Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Steamed Pork and Jicama Dumplings (Page 60)

  • Date: Saturday, November 11, 2006 -- 7pm
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Kitchen: Vigleik and Shihchi's Apartment
  • Fellow Chefs: Shihchi and Vigleik
  • Dining Companions: Bridget and Kari
  • Recipe Rating: A-
Vigleik, Shihchi, and I picked these dumplings on Saturday because we thought they would go well with the beef stir fry we had for dinner. They were very tasty. The filling has a good flavor, and the ground pork gave it a nice moistness, while the jicama contributed some crunch. Everyone had the same complaint about these dumplings, which was not the fault of the recipe: the dumpling wrappers were too dry. Vigleik noticed this when he was cutting the wonton wrappers in to circles -- he was having problems separating them without tearing them. Right after they came out of the steamer, they were fine, but after sitting for just minute the wrapper was dried out. As I said, the recipe is not to blame for this, as the wonton wrappers were purchased, not homemade. That aside, this recipe was very good, and it made quite a few little dumplings!

I am now in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. Driving down here yesterday I felt extremely nostalgic -- the endless crop fields reminded me so much of driving through rural Wisconsin. The atmosphere here feels a little bit like Madison too -- lots and lots of coffee shops and students. Yesterday was Nora's 30th birthday, so I had dinner with her at the co-op where she lives. The food was really good, and the people were great. The co-op has been around for a number of years, and they seem to have figured out how to make it run very smoothly. It was interesting to talk to Nora about the set-up that they have --there are clearly a lot of benefits to cooperative living.

I gave my talk this morning, and I think it went pretty well, so that's a relief. I didn't get as nervous as I usually do. Probably this is in part because I am getting used to speaking about my research. Also, I think it helped that when I looked around the room I realized that I knew 6 or 7 people in the audience. It's always nice to have familiar faces in the room!

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