Hello and happy new year, everyone. And what a year it will be.
While I was gone, eating my way through New Zealand and Bangkok for a month – tough life – it seemed like the reasons to celebrate in 2011 were piling up almost as high as my mail: Stanford goes to the Orange Bowl, a handful of friends get engaged, and I get a….well, this last one will just have to wait for a few more weeks to be revealed. And it’s not a baby.
But back to the point, the signs from the universe were undeniably clear: it is 2011 and it is time to party.
So to kick things off, I wanted to feature food that is synonymous with celebrations, also known as appetizers. You know, those little bite-sized bundles of food that always tend to be more scrumptious than the main course? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. And if you’re like me, it is rare (and unlikely) to attend an event with low sodium versions of these delights. You’re lucky if you can pick at the fruit decorating the cheese plate.
But if you happen to have an in with a catering company (thank you McCall’s) or a very loving and creative sister-in-law (thank you Stins and Tim), then you won’t have to starve your way through cocktail parties anymore. Low sodium appetizers are possible and they can be impossibly delicious.
Case in point, these potstickers you see above. I’m talking juicy, crispy, asian, and salt free.
For a pre-Thanksgiving palate cleanser, sister-in-law lovingly rolled and folded a bushel of these pork pockets for me and the family. And I showed my gratitude by eating them all.
The recipe is a bit involved – this is no thirty minute meal – but the effort is worth it. Trust me. And once you’ve made the dough, I’m guessing that you can freeze the extra’s for a quicker pot sticker fix in the future.
So, without further ado (what does that phrase even mean?), I present Cristina’s Low Sodium Stickers. Put on your elastic wasted pants and get cooking, and make sure this new year is not about eating less food, but about eating more flavor.
Ingredients – Low Sodium Potsticker Filing:
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 head of broccoli (approximately 1.5-2 cups chopped – we didn’t use the stem but you could)
- 3 Tbsp Herbox Sodium Free Chicken Bouillon
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup water
- 1/8-1/4 tsp ground ginger (depending on how gingery you like it)
- Ground black pepper to taste
1. Put oil into saute pan and cook the onions and garlic until translucent.
2. Add the broccoli, Herbox, and water. Simmer until the broccoli is cooked.
3. Drain the excess liquid and put mixture into a bowl. Puree with an immersion blender or Cuisinart.
4. Add the ginger and pepper
5. Add ground pork and mix thoroughly.
Ingredients – Low Sodium Potsticker Wrappers:
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 cup flour
1. In a medium bowl, beat the egg.
2. Mix in the water.
3. Then, in a separate bowl or on a cutting board, place your flour in a mound. Create a well in the center of the mixture and slowly pour in the egg and water. This is the same technique used when making pasta by hand. Mix well and if the mixture is too dry, increase the amount of water one teaspoon at a time until a pliable dough has formed.
4. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until elastic. Cut dough into two separate balls. Cover the balls with a damp cloth for a minimum of 10 minutes.
5. Cut each ball into four equal pieces. Roll the pieces out and cut 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch squares. And then cut the squares into 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch squares.
6. Now to make the potstickers, we took a wrapper and put about a tablespoon of filling in it, folded the wrapper and pressed together. The fresh wrappers should be moist enough so you don’t need to use any extra water to get a good seal, but if you do, you can just take a drop of water and rub it on the inside of the wrapper edge then fold and seal.
Frying Directions (care of Alton Brown):
1. Heat a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat.
2. Brush with vegetable oil once hot.
3. Add 8 to 10 potstickers at a time to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, without touching.
4. Once the 2 minutes are up, gently add 1/3 cup water to the pan, turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for another 2 minutes.
5. Remove wontons to a heatproof platter (and you can place in a warm oven before serving).
6. Clean the pan in between batches by pouring in water and allowing the pan to deglaze or to wipe with a towel.
7. Repeat until all the wontons are cooked. Serve immediately.