I love me some Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives.
I watch episode after episode of Fierri hunting down the hottest dives in the US. And I drool. Even though the majority of the dishes would cater most-readily to Sir-Meats-a-Lot, I readily gawk & enjoy from a once-removed standpoint.
When Anthony and I went to New Orleans last summer, it was a culinary roadtrip, of sorts. In 45 degree-, 100% humidity, heat, we tracked down several of the diners that we had seen sur la television.
And were far from disappointed.
My absolute favourite was Surrey’s Cafe. omg. DELISH. Healthy options, vegetarian delights, and brunchy foods, made the 40-minute, sweat-drenched, walk totally worthwhile.
Three times in seven days.
The Joint was an interesting choice for us. When I jovially asked the intimidating man working behind the counter whether or not the mac and cheese was vegetarian, he gave me a disdainfully-disapproving look. Not one to be deterred, I ordered my melange of side dishes whilst Anthony got his meat-on. A smokehouse is no place for a meat-shunner like me.
But, I think that my vegetarian sides rivaled Anthony’s meat bonanza in terms of deliciousness. Highlight: the smoked tomato and onion salad dressing.
Another total winner on our DDD circuit? Domilise’s.
Go with the all-dressed shrimp po-boy. Enough said.
Perhaps the least fabulous was the Creole Creamery.
Shouldn’t have been disappointing. Surprisingly so, though. Perhaps I am just not accustomed to full-fat, incredibly-indulgent, ice cream. In my day-to-day life, I usually opt for frozen yogurt. I don’t think that my bod was ready for the creamy-onslaught of my peanut butter-chocolate sundae.
The experience, however, was undeniably fabulous.
These were the mere highlights of our NOLA trip. Many other food items were consumed during our week-long stay. But none harmed.
Beignets? Ohh, you bet.
There was a point to all of this. I just went about it in the most-long-winded of ways.
I love Fierri’s DDD.
I watch it all the time.
The food is dirty. And delicious. And worth seeking-out.
On a recent DDD show, I saw the chef preparing potstickers for the spiky-haired, backward-sunglasses-wearing, host. They had a crispy bottom, and they looked yummy.
So, I made some veggie-style.
There. I made my point. Better late than never?
Adapted from Molly Alice Nests
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion
2 Tbsp ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups shelled edamame
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp-1 Tbsp siracha, optional
16-20 dumpling wrappers
extra virgin olive oil for sauteeing the potstickers
1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a saute pan. Saute the onion, ginger, and garlic together over medium-low heat until soft and translucent. Add the salt and the red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
2. Add the edamame to the pan and saute again, until heated through. Add the soy sauce and the rice wine vinegar to the pan and stir to incorporate all of the ingredients.
3. Cool slightly and transfer all of the ingredients from the pan to a food processor. Add the lime juice, 2 Tbsp oil, and the siracha, if using. Process until it comes together. If it is too chunky, drizzle in a little bit of water until you have reached your desired consistency. It shouldn’t be too thin.
4. Taste and re-season, if desired.
5. Set up a little bowl of water next to where you’ll be filling your dumplings. Working one at a time, drop a tablespoonful onto the center of your dumpling wrapper. Wet your finger in the bowl of water and dampen the edge of your dumpling wrapper (all the way around). Fold the wrapper in half and do your best to keep all of the filling inside! Squeeze the edge together to ensure a good seal. Repeat until all are filled.
6. Over medium-high heat, heat 2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of a wide-bottomed saute pan (preferably one that has a tight-fitting cover). Once the oil is hot, stand your dumplings up in the pan so that their seam is reaching for the ceiling – this’ll give you a flat, crispy, bottom. Fill the pan with your dumplings, but leave a little bit of space in between them. Fry the bottoms until they are nicely browned and crispy.
7. Working quickly, add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and cover your saute pan with its lid. This will create steam to cook your dumpling skins. Steam, with the lid in place, for a few minutes. Check for doneness and remove once the skins are soft.
8. Remove from the pan and serve with soy sauce for dipping.