Every Wednesday Karen Jacobs EdD, OTR/L, CPE, FAOTA hosts the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen in Stuvi 2 Apt. 2302 from 8-11pm. She invites the BU community into her home to test new Sargent Choice recipes while we cook, drink tea, and play board games.
Last week was my first time representing Sargent Choice at the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen, but I am no rookie to the Test Kitchen. I visited Karen Jacobs’ residence in Stuvi 2 a few times last year, and if any of you know Karen Jacobs, it is almost impossible not to have a good time in her presence.
Karen greeted me with a cup of tea as we waited for more guests to arrive. It seemed that midterms took a toll on her head count, but no need to worry, company soon arrived. That’s the wonderful thing about Karen’s Test Kitchen, the hustle-and-bustle of our everyday world seems to thin-out at the high altitudes of Stuvi 2, giving rise to culinary therapy. Food is intertwined in our culture and Karen Jacobs seems to understand and respect that.
Everyone was very excited to make the spinach pot stickers, more affectionately known as dumplings. Karen is familiar with the recipe and has made it many times, so she made a few adjustments, excluding the rice and cornstarch and steaming instead of frying. I cannot speak to if these changes improved the recipe, because I have never had it any other way. Those of you reading, who have kitchens, will have to test it for me.
Karen expedited the process, by soaking the mushrooms ahead of time, so we began by chopping the mushrooms and water chestnuts, while others grated the gingerroot and garlic. A few of us had the opportunity to show off our culinary technique by separating an egg yolk and white. Then, we combined the ingredients for the filling: mushroom caps, water chestnuts, gingerroot, sesame oil, spinach, egg white, and garlic, and mixed well.
We began filling the wonton wrappers. It was interesting how we all chose to fold our dumplings differently; some chose to fold them into triangles, while others folded them into rectangles, and one exceptional member of the Test Kitchen community made beautifully crafted, origami-inspired dumplings, which was very impressive. We loaded them into steamer baskets, which were an art form on their own and waited.
In the meantime, the Apples to Apples representatives for the BU community set up and briefly explained the rules of the game. They came with a number of prizes to give out, including: t-shirts, tumblers, games, and more. But, as soon as the dumplings were done, so was talk about Apples to Apples. Everyone dug into the steaming hot dumplings and with a little soy sauce, they were perfect. Apples to Apples eventually resumed and all-in-all the Test Kitchen was a great success!
Yield: 30 pot stickers
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 8-ounce package dried shitake mushrooms
- 1/2 cup cooked brown, long-grain rice
- 1/3 cup finely chopped, canned water chestnuts
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 tbsp. minced, peeled gingerroot
- 1 tsp. dark sesame oil
- 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
- 1 egg white
- 1 garlic clove
- 30 wonton wrappers
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 4 tsp. vegetable oil, divided
- 1 cup water, divided
- Combine boiling water and mushrooms in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain; discard stems, and mince caps.
- Combine mushroom caps, rice, water chestnuts, cornstarch, gingerroot, sesame oil, spinach, egg white, and garlic. Stir well.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling mixture into center of each wrapper.
- Moisten edges of wrapper with water, and bring 2 opposite corners to center and seal. Bring other two corners to center and seal. Pinch 4 edges together firmly to seal. Place pot stickers on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch. Cover loosely with a towel to keep them from drying out.
- Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place half of pot stickers in bottom of skillet; cook 3 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Add ½ cup of water to skillet; cover and cook 3 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Place pot stickers on serving platter. Enjoy.