Thursday, September 24, 2009

Southwestern ham and shrimp potstickers

I can't really explain how this dish came to exist. I started with a recipe for corn and prawn fritters, tweaked it a bit, tweaked it some more and ended up making something else entirely. I haven't really got a recipe; I just threw things together that seemed to make sense.

The potsticker filling has two components: solid bits and a creamy medium for them to float in.

For the solid bits I used finely chopped ham (actually Canadian bacon browned to get the best flavor), scallions, cilantro, hot pepper and corn. About a half cup of each.

For the medium I used half a small Florida avocado, five extra large shrimp, one egg, salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin blended until smooth.

After I mixed them together I got concerned about how the texture would react to heat so I decided I needed to add some cheese as an extra binder. Monterey Jack would have been the proper choice, but havarti was the only melty cheese I had on hand so it sufficed.

Dollops went into potsticker wrappers (store bought even though I could probably make them without much trouble now that I've got a well-functioning pasta machine). Because the texture was a little loose I had trouble using a full Tablespoon as I could with a traditional meat-paste filling. I ended using about half that most of the time and still having trouble keeping it all in.

Practice makes passable, so I managed. They aren't the prettiest potstickers around, but they'll do. And they cooked up fine in the traditional reverse-braise method.

Here's a look inside:

You can see how the filling's solidified nicely. Better than I had hoped. And now to try one...not bad at all. A little eggier in flavor than you'd expect and a bit noodly where the dough's separated from the filling, neither of which are really bad things. Otherwise, the Southwestern flavors come through with the corn and ham up front, some herb and spice, and maybe just a hint of the shrimp. Tasty and not nearly as fusion-cuisine weird as I feared. Could use a dip, though. A fresh tomato salsa or a remoulade would be just the thing. I'll have to remember that for when I cook up the rest.

I just did a little research and found that Southwestern potstickers are not an unheard of bar food, but, from what I can see, they're just tradional meaty potstickers with different spices. My conconction is a different thing entirely. Well, good. Maybe I should give them a different name, though.

1 comment:

kat said...

It does sound like one of those fusion dishes you'd see at restaurants these days, like CPK has a southwestern eggroll