bits and pieces

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tex-Mex Rangoons aka Jalapeño Popper Wontons

Why yes, I will dip these cheese, cream cheese, and jalapeño pockets in spicy guacamole. Gracias. 

It's jalapeño popper time! Jalapeño popper time! 

Do you ever go through those phases where all you want to eat is one thing? Recently, it's been jalapeño poppers. Can I combine cream cheese and jalapeños? Yes? Cool, I'll do it. 

Confession: In the original caption for the photo above, I referred to them as "deep-fried jalapeño pockets". HOWEVER - these are baked. It just goes to show how dangerous a deep fryer is. Soon you start assuming everything you've ever cooked was deep fried. 

Spring has finally sprung here in the Prairies so theoretically it's the time to be eating delicious spring produce and lamb and asparagus and other seasonal delights. However, despite spring having - theoretically - sprung, the temperature continues to hover around 10 degrees. Blergh.

So to warm me up, I've been living on jalapeños and cream cheese. As if I needed an excuse. 

Creameh creameh cheese. 
These little poppers use wonton wrappers to encase your delicious filling, and are shockingly baked not fried. While they take a few minutes to make - if you arrange your filling in advance you can churn these out like you're an 19th century orphan working an assembly line. They're great for parties, lunch snacks, or for eating alone, standing in your kitchen in slippers and a t-shirt. 

these can be adjusted as per the volume of spring rolls you want to produce
6 jalapeños - sliced length wise. If you like it spicy, leave the pith and seeds in. And honestly - even with the seeds and pith, they're not that spicy.
a stack of wonton wrappers - you can buy these in your grocery store. They're normally near the tofu and fresh noodles. 
about 1/3 of a cup of finely chopped cilantro (unless you hate cilantro)
a block of cream cheese, cut into long thin pieces. Start with a COLD block of cream cheese. I slice mine length wise, and then cut each long slice into 3 equal tubes of cream cheese, and then cut those in half, leaving you with 6 2-inch tubes of cream cheese. Yep. Tubes of cream cheese. 
cheddar cheese, sliced into pieces approximately the same size as your cream cheese.

olive oil to drizzle

other things you will need:
a cutting board and knife
a small ramekin/bowl filled with water
a baking tray, lined with parchment paper (parchment paper is optional)

  1. Preheat your oven to 450
  2. Place one wonton wrapper diagonally on your board. When you look at it, it should look like a diamond, not a square. 
  3. About an inch from the bottom, plop on your cream cheese, a slice or two of jalapeno, a sprinkle of cilantro and your cheddar. 
  4. Fold the bottom up to cover your ingredients, then fold in the sides, and then roll from the bottom towards the top. Dab your finger in the water and use it to seal the wonton-tube. So many tubes.
  5. Don't panic - the first 3 or 4 are always terrible looking. This gets much easier the more you do it.  
  6. Repeat this process until you are out of ingredients/frustrated and angry/hungry/hangry.
  7. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (easy clean up!), and drizzle liberally with olive oil. 
  8. Bake for 5 minutes or until golden brown, and then flip 'em over to ensure they're crispy and golden all over. 
  9. Eat with delicious guacamole, peanut sauce, salsa, or enjoy alone. 

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