Monday, January 5, 2009
For Christmas I received Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for the Food V 2.0, which of course delighted me, as Alton Brown is my hero-- which I've been saying for about a year now. I came back from Colorado last week, but I hadn't made much-- I find it droll to cook big things for myself. So once Jeff came back and after we did all our celebratory dinners and such, we settled down to choose a recipe for me to make out of my amazing new cookbook.
I'd only read about half of it so far. I'm still at that point. I'm in the "frying" section, and frying frightens me. However, when I found the recipe for these artichoke and feta wontons, Jeff nor I could resist.
To keep the potstickers moist we had to lay them all out on a baking tray after they were folded up. You place a teaspoon amount in the center and fold all the edges toward each other. Alton says to pinch, but I preferred folding the corners over each other, giving me a diamond or windmill shape.I found that, while I liked Alton Brown's recipe, the wontons were turning out more of my idea of potstickers (he specified the difference being that wontons are cooked on both sides, potstickers on one). None the less, a potsticker is a potsticker. To me, a wonton is deep fried, becaue I'm used to American Chinese. While it didn't matter to me, I'd enjoy them either way, Jeff wanted the more wonton style wonton, and so we upped the oil amount and pan-fried these suckers to give us a crispy texture.
Jeff's apartment is kind of small. He has one pan-- the one you see here, a non stick tiny skillet in which I was able to fry about six of these at a time. You can see one, which Jeff rolled up, in the far corner of the pan. I was tired so I sat down. I was cooking in my pajamas (tshirt and shorts). Frying all of these wontons-- it made 30 or 40 or so, was time consuming and I was getting weary and tired by the end of it, but they were so worth it.
What I decided was the crispy friedness had to be done, and the broth had to be added (though less at a time) to give it an extra boost of flavour. Jeff and I each ate a ton of these, but they made so many there's a lot left over. I think I'm going to use the wontons that we fried more like potstickers for a wonton soup this week.
The insides were gooey and rich. I have to say, that's the main feeling I have about these: rich. Feta is a tangy cheese, but it's also a rich one-- so with the combo of artichoke hearts (rich) and bacon (rich), these salty delicious yummies were very filling, and had to be eaten with lots of water. But oh, they were so good. I wish I had the leftovers now. At first I was thinking more filling was needed-- but after a couple I decided they were just enough as they were. I wouldn't change anything else about them.
Well, I could see myself using another cheese.
Artichoke and Feta Wontons
from Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for the Food V 2.0 with minor modifications
1 package wonton wrappers
1 can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 4 oz container crumbled traditional feta cheese
6 slices of bacon, cooked til crisp and chopped (I used thick cut)
2 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 can of chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 200ºF.
Heat the broth in a tea kettle to keep warm.
Combine artichokes, feta, bacon, scallions, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
Open the package of wonton wrappers and lay out a wonton wrapper on a dry surface. Brush the edges with some water (I use my fingers) and place a heaping teaspoon (and only a heaping teaspoon, that's all that will fit) and fold up from the corners towards the center, folding the meeting edgets over so they look like diamonds. Place on a baking sheet and cover with a damp cloth, continue until all the filling is used up-- this made the entire package of wonton wrappers for me.
Note: Make sure to cover the wonton wrappers with a damp cloth while you wrap the wontons, so as they don't dry out.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Once hot, drizzle some olive oil, about 2 tablespoons for a small pan, so that there is a thin layer in the bottom of the pan. Once the olive oil starts to smoke, add enough wontons to just cover the bottom of the pan with a little space in between. Pan-fry for 3 or 4 minutes per side, until each side is crispy and bubbly. Add a splash of the chicken broth, just enough to thinly coat the bottom of the pan, and cover, cooking until all the broth has evaporated-- this took a minute or so for me. Move the wontons to an oven-proof dish and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining wontons.
Makes about a million (or 40) wontons.