Friday, February 19, 2010

Chicken Pot Stickers

True confession:

There's a nice Barnes & Noble near my kids' school, and now and then I purposely leave the house early so I can stop and browse before I pick them up. Each time, I solemnly swear that I will NOT buy a cookbook or cooking magazine. And each time, I walk out with a cookbook or a cooking magazine. Sometimes both.

I recently purchased Cook This, Not That, which caught my eye because it features healthy spins on all sorts of favorite restaurant-type foods, from burgers to breakfast sandwiches to pasta dishes to comfort foods. My clients and my family love this kind of food, and a little extra inspiration never hurts (at least that was my justification for buying the book).

Last week, I asked my 2 kids and husband each to flag two recipes they'd like to try in the book. This is the family that really could care less what's for dinner, as long as it's vaguely familiar, lukewarm and ready to eat at 6:15 pm.

To my surprise, they flagged 13 recipes. Tonight I was inspired by the recipe for Chicken Pot Stickers from the Appetizers and Small Bites chapter. I wanted to bring a platter of something special to a cocktail party, and this was a big hit! I have put several more recipes from the book on our family menu for the upcoming week, so stay tuned for more tasty results.

Chicken Pot Stickers
Makes a big platter

1 bag frozen pot stickers (about 24 pot stickers; I got mine at Trader Joe's)
4 tsp. dark sesame oil, divided
2 tsp. canola oil
1 bag sugar snap peas (I use Mann's, found fresh in the produce section; they're already washed and strings removed)
2 T. hoisin sauce
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. rice vinegar
squirt of sriracha sauce
sesame seeds, optional

Cook the pot stickers in a big pot of boiling water until they float to the top, about 3 - 5 minutes. You don't want them completely cooked and mushy, but on their way to cooked. Drain and pat dry.

Heat 2 tsp. of sesame oil and 2 tsp. of canola oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Place the pot stickers in the pan and let cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until the sides are nicely browned.

Meanwhile, place the sugar snap peas in a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and steam in the microwave for 1 minute. Remove plastic wrap. Toss browned pot stickers with sugar snap peas and 1 tsp. sesame oil in the bowl.

Make a dipping sauce by combining the hoisin, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha and remaining teaspoon of sesame oil (or use any store-bought sauce you have around). Place the pot stickers and sugar snap peas on a platter, with the dipping sauce nearby (or toss them with the sauce and place on platter). Garnish with sesame seeds.

Recipe adapted from Cook This, Not That.

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