Fajita Mix

I have always wanted to come up with my own Fajita Mix.  First of all the amount of additives and sodium in your standard mix makes this healthy meal quite unhealthy.  I just kept adding spices in small measurements until I got just the right flavor.   I even went out of my way, it wasn’t really, but I made tortilla’s which I haven’t done in years to go along with this meal.  I was more then estatic with the results of it all combined.

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White Wine Garlic Cream Pizza Sauce

Since I found the perfect pizza crust, for now.  Trying to get the perfect pizza combinations is my new goal.  I spent the better part of my day trying and looking up different ways to make a creamy garlic sauce for a pizza.  We used to get a pizza at a place that is now closed, but it was Chicken, Garlic & Tomato.  I know that most places use ‘ranch dressing’ as a white sauce but that just grosses me out.  For one, I wanted to know everything that was going into this and two, I wanted to use the last bit of wine left over from the chicken and artichoke dish.

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Gyoza with Dipping Sauce

There is a place in the skyway in downtown Minneapolis called Zen Box. It has the best gyoza I have ever had. This is as close to their recipe as I can get. I have read about 25 recipes and based on taste tests this is the result, which is soft, savory, crunchy and holds up well when piced up which is a cooked-to-perfection test of a good gyoza. I have had good and bad potstickers – bad being Panda Express – and good which are in my opinion, these. It is one of those items that wherever you go you tend to order it. The results can vary widely from place to place and well have our favorites. If you like a slightly more crunch testure, keep in a 200°F oven until ready to serve. It adds an extra crunch to them that really is pleasant.

Gyoza is basically the Japanese name for potstickers or dumplings. The sauce for this I took the inspiration from another local restaurant (Fuji-Ya). They have this spicy dipping sauce that is just amazing! The following recipe makes 24 and they freeze exceptionally well. I hope you try them.

Gyoza Dipping Sauce

  • 3 tbsp Mirin
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 3 drops Chili Oil
  • 2 drops Sesame Oil

Combine and mix. Set aside to let flavors blend until ready to serve.

Gyoza

  • 2/3 c Napa Cabbage, minced
  • 1/4 lb Ground Pork
  • 1 tsp Ginger, fresh grated
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/8 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/8 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/3 c Scallions, minced
  • 1 tbsp Egg White
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 2 tsp Flour
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 drops Sesame Oil
  • 20-25 Gyoza wrappers
  • 1/2 c water

Shred and mince the cabbage, wash and drain and place on paper towels to dry.

In a bowl combine pork, ginger, soy, sesame oil, and pepper. By hand mix throughly. Add in egg white and continue to mix by hand. Add in the onion and cabbage keep mixing until one cohesive mass.

In a small bowl combine the 2 tbsp of water with 2 tsp of flour. This you will use to we the rims of the wrappers to seal. So place near your work space.

Get an empty plate or tray to place your prepared gyoza. Line it wax paper.

Now the tricky work.

Step 1: Place a gyoza wrapper in your hand and add 1 teaspoon of the pork mix in the center.

Step 2: Dip your finger in the flour water and run it around the rim of the wrapper. Make sure you are going over the very edge so you get a good seal. Fold the wrapper in half pushing all the air out from around the pork mince as you line up all the edges.

Step 3: Now the folding seal edge over edge in a Z shape starting in the middle.

Step 4: Then repeat working out from the middle one side to the edge and then the other. It should take no more then 2-3 crimps per side. Being sure to pinch the seal closed between your fingers.

Step 5: Place the dumpling fat side down on the plate. (If freezing, Line a flat sheet with wax paper, and place them in the freezer. When completely frozen transfer to a freezer bag. Keeps well up to 2-4 weeks.)

Repeat steps 1-5 until all the dumplings are made. After step 5 this is the point that if you want to you can freeze the dumplings.

Place a 10″ non stick skillet over medium heat. When it is hot place 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 drops sesame oil in pan.

Arrange 10-12 dumplings in the pan when it is browned to your personal preference.

Get the lid for the pan ready. Now add 1/2 cup of water and immediately place the lid. You will be able to hear when all the water has simmered out. Should be 5-8 minutes.

Test the seams for doneness. They should be A slight transparent oily color. If needed add two more tbsp of water. If it is ready remove from pan add 1 tsp of water and place on lid quickly and remove from heat. Shake pan to loosen dumplings.

Serve garnished with scallions and dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Pizza Sauce

 

I have never been a fan of red sauce on pizza.  That is until I tried one that was spicy, had a great tomato flavor, and had some sweet notes in it as well.  This is my replication of that. Tonight I made it into calzones with our favorite toppings; chicken, red peppers, and olives.  I used pizza dough recipe I make and freeze into portions.  It turned out perfect for this.  It was on a whim that I switched it to calzones from just a basic flat pizza.  Glad I did!  The sauce was really what pulled it all together and made this so great.

I started out with this post just wanting to share this pizza dough that I like to have on hand, mostly because it can freeze well and when you want it just take it out to thaw and it will finish rising.   Problem is, I lost the recipe!  I promise I will find it, so instead turned this into a Pizza Sauce recipe instead.    Super simple and spicy sauce, just takes a min to cook and come together and you will have an amazing sauce.

 

Pizza Sauce

  • 1 Lrg Roma Tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 Small Shallot, minced
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Fennel
  • 1/2 tsp Italian Parsley, minced
  • 1 can (8oz) Tomato Sauce
  • Salt to taste

With a small paring knife make a small X, do not slice through the flesh just enough to just score the skin, in the bottom of the tomato.   Place in a pan of rapidly boiling water for 30 seconds.  Remove and place in an ice bath.  Once cool enough to handle you should be able to just use the knife and peel away the skin of the tomato with out damaging the flesh, using the small X you made as a starting point.   Once all the skin is removed, cut in half and with a spoon remove all the guts, leaving just the flesh.  Finely dice the flesh and set aside.

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, saute the garlic and shallots until transparent.  Add in the diced tomato and cook until tomato becomes soft.  Once the tomatoes become soft add in all the spices, and the can of tomato sauce. Stir to mix well and taste! Always taste the food.  Add salt to taste.  Omit the salt if you plan on using slaty toppings; bacon, ham, olives for example.

Once the sauce begins to simmer, stir and turn to low.  Cook for 10 min.  Makes about 1 cup of sauce.

Taco Seasoning

Who doesn’t like tacos?  Well, I don’t like taco’s with ground beef, but I don’t count that.  I just prefer ground turkey or chopped up chicken breasts.  Heck, I even made it with ground chicken once which wasn’t bad, but I like to know what part of the beast I am eating and that left me feeling, a little dirty.  This is super simple and spicy and so much better for you to have on hand then those prepackaged seasonings.

A few years ago we switched to the low sodium type but still had insane amounts of salt, so I have been looking for a homemade version.  I made the original version which had way too much chili powder, and didn’t have that cumin & garlic taste I was looking for, and well.. needed salt.  So, made a few changes and they are reflected below.   Now, getting anyone in my family to try and eat heather, that is a challenge.  I just hope one of them adapt this recipe and enjoy it.  Yep, little brother I am looking at you.

Taco Seasoning

  • 3 tbsp chili powder (I used 1 tbsp chippole powder, and 2 tbsp smoked ancho chili powder)
  • 3 tbsp plus smoked paprika
  • 4 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all in a airtight container, mix.  Store.

When making taco’s use 2 tbsp’s per pound of meat.  I love this for chicken tacos!

 

Adapted: Use Real Butter