Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Jalapeno Popper Wontons

Happy Mardi Gras and "Fat Tuesday" everyone.  I guess that means it's time to overindulge and then of course, give it all up tomorrow!!!

I like to tell myself that one of these days, I'll go to New Orleans and partake in the festivities.  I've been there once before and had a good time; it just wasn't during Mardi Gras.  I think it'd definitely be fun though, which leads me to today's funny story, or at least it's funny now, but maybe not at the time.....

With it being Mardi Gras, I attempted to make my first traditional 'King Cake', for a party, and believe me when I say that it did not go well.  I usually consider myself a pretty good cook/baker, but for some reason, I  just could not get the pastry dough to rise.  I originally made one cake on Saturday night, but was not satisfied because it did not turn out the way I wanted (it seemed doughy).  Therefore, I tried making 2 more batches on Sunday morning, and neither one of those rose.  I was definitely getting frustrated (poor Jeff), and about to make a 3rd attempt when I figured I should get some new yeast.  Jeff was nice enough to run to the store for me, and then I tried again.  Long story short, I attempted to make a total of 8 King Cakes, and still was not 100% satisfied with the final result.  I've determined that anyone who can make them look pretty is amazing to me.  I apparently am not meant to live in New Orleans and definitely am not meant to make these on a regular basis or ever again.

That's enough of my kitchen failures though, so let's move on to my successes......

With it being "Fat Tuesday" and all, I decided the other night that I wanted to cook something for Jeff using a method I typically avoid, which is deep frying.  So what did I deep fry?  Jalapeno popper wontons to be exact.  This dish is traditionally meant to be more of an appetizer, but seeing that I wasn't going to be having any, it was more than enough for Jeff to eat as a main meal.  In fact, he actually had leftovers to take for lunch.  Mostly because this recipe yields about 30-40 wontons; which he added, were absolutely delicious!


Jalapeno Popper Wontons

Wonton wrappers
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese (I always use 1/3rd less fat)
3 jalapenos, minced (seeds removed)
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Dash of garlic powder (not too much) - optional
Dash of cayenne pepper - optional
Vegetable oil, for frying
Sea Salt, for garnish

In a small to medium bowl and using a hand held mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth in texture.  Add in the jalapenos and cheddar cheese (plus garlic powder and cayenne pepper; if you desire) and mix on a low speed until just incorporated.

Lay out a few wonton wrappers at a time, and add about a teaspoon of filling onto the center of each wrapper.  Using your fingers, fold the wrappers over, to form a triangle and smear a little water around the edges to seal the two sides together.

Heat the vegetable oil over a medium heat, until it reaches around 350 degrees.  Fry the wontons in small batches until they turn a nice golden brown.  You may need to flip them over while in the oil, just be careful as you do so.  Remove the wontons with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towel to remove the excess oil.  Garnish with the sea salt while they are still hot.

Once they have slightly cooled, serve and enjoy!

Source: Slightly adapted from Taste and Tell


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