When Safeway has a half price sale on hams (after a holiday) I buy a half a ham and cut it into ¾ inch ham steaks to freeze for later. A ham steak is pretty much just a slab of meat. The trick is what glaze do you put on it to dress it up.
Category Archives: Techniques
Adapted from Grill it with Levi
The kids are feeling a bit toady after weeks of holiday eating and have decided to go on a keto/Atkins low-carb diet. These diets are vegetable/protein forward. Usually, I go with dishes where I can serve the starch on the side, for those who wish for more.
Note: This recipes for Xiao Long Bao is very complex, basically an article—10 pages—rather than a post. Jan and daughter Miriam suggest that blog readers generally do not like such long posts. This recipe is actually four recipes in one, so I will post three of these as separate posts with an introductory and concluding post. For my readers who do not mind reading a long post, I will also post the entire article separately.
Since it is impossible to pour hot soup into a raw piece of dough, there had to be a trick to making these soup filled buns. The secret is to turn the soup into aspic—a meat jelly. Many of the “quick” recipes call for using powdered gelatin. The more traditional recipes call for boiling pig skin for hours to break down its collagen to make the gelatin. If you are using this technique, it is advisable to begin making the soup the day before you plan to make these dumplings.
The most of the fillings, I found, for XLBs were fairly standard for Chinese dumplings. Pork or pork combined with shrimp with the usual set of seasonings—ginger, green onion, salt, soy sauce, and a touch of sugar. This is not to say that than you cannot make chicken or vegetarian versions of this dish.
The dough for xiao long bao is the regular hot water dough that you make for any Chinese dumpling. Flour, salt and warm water that is then kneaded until smooth and elastic. Since this dough usually has only three ingredients—flour, salt, and water—you would think this would be simple.
While the dough is resting set up an assembly station. You will need a floured flat surface and a small rolling pin. Put the meat mix with a spoon on one side, the cabbage pieces—drained and dried—and a steamer basket on the other.
Xiao long bao (小笼包, literally “little-basket bun”) is the hot new food in San Jose this year—several restaurants have opened or recently started specializing in these Asian delights. XLBs—for short—is a kind of dim sum that falls somewhere between a steamed bun (baozi) and a dumpling (jiaozi). Both of these are usually filled with meat and/or vegetables. Boazi tend to be dry both inside and out. Jiaozi may be moister inside, but are frequently put into a soup. With xiao long bao the hot savory soup is actually already inside the bun with the filling. Son-in-law Chris has challenged me to learn to make this uniquely Shanghai dish.
Note: Although the Taiwanese claim it as their own.
It has been a long time since I have cooked anything en papillote. To cook something en papillote means that you are cooking it in a parchment packet—although these days it is more common to use aluminum foil. As I was looking for dinner ideas, I came across several recipes like this, but none that matched what I wanted, so I just took out on my own.
Many weeks I will spend the entire week thinking about and planning Sunday’s dinner. I have had a rough week—broken car, broken shower, broken refrigerator—and I did not feel I had it in me to plan an elaborate meal ahead of time. A plain ham steak, steamed green beans, a simple coleslaw, and a baked sweet potato would have to do. While this is a meal that started off simply, I got carried away.