This past weekend was pretty great.
The Patriots won against the Cowboys at the last second, we spent our time during the game dog-sitting this gentle giant,
and I was able to do two loads of laundry in machines that sang to me when I selected different settings.
Oh, the sweet, sweet luxury of home-ownership.
Well, now it’s Monday and we’re back in our little apartment.
And while my favorite pillow has been taken hostage,
and my spot on the couch was claimed by this beastie,
I’m happily back in our tiny kitchen, Pandora blaring (the Florence & The Machine playlist will change. your. life), folding the rest of these potstickers
so I can eat them as fast as I can move my fingers to my mouth.
What I absolutely love about these tiny pockets of pan-fried-love is the filling. Red lentils, pureed until fluffy, with natural hints of cumin and pepper, have caramelized onions folded into it, making it an amazingly creamy and luscious. And yes people, yes, the caramelized onions kind of steal the show.
Ok, they totally steal the show.
Sweet, full of body, ohmygoodness, I cannot say enough about caramelized onions. If there’s any take home message from LLN, it’s that if caramelized onions were a tall man, I’d probably be married to him already.
These potstickers are perfect for game day, or even post, when you’re recovering in your rental, without a fireplace, giant dog, and there are two cats that are trying to take over your life.
I mean, I love our cats.
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Makes About 24 Potstickers
For the chili dipping sauce
1 red chili pepper (I used a Mirasol, but whatever you have on hand that’s spicy)
One tablespoon of sugar
Quarter cup of soy sauce
Quarter cup of water
A scallion, dark and light green parts diced
Sesame oil to taste (it’s pretty potent so my “yum” may be your “blech”)
For the filling
Two to three tablespoons of mild tasting olive oil
1 very large onion, diced
Salt to taste
1 cup cooked red lentils, pulsed in a food processor until uniform (if you don’t have a food processor, you can get away with just mixing them in with the caramelized onions)
Half a package of potsticker wrappers
Cup of water (to seal the edges of the potstickers)
1 – 2 tablespoons extra mild flavored olive oil for frying
One third cup of water (to add to the cooking potstickers)
Small saute pan
2 Large saute pans (or clean it after your first use to use again) and one lid to cover a saute pan with
Add a quarter cup of water and a quarter cup of soy sauce to a small bowl. Cut open the chili pepper with a knife, sprinkle with sugar, and then start chopping. Smash the sugar into the chili pepper with the knife while cutting it up. Stop when chili pepper is diced. Scoop up the chili pepper and sugar and add to the small bowl. Add the diced scallions. Stir to combine. Taste, and add the sesame oil to your liking (start off with a couple drops!).
Add two to three tablespoons of olive oil to a large saute pan. Place the pan on a burner over medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add your diced onion and salt to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browned. Add the lentil meal, stirring until combined. Remove from heat, taste, and season with salt. You want to be able to eat the filling plain so season accordingly.
Place your wrappers on a flat surface. Add about a teaspoon of filling to the center of each dumpling. Wet your fingers in the cup of water, and run your fingers along the edge of each wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half, and press the edges tightly closed. Keep going with this process until you run out of filling.
Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to a large saute pan. Place the pan onto a burner over medium high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, start laying down your potstickers into the oil, making sure that they don’t touch. This prevents them from sticking together. Cook the potstickers until they are golden brown (the side face down in the oil). Add the one third cup of water, and then cover the pan immediately with a lid. Cook the dumplings for a couple of minutes, until the water is almost evaporated. Remove the lid and cook the potsickers until the water is evaporated. For me, this took about a minute. Remove the potstickers from the pan. If necessary, repeat with any remaining potstickers.
Serve the potstickers with the dipping sauce.