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Jeff Grossman

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Gelatin/Aspic - what to do with it?

by Jeff Grossman » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:21 am

On Sunday I made a chicken cacciatore - bacon to start the pot, then legs and thighs, then a mess of vegetables, a little red wine, and diced Italian tomatoes. It was good but Pumpkin wanted a thicker, heartier sauce. So, I pulled all the solids out, packaged up the existing broth in some wonton soup containers, and proceeded to make a new sauce.

I checked on the two wonton soup containers today. After skimming off a thin layer of schmalz, about half of each container is filled with a delicate aspic. I'm surprised - there were only a few leg bones, the thighs were boneless - so where did this all come from? And, is there anything I can do with it?


Puzzled in Pumpkin-Land.
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Barb Downunder

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Re: Gelatin/Aspic - what to do with it?

by Barb Downunder » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:02 am

Jeff, what would your mum say! Chicken soup.. you have the best base for soups and sauces.
Roast some pumpkin and purée with your aspic, season. :lol:
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Tom NJ

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Re: Gelatin/Aspic - what to do with it?

by Tom NJ » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:45 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:And, is there anything I can do with it?

Puzzled in Pumpkin-Land.


Jeff! Jeff! If you've never made Shanghai Soup Dumplings ("xiao long bao"), NOW'S YOUR CHANCE!

Or you could, y'know, do all the boring Western stuff people will no doubt recommend :wink:
"He ordered as one to the Menu born...."
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Re: Gelatin/Aspic - what to do with it?

by Jeff Grossman » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:16 am

The sauce (gravy?) underneath the aspic is also gelled. So I think I'm good on the texture front without the extra.

Soup dumplings, you say? Hmm.
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Paul Winalski

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Re: Gelatin/Aspic - what to do with it?

by Paul Winalski » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:54 pm

Chicken skin and bones have a lot of collagen, and this protein is released as they cook. It sets into gelatin when refrigerated. This always happens for me with leftover red-cooked chicken.

Shanghai soup dumplings are my absolute favorite Chinese snack. You place a bit of chicken broth gelatin in the dumpling wrapper, along with the seasoned ground meat. Be sure to serve them with shreds of fresh ginger.

You could also try an aspic, if you have any lark's tongues handy. :wink:

-Paul W.
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: Gelatin/Aspic - what to do with it?

by Jeff Grossman » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:18 am

I've had soup dumplings -- I love soup dumplings! -- but I never thought about making them.

I suppose I need a bamboo steamer.
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Tom NJ

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Re: Gelatin/Aspic - what to do with it?

by Tom NJ » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:24 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:I suppose I need a bamboo steamer.


It doesn't have to be a bamboo steamer, Jeff. Any steaming setup will do, even a wire rack set in a roasting pan covered with foil, or such. For small batches I use my rice cooker, which came with a plastic steamer basket and works great. Before I had a rice cooker I made a latticework of carrot sticks on a plate and set the dumplings on them, then into a saute pan with a little water, and a tight lid. As long as you get contained steam, you're in, giggity giggity!

Don't let yourself be stymied by tradition :)
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Re: Gelatin/Aspic - what to do with it?

by Jeff Grossman » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:34 am

I gave it a shot tonight: I bought egg roll wrappers (as far as I can tell, these are the same as wonton wrappers, just a little bigger), sizzled up some sweet Italian sausage, and made soup dumplings... a little water around the edge, a spoon of sausage, a spoon of cacciatore broth jelly, pinch pinch pinch, and into the steamer.

I think I did my part pretty well. Unfortunately, my steamer jig was not flat so the dumplings got caught on the ridges and stuck to each other a bit, too. Next time, I will use something flat and lay down a lettuce leaf (like I see in the Chinese restaurant). I'll probably also give the outside a quick swish of oil.

But I'm very encouraged, as is Pumpkin. Thank you, Tom, for the suggestion!
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Re: Gelatin/Aspic - what to do with it?

by Tom NJ » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:44 am

Great job, Jeff! I'm very proud of you.

*sniff*

They grow up so fast....

:D
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Re: Gelatin/Aspic - what to do with it?

by Jeff Grossman » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:10 pm

Oh, you're awful.
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Re: Gelatin/Aspic - what to do with it?

by Barb Downunder » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:51 am

Good work Jeff. But try to get won ton wrappers if you can, quite different to spring roll wrappers p, much more like a pasta dough. And when you’ve mastered the art, which sounds like it might be soon what was your address again :D
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Re: Gelatin/Aspic - what to do with it?

by Jeff Grossman » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:16 am

Well, as long as I still had a bit of soup and a few wrappers... I got out a better steamer and made another half dozen dumplings. Shrimp this time. They still stuck to each other and, therefore, tore open when picking them up. Four next time or buy a bigger bamboo basket. But they were good.
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Re: Gelatin/Aspic - what to do with it?

by Paul Winalski » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:37 pm

Wonton wrappers (especially the round ones) will work, but even better is the freshly made dough used for pot stickers (kuo teh--pan-fried gyozu). It's easy to make and not difficult to roll out, and it has a softer texture than commercially made wonton or gyozu wrappers. I'll post the recipe next time I get the chance.

-Paul W.

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