I was recently given a “Cheftovers Challenge” by a friend of mine: Do something interesting with leftover pot roast. Challenge accepted. She said most of the time she just breaks it up and loads it on a pile of egg noodles with the rest of the gravy for “round two.” I call that unimaginative, and unexciting. Gotta do better for your family and your guests. And I was ready to be adventurous and try something out of my comfort zone, Asian cuisine. I was going to make dumplings with this!
This past week I made what was likely the most tender and flavorful pot roast I’ve ever prepared. (Let me know if you want the recipe for that too) It was very juicy and much too much for our family. I blame it on the BOGO deal at the grocery story (only large ones left). There was plenty left, that I tore apart easily with a pair of forks.
In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t ALWAYS have EVERYTHING I need to execute the ideas I have for my leftovers. In the same way it “takes money to make money” sometimes it takes food to make food, so to speak. I finally ventured into to the Asian Food Mart just a couple blocks from my house to get what I needed to make my dumplings, won ton wrappers. They were $1.99 for a frozen block of them.
Next, I surveyed the fridge for more things that would complete the filling for my Pot Roast Dumplings. I uncovered some sauteed organic leeks I had remaining from the Sunday morning quiche I made. Hate to have any organic produce go to waste. I added those to a small food processor and slowly poured in some heavy cream until it became the thick (slightly sticky) and creamy consistency I was going for.
Then, for variety, I grabbed the beautiful green and purple organic green onions I also had, beckoning to be utilized in an Asian dish. For this filling, I thought I’d try cream cheese, and I had some chive and green onion…perfect! I used the same food processor to blend those ingredients until it was enough to bind to the leftover pot roast.
Now it was assembly time. I did refer to a couple of other dumpling recipes to see if I was on the right track on portion size, filling and assembly/cooking instructions. I placed a half dozen won ton wrappers on a large cutting board and put about a tablespoon of one of the fillings, then an equal amount of the shredded pot roast. I had enough to make about two dozen dumplings.
Then, I moistened the wrappers around the filling with water and a small pastry brush, gathered the edges and pinched them together.
I put about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan and placed the dumplings in batches in the hot oil to fry until the bottoms were brown. Then I carefully added about 1/4-1/2 cup water in the frying pan and covered it until the dumplings were steamed and cooked through.
For the dipping sauce, I first read through a handful of recipes, and worked on a soy ginger version, something that was hot and sweet. I sauteed some garlic and ginger in a little vegetable oil. Then I added soy sauce, brown sugar and a pinch of red pepper flakes until it thickened up.Now I was on to something!
Challenge completed. I’d taken some tasty pot roast, a few kitchen staples, some special organic produce, and a single “new buy” to make what was easily the best heavy appetizer/light dinner I’d made in a while. My guests gobbled them up. So, now that I’ve tackled pot roast, whatdayahave for me? I’m ready for what you throw at me.