Martha Mondays: Potstickers and Luminarias

mondaysFor this week’s assignment, I chose pork and chive potstickers (Oct Everyday Food) and Luminarias (October Living) so folks could choose one they wanted to do.

Potstickers

potstickerslsqMy family loves potstickers. I’ve bought them frozen and I’ve also made my own once or twice before, but I used wonton wrappers and ended up with little beggar’s purses. I was ready to make real potstickers. Lucinda Scala Quinn recently made this recipe on Martha’s show. The recipe is pretty easy, as far as prep goes.  I used ground turkey instead of pork which I mixed with the chives, soy sauce, sherry, ginger, sesame oil and cornstarch. On tv, I noticed Lucinda added a little water, which is not in the recipe.

I sealed the mixture in the wrappers, which took a while, since I tripled this recipe. I tried to make pretty pleated edges, but mostly it bunched up. The recipe says to boil them for 4 minutes, then sear them in a pan. I was taught to make potstickers by heating a pan with oil, searing the potstickers then adding a little water and putting a lid on and steaming them and that’s how I always have made them in the past. I followed Lucinda’s instructions on this though. It required an extra pot and I had some trouble with the potstickers sticking together when I set them on a plate in between the two steps. It did allow me to sear them on both sides, when in the past I usually seared just the bottom.

The dipping sauce was nice – soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil. I made about 1/3 of the potstickers (since I tripled the recipe) and froze the rest (which I admit will be very handy to have around, so thanks for suggesting it Lucinda). The family ate every single one and wanted more. I thought they were good, but next time I would add a little more flavor. Maybe it was because I used ground turkey, but I found them a little bland. I think they needed garlic. Other than that, they were quite good.

Luninarias

tracing the template

tracing the template

I was hesitant about this project. I’m always a little leery when something that looks so complicated is spelled out in three tiny little steps. The first problem was the materials. The instructions specifically say to buy a piece of 24×36 black paper.  No one sells this. I went to Michael’s, Joann’s and a local art supply store. The art supply store had paper that was 22 x 30 so I ended up buying that and then it turned out it was more than big enough and regular poster size would have worked (grrrr). They did have vellum but I had no idea what weight I wanted. I had to buy one big piece of vellum and cut it down (would have been nice if the instructions said to buy four 8×11 pieces which is what I ended up needing). Sometimes I think that the MSLO folks who create these projects forget that the rest of us don’t live in NYC where you can buy absolutely anything.

Once I got through the craziness of trying to find the materials, this wasn’t

cutting out the vellum (see the price tag!)

cutting out the vellum (see the price tag!)

that hard to do. Mr. MarthaAndMe helped out because I’m not so good with a craft knife. We printed out the template for the lantern and traced it on the black paper, then cut it out with the craft knife.  Then we printed the witch template onto the pieces of vellum we had cut down to size. (Mr. MarthaAndMe was very upset about a price tag that would not come off and which had to go through the printer – we don’t understand who would sell a piece of paper meant for projects that has a price tag that won’t come off!).

luminThen we used tape to attach the vellum to the lantern windows. We folded the lantern up (I don’t have a bone folder and we were fine without it). The tricky part was attaching wire and the hanging battery powered little light inside. Mr. MarthaAndMe had to handle that part.

This project took about an hour, not counting the shopping time.  I was really quite pleased with the results. We hung it from our dining room chandelier, so that it will be over the table for the Halloween lumin3party.

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20 Responses to Martha Mondays: Potstickers and Luminarias

  1. Frugal Kiwi says:

    Potstickers, gyoza, chinese dumplings, whatever you call them are one of my favourite dishes. I love them beyond reason and we make them pretty often to slake my need for those yummy dumplings. We usually toss in some finely chopped cabbage and any other veggies we have around like carrot, red capsicum or water chestnuts to add colour and a tiny bit of crunch.

  2. marthaandme says:

    I love them too, but they are so much work to make when you have 2 ravenous children who would eat plates and plates of them!

  3. Lyndsey says:

    Beautiful! Both, your poststickers and your luminarias! The dumplings are so versatile, thanks for choosing them!

    I am now posting my Martha Mondays on my food blog. http://tinyskillet.blogspot.com

    I made some pork dumplings earlier and it makes a lot so I still have some in the freezer. Not Martha’s but here is that post: http://aquasunday.blogspot.com/2009/08/pork-dumplings.html

    I would love to see pictures of your house all decorated for Halloween!

  4. marthaandme says:

    I’ll be posting photos closer to Halloween. Lots to do before the big day still!

  5. Luninarias – wow! These look really nice. (And I can totally appreciate your bit of frustration with trying to get the supplies in hand.)

  6. The pot stickers look yummy and the luminaries are so cool! I might try that next year (no time this year)!

  7. megan says:

    Your potstickers look tasty an you luminarie came out so cute. I cheated a little on the luinaries but I did make them! 🙂

  8. marthaandme says:

    How did you cheat?

  9. Amanda says:

    Love the luminaries – very cute!

  10. leef says:

    I really like those potstickers, have made them several times. I had trouble with them sticking together at first, but now I am a pro. Also had to cook them way longer in the pan than recipe states to get those nice brown spots. I thought these were flavorful, but I used the pork. The part about adding the water is in the written directions (I almost missed it myself). Don’t know what the water adds to the recipe, but I like the way they come out. Leftovers are good warmed up in a 350 oven, as well. They come out very crispy.

  11. Sassy says:

    I am really impressed with your luminaries. I was leary of making them myself once I read the directions and yet you succeeded in this craft! See, you can do crafts after all! Loved the pot stickers. I finally got my results posted. My only complaint is that premade wrappers don’t have the same texture as restaurant ones. I might have to try my hand at making homemade wrappers!

  12. marthaandme says:

    The luminiaria really was not as hard as I expected – it’s mostly cutting and folding paper. I agree about the pot stickers. There are several cookbooks out now about making your own. I’m going to have get them from the library.

  13. Kerry Dexter says:

    enjoying reading your experiences with both of these…

  14. Stephanie says:

    I never really thought about making lanterns – I thought they would be much more difficult. I have a book here on making lanterns out of paper crafts – perhaps I should give it a second look-over.

  15. How do you do all this stuff? I’m in awe just reading about it.

  16. I love potstickers. I used to make them a lot, either those or won ton soup. It’s been so long, your post brings back good memories. I should do it again. I can’t remember what I put inside the wrappers except for chopped green onions and pork. But it’s making me hungry just thinking about them.

    Your luminarias are very different from the ones we do here in the Southwest. Ours are simply paper bags (lunch bag size) with the tops rolled down, filled with sand and a lighted candle. We line them up and down the driveway on Christmas Eve. It’s a tradition my old neighborhood kept up year after year. The HOA, the homeowner’s association. would buy them. My current neighborhood doesn’t do this, but I wish they did. It was a fun tradition. My entire family would go outside to help set them up and light them at dusk. All the neighbors would be outside doing the same. Wonder if I could convince the neighbors on my street to do this…

    Jackie

  17. marthaandme says:

    I love those paper bag luminarias. There’s a community near here that puts them out on Christmas Eve and they are so pretty.

  18. Hum, I wonder if the pork would taste better. I’ve always used ground pork, but lately we’ve been experimenting with ground turkey around our house. So more flavor, huh? Also, one of my favorite dipping sauces for potstickers is equal parts lime juice and soy sauce. Sounds simple but SOOO tasty.

  19. marthaandme says:

    That dipping sauce sounds great.

  20. Kris says:

    I love potstickers, and make an abbreviated version pretty regularly. I may have to try this!

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