Sunday, October 23, 2005

Gyoza and Guinness Shakes

I went to Trader Joe's while I was extremely hungry today. It's never a good idea to go grocery shopping while you're hungry, and this goes triple for Trader Joe's. I came away with pita chips, cookies, chocolate toffee almonds, pumpernickel cocktail squares (fancy name for little square pieces of bread), manchego cheese, and pumpkin butter (like apple...but get the idea). The last three things, when put together, make an excellent tea-time snack. I also decided to buy a midnight snack. Seeing as the college night lasts until about 4 am, and I don't eat breakfast, a midnight meal is the equivalent of a light dinner. I decided on Trader Joe's chicken gyoza. The problem I've always had with their gyoza is that you have to brown them first in oil, then add water to the pan to steam them. This obliterates any crispiness achieved during the oil frying, and the gyoza turn into a mushy, muddled mess where it's impossible to distinguish the gyoza skin from the filling. I heard that Jacques Pepin recommends just throwing oil and water together in the pan and cooking them that way, but that didn't really work for me. It did, however, achieve a wonderful grease/water spray pattern all over the cooking surface. I decided to try an alternate method today. Using an electric (and illegal-in-the-dorm) skillet, I first browned two sides of the gyoza. After two sides had been browned, I moved them to one side of the skillet and flipped them onto the other side. I immediately placed a folded up wet paper towel across the skillet. Once the paper towel is in place, you can pour the water on the other side of the towel and cover up the skillet. The towel acts as a barrier and releases steam while the gyoza are on the protected side and the uncooked side of the gyoza fries up without being drowned in water. All three sides stay brown and crispy and the inside cooked through and moist. Deep fried goodness with only about a tablespoon of oil. Of course, you might not like your gyoza crispy, but that would make you a terrible person.
The perfect accompaniment to any food is the Guinness Milkshake. Take a bottle of Guinness Draught and blend up with a very generous amount of vanilla ice cream. It's a foolproof recipe, so I can't really imagine how anyone could fuck it up, but it's quite possible my sister will find a way. Before you spit on your miniMac in indignation my dear, I have two words for you: Boca Negra.


starchmouse said...

shut up dude. i was making guinness milkshakes loooong before you were doing carbombs, puking in my bathroom.

and the boca negra was good, dammit!

fried beef sandwich said...

Nein, nein! NEIN!

If you want to make the potstickers crispy like the scabs on your elbow, or even better, all you have to do is mix in some cornstarch with your water before you throw it in to steam.

The cornstarch will travel underneath the gyoza with the water and while the water evaporates, the cornstarch will cook and soak up the juices that may be coming out. so, you get crispy AND flavor.


fried beef sandwich said...

But the towel thing is cool. I have to give you major props for that.