Green Bean and Potato Salad

This years my contribution to our Easter dinner is Green Bean and Potato Salad. The ingredients are easily found in the season of no-fresh veggies from the garden. It complements the ham quite well.
Here's my recipe:
2 lb. cut frozen green beans;
4 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes;
1/2 medium sized onion, finely chopped;
1 large lemon, juice and zest;
1/2 C. Olive oil;
2 t. stone ground mustard;
1 T. fresh thyme, finely chopped;
2 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped;
3 large cloves of garlic, minced;
1 T. caper, chopped;
Salt, pepper  and sugar to taste.
Optional: Kalamata olives and cubed feta cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch green beans. After removing the green beans, using the same water, cook the potatoes until tender to the bite. Remove.
For the dressing: combine all ingredients except the green beans and potatoes. Pour the dressing over the green beans and potatoes. Allow flavor to set in for at least 2 hr. before serving.

Tomato dream is on the way

Tomato varieties I grew from seeds this year and why:
1. Old German: Good ole beefsteak with red/yellow coloring that matures early here. Great flavor, one of my all time favorite;
2. Siletz: Early and reliable determinate plant, large red tomatoes. Always the first large ones to turn red;
3. Peron: Early, semi-determinate. Good sized tomatoes, pretty productive;
4. Isis Candy: Somewhat late, but worth the wait. It produces large cocktail sized tomatoes with yellow threads in them. Flavor only develops after fully mature. Although the fruit can be red a while before that. Very sweet!
5. Yellow Cuban Grape: Super productive, long harvesting period. Intense flavor. Will last after frost hits, when all the leaves are gone and still little yellow tomatoes lingering on the vine.
6. Green Zebra: Growing for the flavor and coloring. Mid maturing, tomatoes do turn soft when matured, love the flavor.
7. German Red Strawberry: new trial;
8. New Yorker: new trial; A improved Fire-Ball type tomato. Disease resistant, better yet, determinate. I grew the old fashioned Fire-Ball last year. I liked the taste and the near perfect pinkish tomatoes it produces. Plant did better than others going into fall.
9. Tiny Roma: New trial.

(Also trailing: a new type of pepper called Manzan chili, bright orange with black seeds. Hot with Scovill range of 10,000-30,000. Another variety that is red with black seeds is called locoto or rocoto chili.
Pepper hotness scale:

Chinese Dumplings/Pot Stickers

For filling:
6 C. Chinese cabbage (Napa cabbage), approximately 1/2 a head; Cut into small pieces, sprinkle some salt on it.  Let it set for 10 minutes, then squeeze out as much liquid as you can, set aside.
1 lb. ground meat (pork, chicken, beef, shrimp or a combination. Note: if using beef, do not exceed 50%, otherwise can not produce the right texture)
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped;
1 T. fresh grated ginger;
1/2 C. Chicken broth;
1/2 . Soy sauce;
1/2 C. vegetable oil.
1 t. sesame seed oil (optional)
Salt to taste.
Mix together the ground pork, ginger, soy sauce, let the meat marinate for 15 minutes. Add all other ingredients, stir vigorously in one direction until combined. Or place all ingredients in a mixer, mix on high for 5 minutes. The stuffing should bind together forming a smooth paste.

For Dough: You can use home made dough or store bought dumpling wrappers for this. For home made dough: combine an egg, water, flour and a pinch of salt together to form a stiff dough. The egg adds extra protein and will add chewiness to the dough. Let the dough rest for 1/2 hr.
Divide the dough into 1" pieces. Flatten the divided dough, and then roll it out into 3.5-4" rounds, preferably with side thinner than the center.
Spoon filling in the center of the rolled out dough, wrap it by stretch and pinch. Repeat until done.

Cooking: To boil the dumpling: Bring a large pot (8-10 Quart stock pot is appropriate for this application) of water to a full boil, add dumplings slowly, stir as you go so the dumplings will not stick to the pot. Maximum 30 dumplings per batch. Let the water come to a full boil. Add 1 C. cold water, let it come back to a full boil again. Repeat twice. Dumpling will float when cooked. Remove dumplings from the pot using a strainer. Shake off as much water as you can. Place them in a large platter. If you would like to make pot stick, pan fry the dumplings after they are cooled.

Dipping Sauce: You can make several dipping sauce to go with the dumpling. Here are a few examples:
(1) Savory Sweet Sauce: 1/2 C. Hoisin Sauce, 2 T. sugar, 1/4 C. soy sauce. A few drops of sesame seed oil.
(2) Balsamic vinegar.
(3) Hot and Sweet Sauce: Heat 2 T. oil in a pan until hot. Remove from heat, add 2 T. hot pepper flakes, 2 T. sugar, 1/2 C. soy sauce, 2 T. vinegar.
Raw garlic accompany this dish well.