Peaking Ravioli Pot Stickers

Pot StickersWhat are Pot Stickers?

If you don’t know by now, Americans love Chinese Pot Stickers.  If you’ve been to any Chinese Buffet in the last 10 years, you’ve seen them.  They’ve even become so popular, they sell them right next to the frozen burrito’s of just about every grocery store in America.  I don’t know the history or the exact Origin of the Pot Sticker, I mean, that’s what Wikipedia is for, right, but I can tell you that these are usually prepared fresh everyday, and they’re made by hand, not stamped out of a cookie cutter.

What are Pot Stickers made of?

IMG_20120712_211337The breakdown is very simple;  Ground Pork, Onion, Carrots and a few Asian Sauces, Hoisin and Oyster Sauce.  Just a few secret folds that aren’t too complicated, and Voila, you’ve got Pot Stickers!  Well, at least in theory, right.  But now what?  Do you throw them in boiling water?  The answer is NO!  Technically I guess you could, but these things are traditionally steamed.  And if you don’t have a Steamer, no worries.  This video tutorial will show you how to do it without one, So let’s dive right in and make some Pot Stickers.

Be sure to check out my Shrimp Dumplings recipe because I have the best sauce recipe in that post to dip these Pot Stickers in if Tempura dipping sauce isn’t available in your area.

Pot Stickers Ingredients:

1 pkg Pot Sticker Wrappers
8 oz Ground Pork Sausage or just Pork
1/4 cup Carrots
1/3 Cup Scallions
1 tsp Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp Oyster Sauce
1 tsp Black Ground Pepper
1/2 tsp Chopped Garlic
Water to glue the Wrappers together

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Wet the edges of each wrapper and place about 1 tbsp of Ground Pork mixture  in the center, and then fold in half like a taco.  Then proceed to one of the corners and pleat the edge of one side and apply pressure to make the wrapper stick, all the way around in a half moon shape.  Then place Pot Stickers in a steamer lined with Bok Choy leaves or Cabbage and Steam for 7 minutes.  Pan fry in a lightly oiled pan for a 1 minute, or until the bottoms turn a light golden brown,  Drip dry onto some paper towels then serve your Pot Stickers with some Tempura Dipping Sauce.

3 Cheese Chili Con Queso

Chili Con Queso is just Queso!

No matter how you slice it, Chili Con Queso is still just Chili ‘n Cheese.  I could be wrong but I think Chili’s is actually responsible for it’s fame.  Not responsible for the recipe itself, I mean, just for getting it more widely known and popular.  I would always order their Bottomless Chips and Salsa with Queso, and fill up on that before I got my Mushroom Jack Fajita’s (No longer on the menu).  Ah yeah… Those were the Days!  Anyway, I would say my recipe is very similar to theirs and really easy to put together, thanks to canned products.

Nacho CheeseNow, if you are a regular follower of Poor Man’s Gourmet Kitchen, I know what you’re thinking;  canned products, right?  I know, I know.  I always preach about using fresh food, and I usually do, but this is just one of those things that works just the way it is because it’s just a chip dip.  But it isn’t just any Chip Dip, it’s Chili Con Queso, and that means we need to use a good Chili, and it doesn’t get much better than Hormel if you’re forced to use a can.  It’s just too damn bad I don’t get paid to plug all of these Company products I’m always raving about in my recipes.  Maybe someday…. but while we’re talking about cans, we might as well talk Nacho Cheese.  I usually buy El Mexicano Nacho Cheese Sauce, because it’s 1/3 the price of Rico’s, and, it tastes better. So it’s win win all around the board.  Cream Cheese, Nacho Cheese and Pepper Jack Cheese are the 3 Cheeses I use to make this Chili Con Queso Chip Dip.

Chili Con Queso Ingredients:

1/2 Diced Onion
1 Diced Green Chili
1 Diced Jalapeno, Yellow or Chipotle Pepper (optional, you decide)
1 chopped Garlic Clove
2 Cans of Chili no Beans (Hormel)
1 pkg Cream Cheese
1 can Nacho Cheese (El Mexicano)
1/2 tsp Cumin

Topping
1/2 cup Pepper Jack Cheese or Cheddar
1 Chopped Tomato
Freshly Chopped Cilantro

This recipe is easy.  Combine all the ingredients ,except the topping, in a pan on medium heat and simmer until everything is melted and thoroughly mixed.  Then add to a oven safe dish, top with pepper jack cheese and broil in the oven on the top rack just until the cheese has melted.  Then pull and add the freshly chopped tomato and Cilantro, and enjoy your Chili Con Queso!

Salted Baked Potato

Baked Potato and Margarita Salt!

Yep, the secret to a great Baked Potato is Margarita Salt.  I know that everyone thinks they know how to make a Baked potato these days.  Just throw it in the oven and bake it for an hour, right?  Well, sure.  That is, if you’re looking for a basic flavorless potato, be my guest.  But if you want that crispy, salty potato skin, there’s a few simple steps you need to follow in order to make your Baked Potato rock!

First, Scrub-scrub-scrub.  Clean all of your potatoes before you stab them with a fork.  Four to five punctures on two sides of each potato is perfect.  Then drizzle olive oil over the top of each one and rub the skin with your hands until the potato is fully coated.  The next step is just as easy.  Sprinkle Margarita Salt over the top and turn each one over and repeat.  This is a trade secret for those Salted Baked Potatoes we all love from our favorite steak houses.  Why Margarita salt?  Because its good!  It’s very light and fluffy, and doesn’t over whelm your pallet when you’re eating it.  If you don’t have Margarita Salt then just use Kosher.  Then bake at 350 degrees f. for an hour.  If you’re baking 4 or more potatoes, add 15 minutes for each additional potato.

Salted Baked Potato Ingredients:

Russet Potatoes
Olive Oil
Margarita Salt or Kosher
Your favorite toppings