Archive for December, 2012

postheadericon Banana Walnut Wontons

My sister Jeanie is hosting an intimate dinner party for New Year’s Eve and was looking for an sophisticated yet easy dessert to make for her guests.  I suggested this  Banana Walnut Wonton recipe which is amazingly simple to make yet so elegant and festive when served in a martini glass over French vanilla ice cream and drizzled with melted chocolate.

You simply combine chopped ripe banana and combine with store-bought candied walnut pieces and sugar.  Place a tablespoon or so in the center of a wonton wrapper.

Fold the wrapper into a classic wonton shape by folding the skin into a triangle first and then dabbing the bit of water on the right side.  Fold the right side under the left side and pinch.  Fry wontons in a wok or deep skillet filled with oil and heated to 350 degrees until golden brown.

Place two wontons in a martini glass over French vanilla ice cream and drizzle with with melted chocolate.  Add some mint leaves for garnish.

Banana Walnut Wontons

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup store-bought candied walnut pieces
  • 20 wonton wrappers
  • oil for frying
  • French vanilla ice cream
  • melted chocolate
  • mint leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine the banana pieces, sugar and walnut pieces in a medium bowl (do not mush the banana pieces).
  2. Place about 1 tablespoon of the mixture in the center of a wonton wrapper. Moisten all the edges of the won ton wrapper with water. Place a heaping teaspoon of won ton filling in the center.
  3. Fold the wonton wrapper in half lengthwise, making sure the ends meet. Press down firmly on the ends to seal. Use thumbs to push down on the edges of the filling to center it. Keeping thumbs in place, fold over the wonton wrapper one more time. Push the corners up and hold in place between your thumb and index finger. Wet the corners with your fingers. Bring the two ends together so that they overlap. Press to seal. The finished product should resemble a nurse's cap. Repeat with remaining wontons.
  4. Heat oil for deep-frying to 350 degrees. Add wonton in small batches and fry, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  5. Fill martini glasses with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with melted chocolate and garnish with mint leaves. Serve immediately.
http://www.thesweetandsourchronicles.com/dessert/banana-walnut-wontons/

postheadericon Shrimp & Veggie Tempura

Since the Iron Chef America episode I guest judged just re-aired, I wanted to adapt one of Morimoto’s amazing recipes (he won afterall!)  for this post.    Morimoto’s sweet and citrusy tempura dipping sauce with a bit of creamy heat is out of this world.  It’s made with lemon juice, lemon zest, cointreau, chili sauce and mayo….completely unexpected and addicting!

In case you missed the episode, click here to see some clips:

Katie Chin on Iron Chef America

His tempura recipe calls only for shrimp but I added some carrots, sweet potatoes and sugar snap peas.  It’s important that your ingredients are patted dry with a paper towel before dipping them into the batter or they’ll splatter.

Using beer in the batter creates a light and fluffy texture when fried.  Make sure the beer is nice and cold before adding it to the batter mixture.  To keep shrimp flat while frying, make several shallow cuts on the belly of the shrimp, turn over, and flatten before battering and frying.

Shrimp & Veggie Tempura

Ingredients

  • Tempura batter:
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups of cold seltzer water or beer
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Pinch salt
  • 8 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (leave tails on)
  • sliced carrots
  • sugar snap peas
  • sweet potatoes
  • Miso Mayo Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 tablespoon Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon Asian chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the batter ingredients in a medium bowl. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Place the bowl in a larger bowl lined with ice.
  2. Heat a wok or large skillet with high-heat cooking oil to 350 degrees.
  3. Dip the shrimp and vegetables in the batter one at a time. Allow excess batter to drain before placing into the oil. Fry and until fluffy and golden brown being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Drain on a paper towel-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Serve immediately with the tempura.
http://www.thesweetandsourchronicles.com/japanese-recipes/shrimp-veggie-tempura/

postheadericon Edamame Hummus

“Inspired!” is what my friend David used to describe this hummus.  If you’re having a holiday party this weekend and are racking your brain for an out-of-the-ordinary appetizer, try this edamame hummus for a healthful, protein-packed recipe which also happens to be vegetarian/vegan friendly.

All you need is some shelled edamame, tahini, garlic, lemon and lemon zest, garlic, cumin, coriander and olive oil.  Most grocery stores carry frozen shelled edamame.

Throw everything into the food processor and finish with a slow drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and your hummus is done within seconds.

I like to serve this with wonton chips which fry up in seconds.  You just heat high-heat cooking oil a wok or deep skillet to 350 degrees and and toss in some quartered wonton skins.  You can also serve with pita chips, crackers and cut up veggies.

This recipe also freezes well so I love to keep it on hand for when unexpected guests drop by!

Edamame Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound frozen shelled edamame (green soy beans), about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 3/4 teaspooon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cook the edamame beans according to package directions.
  2. In a food processor, puree the edamame, tahini, water, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt, cumin, and coriander until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and mix until blended. Serve immediately with wonton chips, pita chips and cut up veggies.
http://www.thesweetandsourchronicles.com/healthy-ingredients/edamame-hummus/

postheadericon Chocolate Dipped Holiday Fortune Cookies

Looking for some good fortune this holiday season?  These chocolate dipped holiday fortune cookies are a huge hit every year.  They really stand out amidst platters of Christmas cookies.  I like to fill holiday themed Chinese take-out containers (I like the selection at Cost Plus World Market) and bring them to parties because they make the perfect hostess gift.  The best part is that the don’t require any baking and kids love to get into the act.

I also like to use a variety of colorful sprinkles and bits of toffee as well.   You can even put candy canes in a food processor to make a candy cane dust.  It’s pretty and so yummy sprinkled on white chocolate dipped fortune cookies.  Use your imagination and create your own signature toppings like finely chopped macadamia nuts mixed into white chocolate or a dusting of edible gold dust which is beautiful against a coat of dark chocolate.

Chocolate Dipped Holiday Fortune Cookies

Ingredients

  • 24 fortune cookies
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or candy coating
  • 2 cup white chocolate chips or candy coating
  • sliced almonds
  • variety of colored sprinkles
  • candy canes, ground in a food processor
  • bits of toffee

Instructions

  1. Place semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips in separate ceramic bowls. Heat semi-sweet chocolate chips for 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each interval until melted and smooth. Set aside. Repeat steps with white chocolate chips. You may use a double boiler alternatively to melt chocolate.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Place toppings in individual small bowls. Dip each cookie in semi-sweet or white chocolate and sprinkle with toppings as you desire. Place on cookie sheet. Once cookie sheet is full, place in freezer for 5 minutes to set. Store in an airtight container.
http://www.thesweetandsourchronicles.com/holiday/chocolate-dipped-holiday-fortune-cookies-2/

postheadericon Firecracker Shrimp

Now that it’s holiday season, my friend Adam asked me to re-post my Firecracker Shrimp recipe because it’s his favorite and it’s a fantastic appetizer to serve at holiday parties.  My friends call this appetizer “Crack Shrimp” because it’s so addicting!  This was the most popular item on our catering menu and (shhhh!) the secret is the sauce.  The Srircha Mayo sauce is Boss!  This recipe is incredibly easy which makes it the perfect hors de oeuvre for holiday entertaining.   Move over meatballs and mini quiche..this Firecracker Shrimp will make your holiday shindig explode with sass and spice.

Firecracker Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 12 large shrimp, in the shell
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, divided
  • 4 sheets spring roll wrappers
  • 24 carrot strips (3x 1/4inch)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
  • 3 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying

Instructions

  1. Removing the shells and leaving the tail intact, make a deep cut lengthwise down the back of each shrimp; wash out the sand vein. Place warm water in a bowl and add the salt; stir to dissolve. Place the shrimp in the salt water and swirl. Leave the shrimp in the salt water for 5 minutes, then rinse with cold water, drain, and pat dry on paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt.
  2. Cut each spring roll wrapper into thirds, making 3 long narrow strips.
  3. Place the carrot strips in a small bowl, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt, and set aside.
  4. Brush the egg at the top of the shrimp. Place 2 carrot strips in the slit of each shrimp. Brush each spring roll strip with egg and roll each shrimp up tightly in the spring roll strip, with the egg holding it together. The tail of the shrimp should be protruding from one end and the carrots from the other - to resemble a firecracker! Continue process until all the wrappers are folded with the shrimp and carrots.
  5. To make the dipping sauce, in a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and Srircha sauce. Set aside.
  6. In a wok or deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Fry the shrimp rolls until golden brown, about 2 minutes, turning 2 to 3 times. Drain on paper towels. Serve with the dipping sauce.
http://www.thesweetandsourchronicles.com/asian-recipes-2/firecracker-shrimp/