Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wontons and Sweet and Sour Chicken over Rice

       I had planned on making wontons last night but when I pulled up the recipe around 5 PM, I saw that the filling had to sit for 6-8 hours in order to let flavors set in.  So, I pushed it back a day and made them tonight.  Jackson was a good sport and helped me fill the wonton wrappers since it is rather time consuming.  After the first wonton wrapper he burst out with, "I hate this!  This is an example of TRUE LOVE, because there's no other way I would do this.  I stink at painting and I hate art because I'm not good at it!" I told him he didn't have to help (even though I REALLY wanted his help to speed up the process), but he persevered.  To make wonton wrappers stick, you have to spread them with egg.  I whipped an egg around with a tiny bit of milk and used a basting brush to brush it around the edges of the wrapper.  With practice, Jackson's "painting" with the basting brush became much more precise and by the end he had figured out how to fold the wrappers so they would stick together AND look pretty.  Check it out: 

       Unfortunately I don't have a picture of what they looked like before (my creation based on reading online directions), but believe me when I say these are the wonton wrapper equivalents of a Michelangelo masterpiece while our first attempts were more like the playdough creation of a 2 year old. Anyway, here's the recipe for tonight's Asian masterpiece: 

Wontons (Recipe made about 25 wontons)
1/3 lb. ground pork
1/4 head of large cabbage, chopped
1/3 can of water chestnuts
1 tsp. salt
ground ginger to taste
1/2 tsp. white sugar
1 tsp. sesame seed oil
Package of wonton wrappers
1 egg whisked with 1 tsp. milk

1.  Chop cabbage and water chestnuts and fry in a skillet along with the pork. 
2.  When pork is cooked through and cabbage is tender, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.  Add salt, ginger, sugar, and sesame seed oil.  Refrigerate for 6-8 hours. 
3.  Using a basting brush, brush edges of each wonton wrapper with milk mixture to moisten edges.  Place 1-2 tsp. of meat mixture in the center of the wonton wrapper.  Place opposite corners together and squeeze with fingers,  Bring the other two corners to the center and squeeze them together with the first corners.  4 seams are created, squish those together with your fingers to seal the wonton. It should look like the picture above. 
4.  Heat 3 Tbl. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Place wontons in skillet and fry until they start to brown (no more than 2-3 min).  Add 3/4 c. water and cover skillet with lid.  
5. Let wontons steam for 7-8 min or until water is almost evaporated.  Remove lid and flip wontons.  Fry for about 30 seconds more and remove wontons, placing them on a paper towel.  
6.  Choose your dipping sauce, we used teriyaki sauce tonight. 

Sweet and Sour Chicken over Rice (serves 3 to 4)
1 c. uncooked rice
1 Tbl olive oil
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
1 chicken breast, chopped
salt and pepper 
About 2 oz. tomato paste, or to taste
1/2 c. water
2 Tbl and 2 tsp. rice vinegar (or white)
1/8 c. white sugar
1/4 can of pineapple tidbits
2 tsp. corn starch

1.  Cook rice according to package directions.
2.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add green pepper, celery, onion, and chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sautee until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.  
3.  In small sauce pan, combine water, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, pineapple and corn starch.  Mix well while heating on medium high.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low.  Add chicken mixture and mix well.  
4.  Serve the sweet and sour sauce over rice. 

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