It’s two months of A Common Table giveaways! From now until December, I’ll be sharing a recipe from the cookbook here and holding a giveaway of one of my favorite kitchen treasures used in the book every week, and you’ll have a week to enter before the winner is announced, along with a new giveaway.
You guys, it’s time. Christmas season is here! B2 and I are firmly in the “Christmas-music-starts-with-the-last-bite-of-Thanksgiving-dessert” camp, so Frank Sinatra is currently crooning in the background nonstop, our tiny carted-over-from-Brooklyn faux tree is set up in our living room, the lights are up (B3 starts every morning by running into the living room saying “Lights? Lights?”) and I could not be happier. If this were not cozy enough, my tragic aversion to coffee and tea in the first and second trimesters is finally letting up–joy!–so I’ve been guzzling all the very sweetened very diluted lattes my pregnant nose can handle.
I’ve written before about how this season gets me in the mood for potstickers, but it also tends to remind me of their cousin, too. My family was more of a homemade wonton family than dumplings, despite how often I make potstickers these days, and the holidays remind me of long afternoons and evenings that started with my mother at the kitchen counter, squeezing the moisture from greens and mincing them with her giant cleaver, before whisking it into a big bowl of pork, garlic, ginger, and fragrant condiments and delivering it to my dad, who folded it, impossibly quick and deft, into row after row of plump little bundles, beautifully uniform with their little chests puffed up proud and boisterous as they know how well they’ve been made. (Mine never end up nearly that pretty.)
This recipe from my cookbook swaps in collard greens instead of the pungent, fragrant shepherd’s purse (ji cai) that my mom typically uses. It wasn’t a “fusion” I intended but one born of convenience, since collards are always available at my supermarket but I sometimes don’t even find ji cai at the Chinese market. Surprisingly, collard greens add just the right bite to the wontons and mimic the slight spicy kick of shepherd’s purse so closely that I might not know the difference if I hadn’t made it myself. If you can’t find either of these, though, any hardy leafy green, from kale to Swiss chard or even cabbage, will do just fine.
For the giveaway this week, I’m super excited to pair up with ButcherBox to give away one box of curated products that are tailored for the recipes in A Common Table! There’s ground pork for these wontons, lion’s head meatballs, and the potstickers, ground beef for the bulgogi burgers, the bibimbap, or the chili, rib eye for the salt & pepper steak, chicken breasts for the kimchi quesadillas, baby back ribs for the Shanghainese sweet & sour ribs, and wings for the Chinese cola chicken wings. After hearing from a few of you over the last few weeks about ways to enter the giveaway if you don’t have Instagram, we’re also changing these last two giveaways so that you can enter either on Instagram or by dropping a comment below! The giveaway is 18+, U.S. only, and ends next Friday, December 7 at 12:00 a.m.
- for the wontons:
- ½ pound collard greens, roughly chopped
- 1 pound ground pork
- ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions (2 to 3 scallions)
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger root
- 3 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine, dry sherry, or sake
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper 70 to 80 wonton wrappers
- (15 to 16 ounces, or
- about 1⅓ packages; keep unused wrappers covered in plastic wrap, sealed
- in a Ziploc bag, and frozen for later use)
- for the broth:
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 to 2 teaspoons soy sauce, for serving
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil, for serving
- ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions (2 to 3 scallions), for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the greens and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer until the greens are bright green and beginning to turn tender, but still have some bite, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and add to a food processor. Pulse until finely shredded.
- In a large bowl, combine the greens, pork, scallions, ginger, rice wine, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar (if using), salt, and white pepper. Using chopsticks or a wooden spoon, stir vigorously until all ingredients are well combined and the filling forms a thick paste.
- Prepare a small bowl of water for sealing the wrappers. For each wrapper, place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center. Dab a bit of water on one edge and fold the wrapper in half, taking care to seal the wrapper well around the filling. Dab water on one corner of the folded seam and bring the two folded corners together to form a small bundle (see page 168). Place on a tray and repeat. You should end up with 70 to 80 wontons. To save them for later, freeze on the tray, then place in a Ziploc bag. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- When you’re ready to cook the wontons, in a large pot, bring the water and chicken broth to a boil. Add about 20 wontons, stirring gen- tly to ensure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook until the water comes back to a boil and the wontons f loat to the surface, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the wontons to plate. Repeat with the remaining wontons until they’re all cooked, or freeze a portion of the uncooked wontons for later. To cook from frozen, use the same method, but boil for 4 to 6 minutes, until the wontons f loat.
- To serve, divide the wontons among several small bowls and ladle a bit of the cooking broth over each bowl. Drizzle lightly with soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil, and top with scallions. Enjoy immediately.