Tag Archives: pantry raid

Pantry Raid: Carbonara Potstickers

19 Oct

Carbonara Potstickers

My affinity for pasta carbonara has been mentioned here before.  Its simple decadence lends itself to  any situation where comfort food is calling.  My recent foray into the world of potstickers inspired my inner mad scientist to experiment with new combinations of fillings and this gem immediately jumped to the forefront.

The bacon and cheese alone would make a passable filling, but the onions, mushrooms and fresh garlic that usually find their way into my carbonara would do well to flesh it out.  The wrapper of the potsticker made an easy analog for the pasta and the creamy egg, cheese and bacon drippings would make a worthy sauce without the need to dip.  The end result is a kind of carbonara tortellini or ravioli that captures the essence of the original dish in a novel package.  Chopsticks are purely optional here.  I went with a fork.

Dish: Carbonara Potstickers

Ingredient Rollcall:

  • 15-20 wonton wrappers
  • 3-4 slices of thick-cut bacon, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 mushrooms, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Italian herbs, ground
  • salt and cracked pepper, to taste

How I do it:

  1. Saute minced bacon and mushrooms for a minute or two with balsamic until some fat has rendered out, drain and reserve drippings.
  2. Mix minced bacon, mushroom, onion, garlic, 1 beaten egg, breadcrumbs, half of grated cheese, salt, pepper and dash of ground herbs in small mixing bowl.
  3. Assemble and cook potstickers as instructed in my previous recipe, with help from my main man, Alton Brown.
  4. Mix other beaten egg, remaining cheese, and a healthy portion of cracked black pepper.
  5. Return cooked potstickers to the the pan over medium heat with a splash of water until water begins to steam again.  Remove from heat and add egg and cheese mixture and a splash of bacon drippings.  Toss and stir until the potstickers are well-coated and sauce thickens.  Serves 2 (or 1 if you’re me).
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Pantry Raid: Pineapple-Curry Chicken

1 Sep

The fridge is pretty sparse these days, which always forces me into concoction mode when it comes time to slap together a meal. I had some chicken thighs thawing in the fridge and some leftover couscous from last night’s dinner. Some poking around the pantry found a can of pineapple chunks in juice and and a further search of the fridge found some heirloom cherry tomatoes, mixed hot chiles, fresh ginger root and red curry paste. Not exactly a classic dish, but I knew I could make this work

Dish: Pineapple-Curry Chicken

Ingredient rundown:
– 2 chicken thighs, skinned and deboned
– inch or so of ginger root, minced
– 2 hot chiles (any will do)
– handfull of mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes
– half a can of pineapple chunks in juice
– sprinkling of flour and cornstarch (enough to coat a plate)
– spices (garlic powder, ground chipotle, s+p)
– red curry paste (Trader Joe’s)
– splash each of sesame oil and olive oils

Serves 2(ish)

How I do it:

1. Cut chicken thighs into rough chunks

2. Cut chiles into thin strips, quarter cherry tomatoes, mince ginger

3. Mix flour, cornstarch, garlic and chipotle powders, s+p and sprinkle on a plate. Roll chicken pieces in mixture until well-coated.

4. Heat oils in medium skillet over medium-high heat and sauté ginger with garlic powder for a minute or two. Add coated chicken and sauté until browned and crispy, 3-5 minutes on each side.

5. Remove chicken to drain and add chiles, tomatoes and pineapple with a dash of salt to sauté for another 3-5 minutes.

6. Add chicken back to the vegetables and add a couple tablespoons of red curry paste and the pineapple juice from the can. Sauté for 5-10 minutes until the sauce is thickened to your liking.

7. Serve with jasmine rice or, in my case, leftover couscous spiced with powdered ginger and lemon juice.

Like I said, kind of a goofy composition, but it turned out pretty well. Would have been great with some coconut milk and more diverse veggies, had I access to either in this case. Another more-or-less successful concoction worthy of my first “recipe” here for the masses.

As you will come to find, I don’t really like recipes. That’s not to say I don’t use them, but more often than not they serve as jumping-off points, and they are almost always tweaked bases on what I’m craving and what I have on hand. So consider what I post here a general framework for creating a tasty dish that you can customize extensively in most cases. I would love to hear from anyone who attempts any of these dishes and makes it their own. Happy cooking!

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