This is like 6 posts in one.
Steamed Boston Baked Bean Baos
A note on the Baos: I did make my own yeast-based dough which took all freaking day. The dough was fine for the steamed baos, but was horrible and hard for the baked baos. When Joe came over for leftovers I tried a fix: store-bought pizza dough. This worked much better. So I’m not even putting up the recipe for dough until I find a better one – buying pizza dough is just fine with me.
This was my absolute favorite thing I made, and far and away the best baked beans I’ve ever had. It’s the only ‘bad’ food I kept some of for myself!
2 cups navy beans, soaked in water overnight, then simmered in same water for 2 hours in skillet. Layer beans with ½ lb bacon and 1 large finely diced onion in a casserole dish, then top with a sauce of 3 TB molasses, 2 tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp mustard powder, ½ cup ketchup, ¼ cup brown sugar, all simmered together first. Pour in extra simmer water if needed to cover the beans. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 3-4 hours (!) at 325.
Put a spoonful into little pockets of dough and steam in bamboo, sealed side UP.
Baked BBQ Chicken Baos
Boil 4 drumsticks until cooked, shred the meat with your fingers.
BBQ Sauce: ½ large onion + 1 TB minced garlic sautéed with 3 TB olive oil, then add 1 ½ cups ketchup, salt, pepper, mustard powder, a TB or so of Worcestershire sauce, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1 TB spiced vinegar (that I made myself so just skip it), ½ cup cider vinegar, 1 TB sriracha, 1 TB Tabasco. Cook until bubbling, turn off heat. About 1/3 of this recipe goes with the chicken, the rest is left over.
Put a spoonful into little pockets of dough, try not to use too much dough because that part gets bigger. Place on parchment paper sealed side DOWN, brush with egg, and bake at 350 for 35 minutes or so. Serve with extra BBQ sauce.
1 lb spring (young) collards, chopped into ½” pieces, including stems, leaves and blooms, cooked with a tsp salt, 1 TB crushed garlic, and 4 strips of thick, Amish farm bacon, wrapped in dumpling skins from one side and sealed on the open side with duck sausage from my farmer’s market to hide the collards. Steam in bamboo. [the physical method is basically you dip the wonton wrapper in water very quickly, palm it, collards go in the center, and you just fold up the noodle over itself to make it into a little cup. It can be a little messy, so long as the cup structure is there – the wonton wrappers are really gluey and will hold their shape after a moment. Stuff sausage into the top like a hat for the collards.
Mac n cheese eggrolls
Mac n Cheese (which I have also described more fully over at Kelli’s Skillet): 1 lb cooked macaroni, + [ 6 eggs, beaten, 8 oz velveta, cubed, 1 stick melted butter, 3 cups cream] + [1 ½ cups cheddar + ¾ cup @ asiago, gruyere, mozzarella, munster, Monterey jack] + s&p, bake 30 minutes at 325, then top with more cheddar, then 30 more minutes.
Chilled, rolled into egg roll wrappers, and deep fried. Probably the singlemost successful item according to my diners. Definitely delicious.
Mashed potato packets
4 potatoes, ½ cup cream, 1 ½ cups buttermilk, salt, pepper, garlic to taste, wrapped in softened cabbage and steamed in bamboo.
Just 4 ears of fresh corn, shucked, kernels cut off, cooked with 1 stick butter and a bit of salt, and wrapped into dumplings and steamed. Simple and delicious.
Egg custard style cornbreads
I really really wanted to include my recipe for Southern Cornbread as found on Kelli’s Skillet. I couldn’t figure out how to get something baked onto the menu though – a Bao with this inside sounded gross! Joe suggested making them look like little egg custards, so that’s what I did – just little muffin tins filled with a square of puff pastry and then filled up with cornbread mix. Definitely a success.