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The Alphabet Project: Letter C

alphabet projectThree weeks into this alphabet project and I’ve been bested by the letter C. The C-section (I did toy with that as the title of the post)  is very big and the one I recall my mom using most often. It includes Cake, Canadian cookery, candy, canning, casseroles, cheese, chicken, Chinese cookery, chocolate, chowder, cookies, a corn cookbook, Creole cookery, curries, and Czechoslovakian cookery in addition to all the random foods that start with C such as cabbage, chutney, and clams. It takes up more than one volume, and there’s no way I can tackle C in one week.

For today I chose a recipe from the Chinese cookery booklet. Chinese is one of my favorite cuisines and homemade Chinese food is better than pretty much any take-out you can find. Today’s recipe is one for wontons and included a recipe to make your own wrappers. You may think me lazy, but when I can get a one pound package of fresh wonton wrappers nearby for $1.99 that’s the way to go. If you want the recipe please email me and I’ll be happy to send it to you. 

At my local Asian market, there were several types of wrappers. Some with egg (they are yellow) and some without (white). Some are thinner than others, and I am partial to the thinner wrappers. When I brought two packages up to the register to inquire which were the thinner ones, a melee ensued.  It seemed everyone had a different opinion, and things got heated. I recall buying wrappers that were labeled “thin” but this trip there were none of those to be found. After one woman whispered to me which ones were best I purchased the ones called Hong Kong style and they were perfect.

I cooked half the wontons in a chicken stock that I had on hand and doctored. The other half I deep fried and had with sweet chili sauce. I froze the uneaten ones, and they will reheat in the oven and crisp up. Both were good, but I’d recommend a mixture of shrimp and pork rather than all shrimp.  These are a bit labor intensive, but not difficult at all. If you have time I’d advise making a double batch and freezing them, because who doesn’t want some homemade wontons waiting in the freezer? 

Chinese Wonton

Chinese Wonton

Ingredients

  • 1/2lb peeled and cleaned shrimp (or pork, or a mixture of the two)
  • 8 Whole water chestnuts
  • 2 scallions (cut into thirds crosswise)
  • 2 medium slices ginger root (about 1/8)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 36 won ton wrappers (Hong Kong style if available)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 quart Chicken broth

Directions

Step 1
In the bowl of a food processor pulse scallions, ginger and water chestnuts
Step 2
Add shrimp, soy sauce sesame oil and salt and pepper and pulse until you have a chunky paste
Step 3
Move filling to a bowl. Set up an assembly line with the filling, wrappers, eggs, and a wax paper lined sheet tray at the end
Step 4
Take one wrapper at a time and place it with the points facing one towards you, one away.
Brush egg on two bottom
edges
Put 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of the wrapper
Fold the wrapper edges so the ones with the egg meet those without to form a triangle. Make sure to press out any air.
Touch one corner of the triangle with egg and fold across the won ton.
Step 5
Lay the wontons on the sheet so they aren't touching each other
Step 6
To make soup, add the wontons to the hot broth and simmer for 12-14 minutes.
Step 7
To fry, heat 3" of oil in a heavy pot to 375F. Fry the wontons a few at a time, using a chopstick to keep them from sticking to each other. Drain on paper towels and serve with sweet chili sauce.
Step 8
You can also freeze uncooked wontons. Leave them on the sheet tray and freeze for an hour, then transfer to a container or freezer bag.

 

 

 

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