Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wontons...An After Christmas Tradition

While most people are baking Christmas cookies during the holidays, I am making wontons. Wontons have been a part of our Christmas tradition since my son Tommy was small.

I forget how easy they are to make. I made the stuffing and the sauce ahead of time so it was a snap putting them together and frying them up. It takes less than a half hour plus frying time.

Forget about the pre-made or frozen wontons. No reason to do that when are so easy to make from scratch and so good fresh.

This is my son Tommy’s favorite recipe and comes from the Leeann Chinn cookbook.

Fried Wontons

½ pound fresh raw shrimp – chopped fine

¼ pound ground pork

6 canned water chestnuts

¼ cup chopped green onions

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon sesame oil

Dash of white pepper

1 pound wonton skins

1 egg, slightly beaten

Peanut Oil

Mix shrimp, pork, water chestnuts, green onions, cornstarch, salt, sesame oil and white pepper.

Place ½ teaspoon of mix in wonton wrapper. Fold over and seal with egg. Pinch left corner to right corner to seal.Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry 8-10 minutes or until they are brown, turning 2-3 times.Drain on paper towel and serve with hot mustard or sweet and sour plum sauce (recipe below).Makes about 30 appetizers.

Sweet and Sour Plum Dipping Sauce:

1 can (20 oz.) crushed Pineapple

1 cup Sugar

1 cup Water

1 cup Vinegar

1 Tbsp. Dark Soy Sauce

2 Tbsp. Cornstarch

2 Tbsp. Cold Water

1 cup Plum Jam

Heat pineapple with syrup, sugar, water, vinegar and soy sauce to boiling. Mix cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. water; stir into pineapple mixture. Heat to boil, stirring constantly. Cool to room temperature and add plum jam. Cover and refrigerate. Serve with Wontons. Makes: 5 2/3 cups.

I also love to use Wonton wrappers to create many exciting and beautiful dishes.Here are a few recipes you can use to make out of the ordinary appetizers and some celebrated desserts.

Mini Wonton Quiches

4 eggs

1 ounce finely chopped cooked ham

2 tablespoons chopped green onions with tops

2 tablespoons chopped sweet red bell pepper

1 tablespoon flour

cooking spray

24 3 1/4 x 3 inch wonton wrappers

sweet and sour sauce, optional

hot mustard, optional

In a bowl, mix eggs, ham, onions, pepper and flour. Coat 24 miniature muffin cups with spray. Press 1 wrapper into each cup, allowing ends to extend above edges of cup. Spoon about 1/2 tablespoon mixture into each wrapper-lined cups. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven until knife comes out clean, about 12 - 15 minutes.

Serve with sweet & sour sauce and/or hot mustard sauce.

Mini Tacos Recipe

24 wonton wrappers

1 lb hamburger

1 package taco seasoning

1/2 cup salsa or picante sauce

3 tablespoons salsa

Shredded Lettuce

1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar is good, but a mexican blend would be good too)

sour cream (optional)

olives (optional)

guacamole (optional)

Brown hamburger and drain fat.

Stir in taco mix and 1/2 cup salsa/picante sauce and simmer about 3 minutes.

Press wonton wrappers into mini muffin cups.

Spoon beef mixture into cups and top with the 3 TBSP of salsa and cheese.

Bake in preheated 425F oven for 8 minutes until the wontons are nicely browned.

Serve with shredded lettuce salsa, sour cream, olives and Guacamole .

Berry Napoleons With Sugared Wonton Wrappers

Cooking spray

12 wonton wrappers

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup whipped topping or whipped cream (or nondairy topping)

1 cup raspberries, blackberries or sliced strawberries, or any berry combination

1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Mint to garnish, if desired


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Arrange wonton wrappers on prepared baking sheet and spray the surface with cooking spray. Sprinkle sugar over wontons. Bake 5 minutes, until golden brown. Remove wontons from oven and arrange 4 on a serving platter (or individual dessert dishes). Top each wonton with 2 tablespoons whipped topping and then 2 tablespoons berries. Top with second wonton wrapper. Repeat layers (whipped topping, berries, wonton wrapper). Sift confectioners' sugar over top layer. Serve immediately.

And…here are some other fun things to do using Wonton wrappers:

Spoon a teaspoon of Nutella or Peanut Butter into the wonton wrapper and fold one side over the other. Seal the edges with egg white. Put a half an inch of canola oil in a saute pan and heat to medium-high heat. When the "dumplings" are brown, turn them over. It only takes a couple minutes to puff and brown on each side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Cut wrappers diagonally, lay them on a cookie sheet, spray with oil, sprinkle with salt and fresh ground red pepper, and bake at 400 degrees for about 7 minutes.

-On Oven Fry Wonton Wrappers, drizzle with Carmel Sauce and Chocolate, then added Chopped Salted Nuts and a huge scoop of your favorite ice cream.

-Add cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar to fried wontons for dessert toppers.

-They are the most delicious crackers for dips, soft cheeses or just snacking by themselves.

Bon Appetit and Happy Almost New Years!