Irene Li’s Beef & Bleu Cheese Dumplings and Scallion Pancakes

  • Chef Irene Li was part of our Meals From My Mama segment on the Let’s Talk About Food mainstage. She created two dishes from her Chinese-American childhood. 
  • Chef Irene Li of Mei Mei 
  • Beef & Bleu Cheese Dumplings with Rosemary Red Wine Sauce
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups toasted sesame seed oil
  • 2 bu scallions
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinkiang or rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 package circular (not square) dumpling wrappers (Twin Marquis preferable)
  • 2# ground beef (preferably grass fed)
  • 8 oz blue cheese (preferably local)
  • 3 large onions, diced
  • Pepper
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef or veggie stock
  • 4 oz butter
  • 2 springs rosemary

 

In a bowl, mix the beef, cheese, and 2 diced onions together. Season with black pepper – if you like, microwave a small piece to test the salt and funk level.

One at a time, fold the dumplings: wet your fingers and moisten the edge of each dumpling wrapper. Scoop in a tablespoon of filling. Fold the dumpling in half, into a pyramid, into a pleated shape, whatever your preference.

In a pan on medium heat with 3 TBS canola oil, fry dumplings until bottoms are golden brown, swirling the pan. Add 1/2 cup of water and cover with a lid – steam for 8 minutes, adding water if necessary. Remove lid and cook until bottoms of dumplings are crispy again. Drain on paper towels.

For the sauce, sautee the third diced onion in canola oil until soft. Add balsamic vinegar and stir until mostly evaporated. Add red wine, stock, and rosemary, then reduce to 1/3 the original volume. Remove rosemary and stir in butter 1 TBS at a time, whisking in between. Season with black pepper and salt.

Scallion Pancakes-Adapted from J. Kenji Alt-Lopez

  • For the Pancakes:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Up to 1/4 cup toasted sesame seed oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced scallion greens
  • For the Dipping Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinkiang or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced scallion greens
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • To Cook:
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt

Put the flour in your food processor and slowly pour in about 3/4 cup of the boiling water with the food processor on. The dough should come together in a ball; if it doesn’t, slowly drizzle more water in a teaspoon or so at a time. Remove the dough, and knead it a few times until it’s a smooth ball – if it’s sticky, dust it with a little more flour. Wrap in plastic and rest in fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Split the dough ball into 4 pieces and roll each one into a ball, and then a disc. Drizzle sesame oil and 1/4 of the sliced scallions (or any other herb) on each one. Roll each disc into a “snake”, and then into a “snail” (or into a jelly roll, and then into a cinnamon bun). Flatten and roll out again.

Combine all sauce ingredients. Fry pancakes in pan with canola oil, cook on both sides.

 

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