Wednesday, December 31, 2014

An Almost Chinese American New Year

Chinese New Year isn't until February and quite honestly, we don't do a lot of celebrating holidays specific to Haiti or China, but I thought this was a catchy title for a meal that was almost Chinese dim sum on New Year's Eve.  It was kind of one of those meals that was problematic all around.  I had made Char Siu  (Chinese barbequed pork) in the crockpot a few months back and knew that at some point, I wanted to make bao with it.  (Bao are Chinese filled, usually steamed, dumplings.)  But dumplings are time consuming and I don't own a steamer so I'd been putting it off.  Fast forward to today and I figured that this week, when D was off from work, would be a good time to try out a new, time consuming recipe.  I found a couple of dough recipes online that I thought might work for us.  Both baked the dumplings instead of steamed, and the first used a bread machine to mix up the dough.  I thawed out the char siu and made a bit of extra gravy following David Soo-Hoo's recipe.  I opted for the bread machine version, with plans to start the dough around 3 in order to give myself enough time for it to raise and to roll out and fill the dumplings.  I ended up starting about 3:30 so I was already feeling pressed for time.  My plain was to have the kids help me roll out the dough and assemble the dumplings around 5 so we could eat around 5:45 or 6.  About 4:50, I decided to double check everything only to realize that the dumplings have to rise again after they are stuffed.  That second rise takes 45 minutes.  No way I could make those for supper tonight with that second rise.  So I went ahead and had the kids make them, figuring I would let them rise while we ate and then bake them after supper with plans to eat them the next day.  The bread machine recipe didn't have you roll them out like I thought they ought to be so I switched over to recipe number two for the rolling out part.  I followed that plan pretty well until I pulled them out of the oven and realized that I forgot to put the egg wash on them.  Oh well...they were still super tasty!  I had to sample one tonight just to be sure.  The dough was super light and fluffy.  Not exactly the steamed dumplings most are used to but still yummy.  Given the number of times I said opps while making it and the number of recipes I consulted, I'm just amazed that it's not a big nasty glob of dough.

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