Pan Sautéed Asian “Pillows”

Having the fortune of cooking in a larger kitchen than I’ve been blessed with in my own house, I decided to go on a variation of the Ravioli recipe for something with a Far East flair. These are delightful morsels that are akin to potstickers

For Pasta Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs, plus 1 yolk, lightly beaten
For Filling:
1 lb fresh ground lean pork
2 tbsp minced ginger
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 medium onion, finely minced
1 tsp Wasabi powder
dash cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper
3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
2 tbsp sesame oil (divided)

To make the dough, place the flour, salt, and olive oil in a food processor and pulse four times to combine. Add the beaten eggs and process until the mixture holds together, forming a mass. Be sure not to over process the dough, or you will activate the gluten in the flour and your pasta will be tough and chewy. Remove the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a larger fry pan, brown the ground pork, onion, garlic, ginger, wasabi, cayenne and black pepper in 1 tbsp of sesame oil and 1 tbsp olive oil. Drain off excess fat and add soy sauce. Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover, and allow to cook for 2 minutes to infuse flavours. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Divide dough into two pieces of equal size. If you have a pasta roller, process until the dough is very thin; otherwise, roll it by hand until the dough is about 1/8″ thick. (On a pasta roller, this equates to about setting “5″). Brush 1 sheet of dough lightly with water, then place the filling, by teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart, in rows. Cover with a second sheet of pasta, and press down gently, so that you can easily discern where the filling is located. Cut around the mounds of filling with a fluted round pastry cutter (or biscuit cutter). Ensure all the edges are well sealed to secure the filling.

Take a large skillet and heat remaining tbsps of Sesame and Olive oil. Sauté ‘pillow’ until lightly browned on each side. Serve with a green salad.

N.B. – If you don’t want to go through the effort of making your own dough, store bought egg roll wrappers make an excellent substitute.

Serves: 4.


Chicken and Mushroom Stir Fry

Serve this with brown rice and steamed broccoli for a complete, lower-fat and lower-sodium alternative to Chinese take-away.

1 lb white mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
5 scallions, sliced into 1/4″ (whites) to 1/2″ (greens) pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced (or run over a microplane)
1 tbsp minced ginger
4 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 six ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (or cubed tofu)

In a wok or large skillet, heat olive oil and butter until shimmery. Add mushrooms and toss to coat. Cook over medium heat until oil and butter exude the surface of the mushrooms and they take on a medium brown colour. Sprinkle with sea salt, toss to combine and remove to a bowl to hold.

Without wiping the pan, add in the garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute. Add in chicken and stir to combine. Cook chicken 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink. Add soy sauce and scallions, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the green part of the scallions have wilted. Add reserved mushrooms back to the wok or skillet and combine to heat through.

Serves: 4.


The Wannabe Gourmet’s Chicken Salad

There’s hundreds of variations of chicken salad recipes. This is my go-to.

4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, baked and shredded
4 large eggs, boiled and diced
2 large white onions, diced
2 tbsp celery seed
4 tbsp dill pickle relish
2 cups low fat mayonnaise

Of course, you may feel free to adjust the ingredients, but once you have collected them all, simply put them in a bowl and using a large spoon, fold everything together, making sure you don’t make mush out of the chicken breasts.

Serve on toast, with crackers, as sandwiches, or even corn chips.

As a variation, you can add 1 package of Ranch style dressing/dip powder to the combination.