Gyoza and Yakisoba

This weekend was the Formula 1 Japanese grand prix and in keeping with our meals from the host country we made gyoza which is a pan fried then steamed dumpling. We also made yakisoba which is a dish made from cabbage, pork and noodle dish. The recipe we used for the gyoza cam from Steamykitchen.com and the yakisoba recipe came from Food.com. The preparation for gyoza is moderately time consuming but well worth the time. It makes about 40 gyoza so we prepared them according to the recipe and froze all but what we were having for dinner. The yakisoba recipe is just ok. If I were to make it again I would modify the recipe in the following ways:

1) add garlic

2) double the soy sauce/rice wine mixture possibly leaving out the sugar

3) add chile garlic sauce (which I did add to the sauce this time) about 1 tsp.

4) put about half of the cabbage as what is called for (I’m not a fan of cooked cabbage)

5) try it with chicken

6) drain the onion/cabbage mixture before adding the pork

7) Saute the pork separately

This is a view of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, which is currently under construction, from the Trinity river basin.


Chicken Braised in Beer

This weekend was the Formula 1 Belgian grand prix…which means it was time to find recipes from Belgium. We cooked Chicken braised in beer. It is basically a chicken stew with shallots, mushrooms and carrots. The recipe didn’t specify what type of beer; I chose one of my favorites which is Tripel Karmeliet. Sorry no photos of the Chicken dish. Stew doesn’t photograph well.

For dessert Teresa made a Chocolate mousse.

When we bought the Big Green Egg we were told it could be used to make pizza that rivals what you get  at brick oven pizza restaurants. I have to say it certainly does. Admittedly we took a short cut instead of making the pizza from scratch we picked up a Papa Murphy’s take and bake pizza. I knew I would be cooking the pizza at about 600 degrees and I was concerned the paper tray it comes on wouldn’t hold up to that temperature so I took the effort to take the uncooked pizza off of the paper tray before cooking it. That is a fairly difficult task to accomplish. I was able to get it moved from the paper tray to a pizza pan by lifting the edges of the pizza and tossing corn meal under it. I also put corn meal onto the pizza pan and when i was ready to move it to the pizza stone it slide quite easily onto the pizza stone. I should point out that the pizza stone has to warm up to temperature with the grill or else the stone will probably break. Never put a cold (or room temp) stone into a grill or oven. The natural lump charcoal really give the pizza a nice wood smoke flavor.

Big green egg update

The big green egg has performed admirably this weekend. It has now maintained a constant internal temp of 250 degrees for the last 25 hours. I must add that is without replenishing charcoal at all. In fact i have hardly touched it during the entire cooking process. I started the afternoon yesterday prepping the grill for a long slow cooking process. I made smoked pork spareribs yesterday afternoon and smoked kielbasa. After dinner last night I put on a pork shoulder to cook overnight to have pulled pork tonight for dinner tonight. The pork shoulder has been cooking for almost 20 hours now and should be ready to come off the grill. I’ll wrap the pork in foil and let it rest for about an hour before pulling it apart. I’ve been basting the roast with Crispin “The saint” hard apple cider which is fermented with Trappist ale yeasts and maple syrup. I think maybe that this is the best hard cider I have ever had.

Big Green Egg

We are trying a new way of outdoor cooking. We bought a Big Green Egg yesterday. We will be trashing the old propane grill.

Teresa and I had lunch at a new Tex-Mex restaurant in Plano, Texas yesterday – Nico’s Cantina. The decor is modern and upscale. The food is excellent! I highly recommend this restaurant.


Teresa had the Nico’s special which is a Stuffed Cheese Chile Relleno that was covered with raisins and chopped pecans, Pork Tamale, Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada and a Crispy Beef Taco.


I had Smoked Pork Carnitas- Pork Chunks served with spanish rice, Borracho Beans and Pico.