But during the week, I try to keep the "cooking" to a minimum. Crock-pot meals, casseroles, stuff that be assembled in an hour or less. One shortcut I've perfected is to make dumplings en masse and stick them in the freezer. We can retrieve 2 - 4 per person and plop them directly into some broth for a quick soup. Add some frozen vegetables, an egg or two (optional), dried pasta (optional) and in just a few minutes longer than it takes to boil water, a hearty, healthy, low-cal dinner.
Today I'm going to share tips for making the dumplings.
- Ingredients are variable. I find that 3/4 - 1 lb of ground pork sausage is the perfect ratio for one package of the dumpling wrappers (I use cantonese-style wonton) and add everything else with whimsical fancy. Good choices are soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, white wine/sherry, minced ginger, minced green onion, minced garlic, salt, pepper. I've been know to take a shortcut and just use a package of Jimmy Dean hot pork sausage when it's on sale :-) Whatever mixtures you like fried up in a skillet will probably be tasty in a dumpling - remember this is supposed to make your life easier - don't sweat the details!
- Use a cornstarch slurry to "glue" the edges together. For better results, don't overfill the wrappers - 1-2 tsp per dumpling is plenty. Also try to squeeze the air out as you seal them.
- Freeze individually, then shift to a gallon sized bag. Because my freezer is pretty narrow, I use an old pie tin and separate each layer with wax paper for the flash freezing portion