TOAST’s Web “Thing”

Sunday, 2006-12-17

One hundred (and two) potsticker dumplings.

Filed under: Cooking / Eating,Recipes — by Toast d'Béchamel @ 6:44 pm


I love these things and have made them a few times in the past.  Making the dough is a beeyatch.  Hard physical work, tricky and messes up your entire kitchen.  I did it a couple of times just to say that I did it.  Bought a few packets of gow-gee skins (call them what you like, Gow Gee, JiaoZi, Potsticker dumplings, or even gyoza), which made things so much easier.  Not wonton skins, that’s a different thing.  It had been a while since I’ve done this, but I did pretty well.  Recipe for 60 (I ended up doubling the recipe, and had some leftover filling).

Start with 500g of pork mince, not too fatty.  If you’re game, you can get an incredible result if you mince the meat yourself using two cleavers, enabling you to control the texture.  Add half bunch of shallots, and finely sliced and half a Chinese cabbage (aka Napa cabbage or wombok or whatever).  Add the seasonings on top of that to ensure good distribution.  A tablespoon of light soy sauce, a tablespoon of dark and one of rice wine.  I resorted to the jars and added 2 teaspoons of garlic, and one of ginger (careful on this one, it’s strong).  Finally full teaspoon of white pepper and one of sugar.  No salt, the soy should cover you, and no chilli, use it as a condiment if you want some.

Before stuffing, fry a little bit in pan for a taste test, adjusting seasonings if you need to.  The flavour should be fairly mild.  Add teaspoons of the mixture to each wrapper (and I mean “teaspoons”, tiny amounts) , dampen one edge, fold in half and seal.  Lay on a floured or silicon papered tray.  Filling 12 at a time seemed to work well for a one-man team, and it took me around 45 minutes.  Having something good on the TV and a tasty beverage makes this not an unpleasant task.

If you have leftover wrappers, deep fry them and eat them as snacks.  If you have left over filling, stuff some pieces of bell pepper, or hollowed out tofu, or make an eggplant sandwich, or make into patties and enjoy a Chinese style burger. 

Freeze them on floured or silicon papered trays, and store in zip-lock bags in groups of 15 if you eat a lot, or groups of 10 if you don’t eat so much.

Variants include: different types of meat; adding water chestnuts for crunch or bamboo shoots; using garlic chives as the vegetable, or even kim chee; adding diced rehydrated shitake mushrooms; adding coriander for a nice fresh taste.  If you want to try making the dough, there’s recipes out there.  I used to use wheat flour and hot water, but there’s recipes using iced water as well.

You can cook them by frying them straight from frozen in a non-stick pan (there’s a reason they’re called potstickers) for a couple of minutes, throwing a cup of water in, putting a lid on and steaming for about 10 minutes.  Or boil, steam or nuke them and throw them in a pan to crisp up.  Eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  You can cook some in the morning while you’re making breakfast, take them to work and nuke them at lunchtime. Serve with a dipping sauce, or just pour it all over the top.  Suggestions include black vinegar (aka caramel vinegar), red rice wine vinegar, brown vinegar, soy sauce, chilli oil, chilli sauce, sesame oil, worcestershire sauce, mayo, tabasco sauce, Dave’s insanity sauce, sweet chilli sauce, Vietnamese dipping sauce, any combination of the above, or nothing at all.  I’ve no particular favourite, just whatever I feel like at the time, but I most often use black vinegar, sometimes with a little chilli oil.

Full pics at:


Saturday, 2006-12-16

G’Day. What’s in the pot this weekend ?

Filed under: Cooking / Eating — by Toast d'Béchamel @ 11:12 am
  • Lamb chops fried in olive oil
  • Potato Gratin
  • French onion soup with big croutons
  • Freeform lasagne with ragu, spinach thing, ricotta and pumpkin
  • CHEAZ !
  • Potsticker Dumplings (I promise only a single batch)

Big exam on Monday (Managing eBusiness), an Assignment to write, preparing for Christmas and getting ready for my employment contract review.  And Borat.  Is nice.

Saturday, 2006-12-09

10 word movie review – Beijing Bicycle (2001)

Filed under: 10 word movie reviews — by Toast d'Béchamel @ 11:13 am

Thought-provoking cultural insight, fascinating dichotomy, emotional, beautiful, inspiring tragedy. 8.5/10.

23. Write the book, minimum 100,000 words

Filed under: (Uncategorized) — by Toast d'Béchamel @ 12:45 am

I can’t publish any of it online, I read somewhere that if you’ve previously published something online, you’ve got SFA chance of getting it printed.  Publishers won’t touch it with a 20 foot pole.  That might be out of date, but I’m not taking any chances.  I hope I can get away with posting some chapters and a title here, I am taking a risk.  I’d like to try and have it published, but if I can’t, and I like it, I’ll print it myself.

Basically, set in a web company during the dotcom, has a lot about food in it.  Hey, write about what you know and like.  Designed to look “real”, but is goign to be fictional.  More a series of vignettes, I don’t have a central thread / story yet, and I might not even have a strong one.  I think that’s OK though. 

Chapters so far (no order)

  • The one with the japanese gangsters and the Natto.
  • The one with the master stock and the guy who has to leave in a real hurry.
  • The one with the guy who gets locked in the entrance security cage of his office on the Friday afternoon of a long weekend.
  • The one with the guy who works so hard that he’s never home, so he decides to live “homeless” for a year.
  • The one about the $50,000 Laksa Recipe.
  • The rumour about what really happened to the owner of BBQ King
  • The enormous cauldron of glutinous rice.
  • Cooking your way out of trouble.
  • The butcher who asked a LOT of questions.
  • How I seduced a sexy lady with cookies and melted mars bars.
  • The drug dealer who stopped selling cocaine and started selling truffles.
  • The one about the guy who knew every public transport timetable east of strathfield.
  • The BBQ Pork so good that the guy eating it thought he was going to die.
  • Absinthe chocolate mousse.
  • The Thai dude who could cook and lived rent free in a big share-house.

Need another few.  They’ll come, they’ll come…

I’d also like to try the philosophy of “spend 2/3 of your time editing”.

Next action(s):

  • Continue Brainstorm
  • Get writing!  No mucking about, just do it.

Thursday, 2006-12-07

Tasty treatz from David Jones food hall.

Filed under: Cooking / Eating,Web "Thing" — by Toast d'Béchamel @ 11:31 pm

It always happens.  Every time I go into that damned place, I completely go nuts and end up spending WAY too much.  I only wanted a block of parmesan and a little bit of goose fat (or a leg portion of duck to render myself).  As usual, I went nuts.  I’ve banned myself from “The essential ingredient”, I should just buy the whole damned shop.  Thankfully, I tend to get a lot of things that I can use a lot of times (Maldon salt, oils, blocks of parmesan etc).  Here are some pics.  I’m trying to get some more info on this incredible ham that Dr. Rodd put me on to.

Photos courtesy of picasa (a Google thing), which I like very much so far.  Full sized pictures at:

Test of something

Viva Olive Oil (Early harvest, extra virgin). Cheap La !

Viva Olive Oil (Early harvest, extra virgin). The only olive oils that I’ve tasted better than this cost $25 for a small bottle. This one is about $7 for half a litre. Cheap enough to splash all over the place. Available at some large supermarkets or online. Must be “early harvest”, Viva’s other olive oils are not so great. Source? Choice magazine did a very extensive taste test. This came #2 out of 30 or 40 extra virgin brands tested. The one that beat it (by a tiny margin) was $30 a bottle. Buy it !

Treatz from David Jones food hall.

Yeah, it’s all over-priced, but you’ll find none better. There’s some Maldon sea salt, which I always have on hand, some duck fat for roast potatoes (or chips), white truffle flavoured oil, “real” parmesan, and some very good looking garlic. All of these are going on the very very high shelf.

Rib eye steak (with the bone in)

I’m a complete sucker for these steaks. $30 a kilo, this one was 600g. 20 day dry aged, grain fed. I justify it by saying that for $18 for a steak in a restaurant, you’re looking at something nasty. Plus, supermarkets charge more than this per kilo of some pretty crappy stuff.

I cook these on the rare side. They have quite a strong flavour, which may surprise you a little. These days I cook one and split it with the missus (and the little doggie gets the bone).

That’s actually a dinner plate.

I have eaten a whole one of these on my own before. WOW ! That’s a lot of meat. I tend to blast it in a black iron pan for a minute each side, cook it in a hot oven for a an extra 2 minutes per side, then rest for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes I’ll make a pan sauce. Sometimes I’ll have some good BBQ sauce on the side. Shut up and fuck you.

This cut has a bunch of different names, depending on your country/butcher. Some call it a “scotch fillet”, I call it “a rib-eye with the bone in it”.

Mad Spanish Ham

This was some WICKED good ham. Dr. Rodd gave me a tip about this he got from some dude who works at the Rockpool. It’s some crazy spanish cured ham, made from pigs who gorge themselves on acorns or something. It’s all about the fat, which starts melting at room temperature, so you need to eat it soon after you pull it out of the fridge. Seriously, it GUSHES grease.

Mad Spanish ham close up.

Tastes incredible. Though at $380 per kilo (or about $5 a slice) *shudder*. It’s a very strong flavour, my missus did not like it all. It’s all about the fat. It tastes buttery, and has a certain type of sweetness about it. If you want some, get in FAST, it’ll only be there for a few more days. Order just one, or two THIN slices (get them to wrap it seperately). Eat on it’s own, or on a sandwich (to make it last longer), with NOTHING ELSE on it. No butter, no salt, no mayo, NOTHING. Man it’s good.

Yes, I’m looking for more info on what this stuff exactly is.

I’m giving a couple of slices to Dr. Rodd for putting me on to this, and have frozen the rest as individual slices (S.T.F.U). Don’t bother cooking with this, the fat will gush and you’ll lose it all. Think of it as foie gras or kobe beef or wagyu or something. Don’t even think about cutting off any of the fat. If you’d like to cut off some of the fat, phone me up, I’ll come straight over and eat it out of your garbage can.

Monday, 2006-12-04

Clean up of categories…

Filed under: Personal Organisation,Web "Thing",Zen — by Toast d'Béchamel @ 2:13 pm

I attempted to reduce it down to 10, but failed miserably.  I managed to settle on 20, plus a few neccesary sub categories.  Note the combination of Cooking and Eating, everything that I cook (that’s worth writing about) I eat.  Everything I eat (that’s worth writing about) I cook (or attempt to cook in the future).

Not that these are the 20 most important things in my life, or my 20 favourite things or anything, just 20 good categories for a web “thing”.

Friday, 2006-12-01

Short update

Filed under: (Uncategorized) — by Toast d'Béchamel @ 10:55 pm

There was a problem with my 101 list, now fixed.

New rant, most definately “in progress”, about coming up with a fundamental theory of modern languages.

 They’re over to the right there, I can’t figure out how to make an internal link without doing it “the hard way”. 

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