Wontons: A Favorite Quick and Versatile Appetizer
Posted by by Molly Ledin, food experience manager
Thursday, June 30, 2011
A friend who I haven’t seen recently called a few nights ago and before I knew it, I had invited her and her husband over for dinner. Dinner … the very next night. At 34, I am just beginning to realize that I don’t ever give myself enough time to prepare for anything – I tend to say to myself, “How hard can it be?” and not until I am fully enthralled in whatever it is that I had convinced myself was not so hard, I realize that indeed, it is. Maybe not “hard” per say, but time consuming. Yes, that’s a better way to look at it.
The next day, I was standing in the entrance of the store, contemplating what I could make that would be quick yet somewhat dazzling enough to serve for our guests. One thing you should know about me is that I admittantly tend to “over do it” from time to time. An impromptu dinner at my house still includes using the good china, the silver and the meal, of course, should be spectacular. No matter what. Spectacular. OK, now that we have that out of the way, back to the story at hand. So, I’m in the grocery store and I needed a starting point...the only thing I had determined was that we would have a salad at some point. So, I headed to produce. Yes, a good place to start. As I walked through the produce section I noticed a little shelf that I often don’t pay much attention to. On this shelf were packages of wonton wrappers. Now these little gems I haven’t thought of in years but something I had learned from a chef suddenly flashed back…Yes! I knew what I was going to do! I was going to make wonton crisps. How I was going to use the crisps, I hadn’t yet determined. I just knew they were quick, tasty and versatile – surely, I’d figure something out! So, I picked up a package and continued on with my shopping and dare I admit, “on the fly” menu planning.
At this point you’re wondering – how could little wonton wrappers have made her so excited? What could she possibly do with wonton wrappers? Well, I’m going to tell you…here we go…prepare to be amazed at its simple brilliance.
I laid individual wonton wrappers flat on my Silpat lined baking sheet, brushed them lightly with olive oil, sprinkled with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper and baked them in a 325 degree oven until they turned golden brown, which doesn’t take long. Yup, that’s it. That’s all there is to it. You’re now wondering what I did with them, what makes them so spectacular? Well, for that particular meal I tossed out the leafy green salad idea (actually, once I became distracted by the wonton wrappers I moved on from the produce department and quite honestly, completely forgot about a salad.) I placed a small mound of seafood salad I picked up in the deli on a small plate, garnished with what I had on hand…a few sliced grape tomatoes, a sprig of flat leaf parsley, some shaved parmeasan, and stuck a few wonton crisps in the top of the salad (I like to think that this created a little height and drama to the overall presentation!) then served them to our guests as a starter course.
Give them a try and let me know how you use them!
Oh, for those who are wondering…in addition to the seafood salad with wonton crisps, we had a surprisingly simple dinner of steak au poire, individual potato gratins and green beans tossed with olive oil and a splash of lemon juice. And one Killer Brownie fed all four of us…cut into four pieces that is, topped with a little ice cream and hot fudge.