Tuesday, February 19, 2013

International Affaire

Spicy Beef Fortune Cookies

DSC_8062Planning Valentine’s Day dinner is a delightful part of this special day. I called  to cancel painting class so that I could dedicate the whole afternoon cooking (and cleaning up) for someone special. Isn’t that nice?DSC_8078

The ‘bite by bite’ cooking book is packed with absolutely darling tiny appetizers and finger foods.The book’s forward is by Martha Stewart - that means that author Peter Callahan is one of the already well regarded elite food creators. He must have dainty fingers or elf assistants.DSCN1715Getting ready for Valentine’s Day.

I chose to make spicy beef fortune cookies from the book for starters. To copy his style, I stopped at a craft store to get Chinese take out boxes. I requested my son to make paper strips of fortunes that says ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ and he goes – how big?, how many?, what kind of font do you want? Behind schedule and frustrated, I pointed at the photo in the book and said ‘That!’.

Ingredients for 2 dozen fortune cookies (I made small changes)

  • 1/2 pounds ground beef (20% fat)
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, finely minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon red miso paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tobanjan paste
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 –1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 (or less) teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 Gyoza skin ( I was able to make a few more)DSC_8036
  • Peanut oil for frying about 6 cups

Prepare paste (act as glue) – whisk 3 Tablespoon of water and 2 Tablespoon of flour in a small  bowl, 2 paper towels, large plate, moistened dish towel for cover

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, green onions, garlic, miso, tobanjan, soy sauce, ginger, cayenne, and some salt and black pepper.DSCN1705DSCN1707
  2. Place three gyoza skins on a paper towel, use another paper towel to wipe your fingers as necessary. Put about 1 teaspoon of meat mixture in the center of wrapper then moisten all around the edge of wrapper with paste using your finger or the other way round, moisten the wrapper first then add the meat mixture. Fold in half like a half-moon shape and seal tight. Bend the tips of the half moon together to shape into a fortune cookie shape, make a few at a time so that gyoza skin won’t dry out. Cover them with a moist towel.
  3. In a heavy large pot, heat oil to 350. Prepare a large plate lined with a couple paper towels. Fry the fortune cookies a few at time, turning them often with a slotted spoon or a frying spider until golden brown. Reduce heat if they brown too quickly. Set fried fortune cookies on prepared paper towel to remove excess oil.DSC_8060

DSC_8082Butter lettuce is not just for looks, lettuce wrapped fortune cookies is deliciouso! Sweet chili sauce is my choice for dipping this but it’s optional. Now,

can you say I love you in Chinese? Wo ai ni

The second course is Mexican –Tortilla soup. The color is well suited for Valentines.Te quiero to someone you love. Ole!DSC_8004

Italian was the main squeeze– supposedly lobster and spinach lasagna but substituted with shrimp. Although not enough white sauce and slightly dry, it was still good.Ti amo to you!DSC_8001

Fabulous French for dessert. Declare your love in French, Je t’aime!DSC_8009DSC_8011DSC_8024The dessert took the longest time but I could only make 4 cakes and I rejected one (it didn’t measure up to my standards),1 each for my husband and son, 2  for me. Oh, okay I will take the rejected one too if you insist. DSCN1703Blessed to have so many flowers at this time of year.DSC_8050DSC_8033DSC_8025DSC_8028

I felt like I was cooking non-stop Monday through Thursday last week. My son made clam chowder from scratch on Friday. What a relief! So…is this a New Englander?
DSC_7939DSC_7985愛してるよ(aishiteruyo) to my American and a mix。






  1. What a creative and cute meal you've done!! Most important of all, they're homemade with loads of love!!

  2. I love all the roses featured on your post. They are so pretty... Your savory form of fortune cookies look interesting :D

    1. Thank you Zoe. As you already know I love roses.

  3. Such a pretty post...I like your fortune cookie filled with spicy beef...and the dessert looks gorgeous :)
    Hope you are having a great week!

    1. Thank you so much Juliana. Yes! The dessert was the best part. I wish I double the recipe.

  4. 明美さんのバレンタイン、とてもラッキー!こんな素敵なコース料理でお祝いしたい~!全部美味しそうだけど、やっぱりデザートのかわいらしさに心を奪われますね。

    1. ありがとうなみちゃん。デザートとっても美味しく出来たので、自分でえらいと思ったわ。えへへ。

  5. Awwww . . . you're so sweet. Love your photos!!!

  6. I love cookies but these beautiful fortune cookies are absolutely new to me. The spicy beef stuffing sounds delicious and I am sure it is. Lovely post.

    1. Thank you very much Tataya. Would that be nice to go to Japan on Valentine's Day? I want to try many special Valentine chocolates there. So dreamy!