Learning As I Chop

Another Way to Party

Posted in Baking/Cooking, Tips by R @ Learning As I Chop on September 27, 2010

A few weekends ago, some friends and I traveled to upstate New York for a bachelorette party.  We rented a house near Woodstock and spent our time playing freeze-dance, limbo, drinking, eating and being merry. It was your typical girls’ weekend. Except for Saturday night. That night, instead of going out to the bars, we stayed in and traveled to our kitchen. My kind of weekend. We also invited guests, namely Deborah Gorman and her sister from The Good Knife, who brought over some yummy ingredients and exciting cooking skills.

We started off by preparing our salmon. First one needs to de-scale the fish. Apparently your fish guy (or gal) can do this for you but where’s the lesson in that shortcut? If memory serves me correctly, I think you take the back-end of your knife and gently push against the scales. They should come off pretty easily through a little bit of work.

Once the scale are gone, you remove the skin. This is much harder than it looks. Trust me- I tried it and my knife failed to glide as gracefully as Deborah’s. Oh well, must practice that skill

After prepping the salmon, we moved on to a potsticker appetizer. These were delicious, fun and relatively easy to make. I like that she used pre-made wrappers. Nothing wrong with getting a little help from the experts

We started by frying the potstickers till the bottoms were browned and then steamed them to finish. I also learned that you should heat your pan for a few moments and then add your room-temperature oil.  This method prevents burning.

It was nice to fold these dumplings into little forms, such as a beggars purse. I like that you can’t really go wrong- just close your dumpling and make sure the stuffing doesn’t fall out. Here are the finished ‘stickers. Deborah put together a nice dipping sauce. Can’t remember all of the ingredients but I think it included some soy, ginger and sugar. Did you know you can skin ginger by using a spoon? Saves your fingers and ginger this way.

While we enjoyed our appies, we also finished preparing dessert. The bride and MOH (her sister) prepped two springform pans by forming an oreo crust. We then melted the chocolate and added some wet ingredients.

Note to self: next time take notes.  I learned all types of chocolate tips but can’t remember them. However I think we did melt the chocolate using a make-shift double boiler. Here’s the cake before entering the oven. Gooey goodness

Next we moved on to pasta. I had never made homemade pasta before so I was excited. Pasta two ways: one via the old-fashioned hand crank and the other via a KitchenAid attachment.

I didn’t try the KitchenAid attachment but it seemed a lot easier and needed less space. Definitely on my “to-buy” list for the future.

The pasta was delicious! I’d say my favorite part of the meal, including dessert. Deborah combined it with with lots of fresh ingredients, such as kale, which usually scares me

Next was the salmon, served on a bed of barley. I loved the way this dish was presented- simple, pretty and hearty

And finally, dessert. Chocolate cake topped with fresh berries and a nice scoop of cream.

This meal was delicious and a lot of fun. I definitely learned a lot  and had some of my own beliefs reinforced. Namely that fresh and simple ingredients often yield the best results. I definitely recommend this night if you’re looking to do something a little different. Enjoy!


One Response

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  1. Apicius' Apprentice said, on September 29, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Hello! I just found my way over to you from Newlywed, Newly Veg, and this site is great! Those potstickers are out of control. I started drooling… Looks like a great meal was had by all!

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