stir in the artichokes and spinach and half of each of the cheeses.

Transfer the mixture to a casserole.

At this point, I put my dip in the refrigerator overnight. When you are ready to re-heat the dish, put it in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes until its heated through.

Sprinkle the top of the dip with the rest of both cheeses and put under the broiler for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and begins to brown.

Serve with French bread slices, Melba toasts, crackers or corn chips.

Here’s the recipe:

Spinach Artichoke Dip
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Author: Red Velvet
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • Two 10-ounce boxes chopped frozen spinach
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Half of a small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • One 13.75-ounce can artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 cup freshly shredded mozzarella
  • 1 loaf whole grain baguette, cut into bite-size cubes
Instructions
  1. In a microwaveable bowl, defrost the spinach in the microwave for 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the spinach in a kitchen towel and wring dry. Tear the spinach into small pieces and set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme and lemon peel. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and cook, whisking often, until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the spinach, artichokes and half each of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the mozzarella. Transfer the mixture to a casserole.
  3. Refrigerate overnight if making ahead. Re-heat dish at 350 degrees for 10 minutes until heated through, when ready to serve.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  5. Preheat the broiler. Broil the dip until bubbly and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Serve with the bread cubes.