Saturday, June 06, 2009

Gary Danko, Gummy Worms, and Me

So I figure if Gary Danko can own up to gobbling gummy worms as a guilty pleasure, I will not be struck by lightning if I admit I like the frozen pot stickers from Trader Joe's.
Come on! Do you cook every single meal you eat from organic, local scratch? Sometimes you just need some nourishment, pronto, and it wouldn't hurt if it tastes good.
This is a recommendation, I guess, then. You buy a bag or two (we tried chicken first, but I like the pork better) and toss them in the freezer for emergencies.
Open the bag, take out as many as you want, and reseal the rest.
The label suggests two ways of heating the dumplings; we've tried both, and the microwave version is meh. Go to the extra trouble to sizzle them in oil on the stove, and then dump in some water, cover, and steam for a few minutes. Nice browned crunch on the bottoms (they're called pot stickers for a reason) and softened wrappers on top.
You would be prudent, industrious and clever to serve some rice and vegetables on the side (something Asian-y would be perfect). And you would be forgiven if all you ate for your meal was the pot stickers.
Do NOT omit a lovely dipping sauce, though. That would be bad.
What would be good is a mixture of half soy sauce and half rice vinegar stirred with a teeny dribble of chile oil. And what would be better would be to sprinkle the sauce with sesame seeds and minced chives. This little touch ramps up the magic in your mouth, without adding any unwanted flavor-skew.
I could also say that the chives are organic and local. I picked them in my backyard. Am I redeemed, just a little?
Anyway. TJ's pot stickers are not a guilty pleasure, because I don't feel guilty about them.
I don't feel guilty about my occasional ingestion of gummy bears, either.
But gummy worms? That's crazy, Danko.

27 comments:

Anna Haight said...

Ah! Catching up on what I missed on your blog for nearly a month reminded me of why I enjoy coming here so much!

Zoomie said...

Good to know about the easy things as well as the complicated ones. I call it "home cooking" as long as I heated it at home.

Kate said...

Guilty pleasure: Hebrew National hotdogs, rolled up in a "handmade" tortilla bought at Trader Joe's. When I'm feeling a modicum of motivation, I make a decadent garlic cream sauce for them. I know; I'm going to burn in hell like a greasy sausage. Oh well.

Chilebrown said...

Ah the Mad One has awaken.(appetite?) Buy some Won ton wrappers from any store these days and make your own. Mash up some Pop-Tarts and put them in the middle of a won-ton wrapper. Steam them for 7 minutes. Serve them with Ice Cream. I wish they would stop drug testing me.

dancingmorganmouse said...

I certainly don't do everything from scratch - filled pasta for instance, icecream, emergency soup. AND I eat gummy bears and worms and much worse besides. Ever heard of Cheesels ?

cookiecrumb said...

Anna: So glad to see you're up and about. I hope you'll feel like blogging more yourself. Soon.

Zoomie: Good rule. "As long as I heated it at home."

Kate: Ow-woo!! I loves some Hebe Nats, too. But rolled up in a tortilla? And... garlic cream sauce? Oh, man, I gotta see what that's like.

Chilebrown: What a recipe! But what should I use for the dipping sauce? Oh, I know: melted Popsicles.

Mouse: You're right; there's a lot of food we just don't concoct ourselves at home.
Let's see. Cheesels taste like cheesy weasels? Mm!

Zoomie said...

Serious food poisoning once from Hebe Nats - can't face 'em now, garlic sauce or no garlic sauce!

dancingmorganmouse said...

cheesy weasels, nope, that would be Twisties, another member of the "yellow food group",

Choosy Beggar TIna said...

Sour Patch Kids are my personal weakness. I eat them until my mouth feels like it's bleeding, and then I have JUST A COUPLE more.

I'm with you on the pot stickers. I love buying bags of frozen dim sum at our local Asian markets and keeping them on hand for those unfortunate Tuesdays when your other option is a peanut butter sandwich.

kudzu said...

Kate's reference to hot dogs in a flour tortilla took me back to the old days at the Co-Op (where Any Mountain is, now) where there was a "lunch counter" and the genial guy who worked there for years would roll up a hot link in a flour tortilla as one of his specialties. It makes my mouth water to think of it, now! (And the tuna melts he made with English muffins...) As for the frozen potstickers, they're a convenience food worth buying. As for gummy worms: book 'em, Danko.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: But you still like hot dogs, right? You can get that chewy, greasy flavor from Nathan's. I like 'em. And now I really like Niman dogs. Have you found them yet?

Mouse: Junky food has such good names. I like Burpies.

Tina: I've *never* tried a SPK. Jeez. (Writes shopping list.)
I can easily avoid PBJ sandwiches, though. Just not that into them. xx

Kudzu: "Book 'em, Danko"!!!!! Priceless.
And thanks for the endorsement of tortilla dogs. Wow. And the memory of the Co-Op. We had one in Palo Alto; it was the best.

Kate said...

I just use tortillas because they're easy, we usually have them around, and because hot dog rolls suck! I've yet to find good ones, so I never bother. Maybe if I made them myself, but how likely is that?

cookiecrumb said...

Kate: I've finally found some OK hot dog buns, but now that I'm avoiding things with lactose, I believe they're off the table.
Tortillas, yay.

Kailyn said...

I thought you might like that list.

I like gummy worms on their own. Gummy bears are best when mixed with sour patch kids and Swedish fish.

I used to like the frozen potstickers from TJ but now it's all about the frozen gyoza from Berkeley Bowl. Not as bready.

cookiecrumb said...

Kailyn: Gyoza are superior, for their thin wrappers. But TJ's must have changed recipes, because these are thin and quite pleasant.
Yes, I enjoyed that list. You heard that Alice Waters was "unavailable" to answer?

peter said...

My Mom used to always have those in her freezer, and I loved them. Now, though, we live far from TJ's, and we do try to avoid packaged things. My guilty pleasures tend to involve cookouts, etc. at other people's houses, where they don't have the same prohibitions.

It's funny, though, because you nailed my dipping sauce exactly.

cookiecrumb said...

Peter: Brain melt>> I thought at first your mom kept gummy worms in the freezer! (That sounds good!)
I totally get not buying manufactured food. Knowing you, you've made your own pot stickers. I have, and it's fun. Not hard at all. I even made my own wrappers.
Very cool about you and me decorating our dipping sauces the same way.

sandwicharchitecture said...

Please! The chicken and vegetable potstickers from Trader Joe's are a freezer staple. When I come home late from work and I consider going to bed without food, these things save me! I usually throw them in my steamer with whatever veggies I have in the fridge, and then dip everything in a dipping sauce.

Zoomie said...

Yes, I did find the Niman hot dogs and they are great - even MB loves them and he's not a real fan of tube steaks like I am. Thanks for the tip. Woulda blogged about finding them but it seemed too soon after other hot dog posts. My repulsion for Hebe Nats, however, continues - even the sight of the package...ulp!

Kudzu, "book 'em, Danko!" Laughing, laughing!

cookiecrumb said...

Sandwich: Aw, sniff, sniff! Sad but sweet. I believe in eating, and like you, I'm afraid there are times when I might not... So this is manna.

Kudzu: Ooh, that must have been a really nasty case of the sickies. Reminds me of some hangover aversions that linger.

limoncello said...

kudzo - I so remember that Co-Op! Not the lunch counter, but the store, with its generic white and red labeling. It went upscale in the early '80s, forecasting Whole Foods - and then fizzled. We used to cut school (Redwood) to hang out in that plaza. Kinda pathetic, really.

True Confessions about junk food seems to be everywhere right now. Twice today I read/heard confessions from Bourdain that he loves the mac 'n' cheese from KFC. Tom Colicchio is a Fresca addict. Thomas Keller loves burgers and fries from In-and-Out (the burger can be forgiven, but those fries are UNGOOD) - and he went so far as to say that he loves junk food. Michael Pollan has a soft spot for Ranch Doritos, and David Chang likes chicken nuggets. On it goes.
I'm scarcely in their league, but in keeping the theme -- ya know "Let's Be Frank"? The all-natural dog stands/now brick and mortar in the Marina? Doesn't work for me. At. all. A Schwarz dog from a cart downtown (or the mall in Corte Madera) is soooo much better. Whatever horror lives within that crisp "skin", it's darned good.

Zoomie said...

I will spare you the details. You're welcome.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Of course I didn't mean Kudzu on that comment. *shame*
All my "Z" friends! A girl gets confused.

Sam said...

I have had some gluten flour sitting in the freezer for a couple of years with the intention of making my own pot stickers. Unopened, of course.

And I like gummy anything.

cookiecrumb said...

Sam: I made pot sticker wrappers from ordinary all-purpose flour (plus water, nothing more), and I was very happy with the result.
Wanna do a Sour Patch Kids lunch? I've got some learning to do...

Limoncello: I have been so tempted by that hot dog cart in Corte Madera. Thanks for the shove. Schwarz is OK in my book.

Sam said...

I am not sure what one of those is but it sounds good to me...

Melanie said...

http://thebloggingmum.blogspot.com/2009/06/cheers.html

These are the chicken cilantro ones from TJ's.

YUM.