Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Asian Wonton Salad

2 heads romaine lettuce
3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed or shredded (I marinated them in some of the Sweet Sesame dressing)
cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1 cucumber, sliced
1 package wontons
vegetable oil for frying
Sweet Sesame Dressing

Heat about 1 inch of oil in a pot on the stove top. Use pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut wontons into thirds (3 strips). You may not need the entire package, depending on how much salad you're making. I usually use about half of the wonton wrappers. You'll want the oil at about 375 degrees. Test by dipping a wonton in and seeing if it bubbles up quickly. Fry wontons a few at a time and set on paper towels to dry. These can be made ahead of time and kept in an air tight container.

Tear clean lettuce into chunks and place in a large salad bowl. Top with cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, and red onion. Add shredded chicken and top with Sweet Sesame Dressing. Toss salad together. Once everything is well coated, add wonton strips and gently toss to combine.

2/3 C rice vinegar
1 C canola oil
2 Tbs sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, pressed or very finely minced
2 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 C sugar
4 Tbs sesame seeds

Place all ingredients into a quart jar (or something equivalent) and shake vigorously. If desired, make ahead of time and store in the fridge

Carmel Apple Cheesecake

Hooray! I have been trying to re-find this recipe since I made it for Thanksgiving. Lesson I learned - never throw out the recipe you print online cause it might be really hard to find again. But anyways, here it is. One of the best cheesecakes I have made. Next time I will try it with a gingerbread crust.

Several large handfuls of vanilla wafers
6 tablespoons butter

Blend in food processor until it come together. Press into bottom of springform pan, and bake for 10 minutes or so until it's kinda firm and not going to float away when you add filling.

Apple Layer:
2 tablespoons butter
3 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
3 tablespoons brown sugar
glug maple syrup (I think this means a little bit :). I probably used 1 TB)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a touch of powdered ginger
a touch of all spice
a touch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp cornstarch

Saute apples with butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup until there is liquid from the apples in the pan. Add spices and cornstarch, continuing to cook over medium heat until apples are soft but not mushy, and there is a nice syrup. Smoothly layer onto cooked crust.

3- 8 oz packages of cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons flour
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Whip cream cheese and sugar in electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated before adding the next one. In a small bowl, combine the cream and flour, stirring until smooth. Add to cream cheese mixture, along with vanilla bean paste. Mix until smooth and well blended. Pour slowly on top of apples (be careful here so you don't dislodge the apples).

Bake in a water bath for about 55 minutes at 325. Center should be set but jiggly when you pull it out. Cool, the refrigerate until serving. Right before serving, top with caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce:
6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cream

Melt butter and brown sugar together over medium heat, until it boils. Cook for several minutes until mixture is thick and fragrant (like, say, caramel!). Add cream, and stir until combined. If your cream is cold, it may seize the caramel mixture and bubble furiously. Just keep stirring over the heat until it comes together. Cool until ready to top cheesecake.

Butternut Squash Ravioli

They were sampling this at Costco the other day and I thought I would try it out on my own. Turned out pretty tasty but it was time consuming. I made the whole package of wonton wrappers and froze what we didn't eat to eat another time.

4 C Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tsp Brown Sugar
1 C Ricotta Cheese
2 T chopped fresh sage
3 T chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 package wonton wrappers
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss squash with oil, salt, pepper, and brown sugar in a roasting pan. Add 1/4 C water and cover with foil. Roast 30 minutes until very tender.

Drain squash well, return to pan, and mash with fork. Return, uncovered, to the oven and bake for 10 minutes to dry out.

Add cheese, sage, parsley, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend well. Distribute by tablespoons onto wonton wrappers. Moisten the edge of the wonton wrapper with water and carefully pinch together.

Cook in boiling water in batches until they float. To keep from sticking, toss in olive oil. Serve with Alfredo sauce.

Alfredo Sauce:

1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve