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When my mother came up with the name of her first cookbook the term "All-American" only seemed fit. After all, she was 1st generation Chinese married to an American, Irish, Norwegian man living in Nebraska where traditional Chinese ingredients were not made readily available. It isn't until now that I truly understand the meaning of the All-American... (read more)

Archive for the ‘Hors D’oeuvres’ Category

27

Sep

2011

Vegetable Egg Rolls

Vegetarian egg rolls were one of my most popular appetizers in my two California restaurants. Don’t forget to serve them with my tasty sweet and sour dipping sauce.

veg-egg-roll-2

1 package egg roll wrappers (20 pieces) – found in the produce section of most supermarkets.
1 egg, beaten (to seal the egg rolls)
3 cups canola or vegetable oil for deep-frying

Filling:
1 pound cabbage (one very small or half of a medium size)
2 large celery stalks
1 large carrot
1 small yellow onion (6 oz.)
½ red bell pepper (4 oz.)
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or fry pan)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil

Preparation:
Wash and core the cabbage. Cut cabbage in half, then into quarters, and again into 8 wedges. Cut crosswise, shredding the cabbage into ¼-inch thin strips. Cut celery crosswise into ¼-inch thin pieces. Slice carrot diagonally into ¼-inch thin pieces then cut into thin strips. Cut onion along the grain in half and then into quarters. Cut crosswise into ¼-inch thin slices. Cut red bell pepper into thin 1-inch long strips.

Vegetable Egg Roll

To Cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or a large fry pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add cabbage, celery, carrots and onions. Cook and stir for about 4 minutes. Add soy sauce, salt, sugar and sesame oil. Stir-fry until the vegetables are tender, approximately 2 to 3 more minutes. Add red bell peppers and mix well. Remove from heat. Drain the cooked vegetables through a colander. Stir until all liquid is drained. Cool to room temperature. Note: You may make the filling ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

To Assemble:
Place ½ cup of vegetable filling diagonally across the center of an egg roll wrapper. Lift one lower corner flap over the filling and tuck the point of the corner under the filling. Bring the corners of each side over the top of the enclosed filling. Lightly brush the remaining triangle with the beaten egg and then roll into a neatly sealed egg roll.

To Fry:
Heat 3 cups of oil in wok or a deep fryer over medium heat. When the oil is hot, drop one egg roll at a time into the hot oil. Deep-fry about 5 egg rolls at one time for 3 to 4 minutes until light golden brown. Transfer the egg rolls onto paper towels and let the oil drain off while deep-frying the remaining egg rolls. Serve the egg rolls warm with sweet and sour sauce for dipping.

Makes 20 egg rolls
Filing preparation and assembly: 50 minutes
Cooking the filling: 7 minutes
Deep frying time: 12 to 16 minutes


27

Jan

2010

Steamed Shao Mai

Last week we welcomed our newest addition, Chase Evan Fluhr to the All-American Chinese family! Life has been busy but Grandma Lucy has been here helping with the kids and cooking! She prepared one of our all time favorite dim sum dishes, steamed open faced dumplings otherwise known as Shao Mai. Shao Mai are typically served in Cantonese style Chinese restaurants, but are also easy enough to prepare at home and wow a crowd.

½ package wonton wrappers (Found in the produce section of most supermarkets)
4 to 6 cups water (Depending on the size of the steamer pot)
Cabbage or lettuce leaves for steaming

Preparation for the Filling:
½ pound lean ground pork
½ pound medium size raw shrimp, peeled, deveined
4 medium size shiitake dried black mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes or longer until soft
½ can sliced water chestnuts (2.5 oz. drained)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 tablespoon rice wine or cooking sherry wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil

Chop the shrimp into very small pieces with a heavy knife. Drain the mushroom water, remove the stems if any and finely chop. Finely chop the water chestnuts. In a bowl, combine the ground pork with chopped shrimp, mushrooms, water chestnuts, cornstarch, soy sauce, rice wine, salt, sugar and sesame oil. Mix together thoroughly.

To Assemble:
Using kitchen shears, trim the four corners of a few wrappers at a time into 3 ¼ inch rounds. Place a round wonton wrapper onto the palm of your hand. Place 1 full tablespoon of filling in center of wrapper. With your other hand, gather the sides of the dough around the filling, letting the dough pleat naturally. Squeeze the middle gently to make sure the dough fits firmly against the filling and tap the dumpling’s bottom to flatten so it can stand upright.

To Cook:
When all the Shao Mai are made, place them on the rack in the steamer (for the best results, place green lettuce leaves or cabbage leaves on the rack as a bed for the Shao Mai. It makes for easy removal of the Shao Mai from the rack when done). Be sure to leave ½ to 1 inch spaces in between each Shao Mai. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, cover the steamer and steam the Shao Mai for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm.

If the pot is not big enough to steam all at once, you can steam half of the Shao Mai at a time.

Sauce for Dipping:
In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons white vinegar and 1 teaspoon red hot chili oil together for dipping the Shao Mai.

Makes 26 Shao Mai
Preparation time: 30 to 40 minutes (depends how fast you can assembling the Shao Mai)
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Tip: You can make the Shao Mai ahead of time and freeze. Steam for an extra 2 to 3 minutes more when steaming the frozen Shao Mai.


25

Aug

2009

Ground Turkey Lettuce Bowl

This is a delicious and healthy appetizer but in our home we like to serve it as a complete meal!

1 large iceberg lettuce
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce (keep in a small bowl)
1 package ground turkey (1-1/4 pounds)
4 shiitake dried black mushrooms (soak in warm water for 10 minutes or longer until soft)
1 can sliced water chestnuts (5 oz.) drained
½ red bell pepper
2 scallions, including the green top
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)
2 teaspoons pure sesame oil

Sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 tablespoon rice wine or cooking sherry wine
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:
Wash, trim and cut the head of lettuce crosswise in half. Carefully remove 8 large leaves as hollow bowls. The remaining lettuce half can be saved for future use. Drain the water from mushrooms. Cut stems off if any and finely chop. Finely chop the water chestnuts and red bell pepper. Wash and trim the green onions, finely chop. In a small bowl, mix sauce ingredients together thoroughly and set aside.

To Cook:
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick wok or a large frying pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, brown onions for a few seconds. Add ground turkey, cook and stir until the meat separates for about 2 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms, water chestnuts, red bell peppers and 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Stir fry for 2 more minutes until the ground turkey is cooked through. Stir the sauce again then pour into the turkey mixture. Stir fry for 30 seconds longer. Serve warm.

To Serve:
Spoon 1-1/2 teaspoons of Hoisin sauce onto the center of each individual lettuce bowl. Then spoon about a half cup of the turkey mixture onto the bowl. Eat the filled lettuce leaf with your fingers.

Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 20 to 25 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes


9

Apr

2009

Shrimp Toast

An all time favorite appetizer guaranteed to be a hit at your next cocktail party! Shrimp toast make excellent finger foods. I know deep frying sounds like a lot of work but shrimp toast can easily be made a few hours ahead of time and they are really quite easy to make.

5 slices white sandwich bread
½ pound medium size raw shrimp
2 oz. ground pork
½ can sliced water chestnuts (2.5 oz.) drained
1 egg
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon rice wine or cooking sherry wine
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups canola or vegetable oil for deep-frying

Preparation:
Cut each piece of bread diagonally twice into 4 triangles. Put the 20 pieces of bread triangles on a cookie sheet. Leave uncovered on the kitchen counter for one hour or longer. The bread will dry slightly. Peel, de-vein and rinse shrimp. Finely chop the shrimp. Chop the water chestnuts. In a bowl, combine the shrimp, ground pork, water chestnuts, egg, cornstarch, rice wine and salt. Mix together thoroughly. Evenly mound 1 tablespoon full of the shrimp mixture on top each bread triangle.

To Cook:
Preheat oven to low. Heat 3 cups of oil in the wok or deep fryer over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, drop one piece of the shrimp triangle (shrimp side down) into the hot oil. Deep-fry 5 pieces at one time. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp toast over and fry the other side for 1 minute more, until both sides are a light golden brown. Drain oil from the shrimp toast on paper towels and keep warm in the oven, until all the shrimp toast are fried. Serve warm.

Makes 20 shrimp toast
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 to 12 minutes

TIP: You can fry the shrimp toast a few hours ahead of time and let cool. Before serving, re-heat the shrimp toast in the oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes until warm.


15

Jan

2009

Fried Wontons

An American favorite Chinese appetizers! Makes an impressive hors d’oeuvre for parties.

1 package of wonton wrappers (12 oz. or 14 oz., You will find the wonton wrappers in the produce section of most supermarkets)
½ pound lean ground pork
½ cup water for sealing  the wontons
3 cups canola or vegetable oil for deep-frying

Marinade:
1 tablespoon soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 scallion, including the green top
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar

Preparation:
Wash and trim the green onion, finely chop.  Peel and finely grate the ginger root.  In a bowl, combine the ground pork with the marinade ingredients. Mix them together thoroughly and set aside.

To Cook:
Heat a non-stick wok or a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the marinaded ground pork to wok. Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, until the pork is cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

To Assemble:
In a small bowl, fill 1/2 cup water for assembling the wontons. Place a wonton wrapper on the palm of your hand. Place 1 full teaspoon of the cooked filling in center of the wrapper and moisten all sides of the wrapper around the filling with water. Lift the lower right corner and flip it over to the middle of the left side. Seal it. Turn the wonton over and use both hands to overlap the two end corners together. Moisten a corner and pinch the ends firmly together. The result: The wonton filling is in the center with 4 corners of the wrapper point outward. As each wonton is complete, place them on a plate, cover with a dry towel and set aside.

To Fry:
Heat 3 cups of oil in wok or deep fryer over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, drop one wonton at a time into the hot oil and deep-fry 10 to 12 wontons at one time until light golden brown. It will take approximately 1 minute to fry each batch. (Be careful not to over cook the wontons as they will burn quickly). Drain oil from fried wontons on paper towels. Serve warm. Dip with Sweet and Sour Sauce.

Makes approximately 48 wontons
Preparation time: 30 to 40 minutes
Cooking time: 2 to 3 minutes
Deep-frying time: 5 to 6 minutes


15

Jan

2009

Pan Fried Gyoza Dumplings

My mother makes hands down the best Chinese Potstickers. Here’s a convenient take on her traditional recipe which requires no dough making! The Gyzoa is a like small sized Potsticker with thinner dough. It’s traditionally a Chinese hors d’oeuvre made popular by the Japanese and a hit with just about everyone I know!

1 package fresh gyoza skin wrappers (12 oz. or 14 oz.)*
1/2 cup water for sealing  the gyoza
Canola oil or Pam cooking spray
1 cup water (divide 4 times for cooking each batch of gyoza)

Filling:
½ pound head cabbage (8 oz.)
1 teaspoon salt and ¼ cup water to marinade the cabbage
1 pound lean ground pork
2 scallions, including the green top
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger root
1 egg
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
2 teaspoons pure sesame oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar

Sauce for Dipping:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon red hot chili oil (optional)

Preparation:
Shred cabbage and finely chop. In a bowl, mix the cabbage with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ cup water. Use one hand to mix the cabbage with the salt water for 1 minute. Leave the cabbage to rest and marinade in the bowl for at least 15 minutes.

Wash and trim the green onions, finely chop. Peel and finely grate the fresh ginger root. Use another bowl to combine the ground pork with the onions, ginger root, egg, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and sugar. Mix together thoroughly and set aside.

Use both hands to pick up a small amount of marinated cabbage and squeeze to drain the salt water from the cabbage. Drop into the meat mixture bowl. Continue until all the cabbage has been squeezed dry of salt water. Mix the cabbage with the meat mixture together thoroughly and set aside.

To Assemble:
In a small bowl, fill 1/2 cup water for assembling the gyoza. Place a round gyoza wrapper in the palm of your hand. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper (careful not to overstuff the wrapper). Use the fingers of your free hand to moisten all sides of the exposed dough (around the filling) with water. Fold the wrapper in half and pinch the top. Then crimp each side of dough tightly with your fingers to seal. Tap the sealed dumpling to flatten its bottom so that it stands upright. Repeat to finish assembling all the gyoza.**

To Cook:
Spray cooking oil onto a non-stick 10 inch frying pan over medium heat. Place about 16 gyoza dumplings in the pan. Add ¼ cup water to pan, cover with lid and cook for approximately 6 to 7 minutes. When the water is absorbed and the bottom of gyoza is lightly browned, the dumplings are ready. Serve immediately or use spatula to transfer the gyoza onto a cookie sheet, cover with tinfoil (so the gyoza skin will not dry out) and keep warm in the oven. Repeat to cook remaining gyoza. Serve with dipping sauce if desired.

Makes 60 to 65 gyoza
Preparation time: 1-½ hours
Cooking time: 4 batches about 25 to 28 minutes

*Gyoza Wrappers are 3 inch round, thin, soft, fresh flour dough. They come in about 65 pieces and are sold next to the wonton wrappers in the produce section of most supermarkets.
**You can make the gyoza ahead of time and freeze on a flat tray. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag and keep frozen for later use.


19

Dec

2008

Baked Stuffed Mushrooms

The holidays are upon us and it has been such a busy time (hence the lack of posts)! Our traditional family Christmas Eve dinner planning is in full swing by Grandma Lucy and we wanted to share a light and healthy hors d’oeuvre that your family may also enjoy.

1 pound fresh mushrooms, (1.5 to 2 inch diameter / about 20 pieces)
½ pound small or medium size raw shrimp
1/2 can sliced water chestnuts (2.5 oz. drained & approx. ¼ cup after finely chopped)
1 oz. fresh cilantro (approx. ¼ cup after finely chopped)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon rice wine or cooking sherry wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
Canola oil or Pam cooking spray

Preparation:
Wash mushrooms thoroughly and carefully remove the stems. Finely chop the stems. Peel and devein the shrimp, rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Use a heavy knife to finely chop the shrimp. Finely chop the water chestnuts. Wash and trim the cilantro, finely chop.  In a bowl, combine the chopped shrimp with the mushroom stems, water chestnuts, cilantro, cornstarch, rice wine, salt and sesame oil. Mix together thoroughly. Fill each mushroom cap with 1 tablespoon of the shrimp mixture. Pack tightly so that top of filling is rounded like a miniature cupcake. You should be able to use up all the mixture.

To Cook:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange stuffed mushrooms into a 9×12 baking dish. (There will be some liquid from the mushrooms while baking.)
Spray a little cooking spray on top of the stuffed mushrooms. Bake the stuffed mushrooms uncovered for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the baked mushrooms onto a serving plate and serve it warm.

Makes about 20 mushroom caps
Preparation time: 20 to 25 minutes
Cooking time: 18 to 20 minutes


4

Oct

2008

Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs

A popular party dish made just a bit more healthy with the ground turkey meat. Although it’s the Chinese sweet and sour sauce that really makes it!

1 package ground turkey (1-1/4 pounds)
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs (Progresso brand)
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger root
1 scallion, including the green top
1 egg
2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
Canola oil or Pam cooking spray

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
½ cup water
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water

Preparation:
Peel and finely grate the fresh ginger root. Wash and trim the green onion, finely chop.  In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey with bread crumbs, ginger root, green onions, egg, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and sugar. Mix together thoroughly.  In a small bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water together and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the turkey mixture, use palm of hands roll into a 1 inch round meatball. For easy clean up, spray cooking spray onto a large cookie sheet before placing meatballs.

To Cook:
Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes.  For the sauce:  Combine  water, sugar, ketchup and white vinegar in a medium sized pot.  Stir over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add dissolved cornstarch, stir for a few seconds until the sauce has thickened and becomes clear. Turn off heat.  When the meatballs are done, add the baked meatballs to the pot and coat well with sauce. Note: The sauce will only lightly coat the meatballs for flavor. Serve warm.

Makes about 40 meatballs
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking and cooking time: 18 minutes


29

Aug

2008

Easy Chinese Steamed Pork Buns

A few years back my mother stumbled upon a competition hosted by Pillsbury. I initially balked at the idea of making things from their branded biscuits. Afterall, we grew up eating fresh, homemade, healthy foods. We were the house that never, ever had sugared cereal! So when my mom stocked up on their buttery Grands! biscuits, I was secretly happy but wondered if she was loosing it? From taco shells to sticky buns, these delicious little biscuits can do anything. There’s even a tasty reduced fat version!


Without further adieu, here’s Lucy’s recipe with the store bought biscuit dough and all. They are truly delicious and make amazing hors d’oeuvres !

2 packages (10 per package) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
2 tablespoons flour (for dusting the biscuits)
Canola oil or Pam cooking spray
½ cup water

Filling:
½ pound lean ground pork
2 scallions, including the green top
1 tablespoon soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons pure sesame oil
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger root
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar

Preparation:
Wash and trim the green onions, finely chop. Peel and finely grate the ginger root.  In a bowl, combine the ground pork with chopped onions, grated ginger root, soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, salt and sugar. Mix together thoroughly and set aside.

On a cutting board, separate biscuits. Flatten each with fingertips and lightly dust with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll each biscuit into a 3-½ inch round shape, approximately 1/8-inch thick.

Place the flattened biscuit dough onto the palm of your hand. Place 1 tablespoon of pork filling in the center of the biscuit and with your other hand, gather the sides of the biscuit dough around the filling, letting the biscuit dough pleat naturally. Pinch the top of the dough to seal. Tap the little biscuit bun to flatten its bottom so it stands upright. Repeat to make all the buns.

To Cook:
Spray cooking oil in a 10-inch non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Place 10 biscuit buns in the pan, leaving 1/2 inch space between each bun. Add half (¼ cup) of the water to the pan and cover. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the bottom of the buns are lightly browned. The buns size will double.

Transfer the cooked pork buns onto a plate or lined breadbasket. Cover with tinfoil to keep them warm. Repeat to cook another 10 buns.

Makes 20 pork buns
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 to 24 minutes

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