Do you plan out your leftovers?

MrChas has his favorite spinning class on Tuesday evenings. When he comes home, he is, to put it mildly, a HooverBeast. I have to make sure Tuesday night dinners are substantial, otherwise, he'll prowl the pantry and stare into the 'fridge all night long.

So tonight, I made Eric Sollenberger's steamed dumplings - and if you haven't made this recipe, you should, it's amazing. But because I make them with ground turkey, and I can only get ground turkey in those 20 ounce packages, that's a lot of dumplings for two people. So what I do is prep and cook all the meat, so the next day, I can make this fried rice recipe. (I get the crappy chicken rice in the microwaveable bag to make it thoroughly and completely nasty-good ;) )

Basically, I planned my leftovers - I wanted the amazing seasoned and steamed ground turkey, so I could have a big old pile of protein and carbs to feed MrChas tomorrow, as well as the wonderful steamed dumplings tonight. (Though I cannot stress how much my dumplings do NOT look like the ones in the picture. I suck at pretty dumplings, but neither of us care because they are SOOOOOOO good.)

Anyone else do that? And if you do, what's the progression?

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When I posted the dumpling recipe once before, people noted it's in the usual Foodspin narrative instead of a recipe format. So here's the recipe format. The associated dipping sauce is wonderful, especially if you use chinkiang vinegar. Also, if you don't have a steamer - I actually ended up buying one of those two-level bamboo jobs with the ring to balance it over a pot so we could make these more often - you can jury rig one this way.

Dumplings

  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (BUY THIS GRATER. JUST DO IT.)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 3/4 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 1-2 bunch cilantro, chopped (no stems)
  • 32 oz ground pork (can substitute ground turkey)
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • Pinch garlic salt
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • 40-50 Wonton or Potsticker Wrappers

Dipping Sauce

  • Soy sauce
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Sriracha
  • White or chinkiang vinegar

Make Filling

  1. Put ginger, garlic, onion and cilantro in a good sized bowl.
  2. Add the ground pork and give everything a good stir. The mixture should start to smell vaguely like dumplings at this point. As you're stirring, add soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste. Be careful with the salt since the soy sauce is basically a more delicious, liquid version of salt, and there's already plenty of that in there.
  3. Stir this mixture around for a minute or two and stick your nose down in that bowl. It should smell really, really good now.
  4. (Note from Chas - I let this sit for 30-60 minutes to let the flavors meld a bit.)

Wrap and Steam Dumplings

  1. Grab four plates and fill a small bowl with warm water. Lay a wrapper out in front of you and put about a small meatball's worth of filling in the center of the wrapper. Dip your hand in the water, and trace the outline of the wonton wrapper with your wet finger. By putting moisture on the edges of the wrapper, we're going to make sure they stick together when we fold this thing.
  2. There are any number of ways to fold a dumpling, but the objective here is to seal up the meaty center with an airtight blanket of wrapper. You can fold all of the corners together, or if you have circular wrappers you can fold them in half to make a little coin purse. As you wrap them, try to arrange them so that they're not touching each other any more than absolutely necessary, as they have a tendency to stick and can tear when pulled apart.
  3. Fill the bottom of a steamer with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Place some parchment paper down on the upper levels of the steamer so that the dumplings don't stick to it. If you don't have parchment paper, cabbage or lettuce works; if you don't have cabbage or lettuce, just rub some oil on the bottom of the steamer trays; if you don't have parchment paper or cabbage or lettuce or oil, cry into your hands.
  4. Once the water's boiling, put the dumplings in the steamer, cover them, and let them cook over high heat for 11 minutes (10 minutes if you're using turkey).
  5. Remove the cooked dumplings from the steamer when the time's up, let them sit a few minutes to cool. Serve immediately

Dipping Sauce

Grab a couple of shallow dipping bowls, cover the bottom of each with soy sauce, then add a splash of sesame oil, a squirt of sriracha, and just a few drops of white vinegar. Stir. Done.