Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Birthday Dinner

Pin It Now! You know you're loved when you have family who is totally excited to cook for you.  Even though I touted this week as Italian only, I had a craving for Asian for my birthday dinner.  With my mom in town, I wanted her to make something..(aside from her traditional birthday cake) and I wanted the hubby stationed on the grill.  So, this is what I asked for my birthday meal:

Dumpling Soup
Grilled Asian Flank Steak
Asian Cucumber Salad  

I'm already drooling.  So, I figure I'll just park my butt on the couch with my girls, pop in a movie, grab a glass of wine, and...vegg.  

(wanna know a secret though?  I really love cooking...and I'll kinda miss being in the kitchen tonight...well, just a little)  :)

Dumpling Soup


  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 pound thick-sliced ham, diced
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry or Chinese rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 3-inch strips orange zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (there's already a ton of salt in this, so I'm not adding any more)
  • 2 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 napa cabbage leaves, thinly sliced
  • 24 frozen chicken or vegetable dumplings or pot stickers Soy sauce, for drizzling (optional)  (you can find some brands that are lower in salt if you're worried about sodium, also, make sure to use low-sodium soy sauce)


Combine 2 cups water, the broth, ham, sherry, sugar, ginger, orange zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the scallion whites, mushrooms and carrots. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the carrots are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.
Add the cabbage, dumplings and scallion greens. Cover and cook until the dumplings are soft and heated through, 4 to 5 minutes. Divide the dumplings and soup among bowls. Drizzle with soy sauce, if desired.
Per serving: Calories 256; Fat 9 g (Saturated 3 g); Cholesterol 56 mg; Sodium 1,011 mg; Carbohydrate 24 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 18 g

Grilled Asian Flank Steak Recipe


  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
  • 1 beef flank steak (1-1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, warmed
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted, optional


  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first seven ingredients; add steak. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate overnight.
  • Drain and discard marinade. Grill steak, covered, over medium heat for 6-7 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145°; medium, 160°; well-done, 170°). Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Thinly slice steak across the grain. Drizzle with hoisin sauce; garnish with onions. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Yield6 servings.
Nutrition Facts: 3 ounces cooked beef (calculated without sesame seeds) equals 193 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 54 mg cholesterol, 241 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 22 g protein.

Spago Cucumber Salad - Cucumber Salad Recipe

2 cups thinly-sliced cucumbers (I prefer mine thick cut...your choice)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

In a large bowl, combine cucumbers and salt; mix well. Add sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil; mix well.
Sprinkle with sesame seed and mix. Let marinate for 20 minutes before serving. NOTE: If you desire, drain off some of the vinegar mixture before serving.
To serve, divide salad among individual chilled plates.
Makes 4 servings.


tom said...
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