Nutella Wontons

Whenever I tell people I made Nutella wontons, their reaction is usually one of confusion or disgust. I guess the two words don’t really go together. Nutella, obviously, is a sweet, hazelnut chocolate spread, and wontons are an Asian dumplings filled with meat and vegetables and stuff (i.e., salty). So to put those two concepts together, I guess it’s not that hard to see why it would evoke the aforementioned emotions.

I assure you, though, that this recipe involves neither meat nor vegetables. It involves wonton skins (which are basically just dough and have no flavor of their own), Nutella, and powdered sugar.

Anyway, I saw this recipe on one of those sites I browse, and I thought they looked and sounded delicious. As I mentioned in my last post, I was making regular wontons (with the meat and vegetables) and happened to have 5 skins left over when I ran out of the meat/vegetable filling.

I also happened to have Nutella and oil (for frying). What I didn’t have was powdered sugar, but luckily one of my housemates (I wasn’t really friends with her at the time, but we’re friends now) had some and she happily lent me some in exchange for one Nutella wonton.

These wontons were so good that I ended up making them for two luncheons at my church in W-town. The first time I made an entire pack of 50 and they disappeared so fast I think I only managed to get my hands on one. The second time I made a double batch (*gasp* 100 Nutella wontons?!?! … yeah with 1 frying pan, it took forever.) and had a few left over. I brought those to a freshmen Bible study gathering where they got devoured by the kiddies.

So in conclusion, these dessert wontons are amazing and you should definitely make them for your next gathering!

Recipe from Handle the Heat.

wonton skins
Nutella hazelnut chocolate spread
vegetable oil
powdered sugar

Place a spoonful of Nutella in the middle of a wonton skin (be careful not to put too much or it will burst!). Brush 2 adjacent edges of the skin with water and fold in half diagonally into a triangle.

Heat a frying pan and when pan is heated, add a layer of oil, about enough to cover the bottom. Place wontons in a single layer, and fry until crispy (about 45 sec – 1 min per side).

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve hot.

Wonton Soup

One day I was really craving wonton soup.. so I grabbed a friend, went to Stop and Shop, and did it! I was really impressed to find that Stop and Shop (especially the one in W-town) stocked both wonton skins and ground pork. Wonton skins are only sold in increments of 50 though… so I ended up freezing a bunch and making some dessert wontons (which will be posted tomorrow).

One note– if you freeze wontons, make sure they’re dry when you bag them… otherwise they will stick to each other… which is no fun. Also, in addition to boiling them, you can also pan fry them which is crispy and delicious.

Anyway, this soup was exactly what I needed. Next time I’d use less garlic oil in the broth though.

The recipe is from Tastes of Home.

For wontons:
20 wonton skins
1 pound ground pork
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz water chestnuts, minced
garlic powder
soy sauce
vegetable oil

For soup:
1 can chicken broth
1 teaspoon soy sauce
20 shiitake mushrooms, cut into fourths
1 clove garlic, minced
vegetable oil

Marinate ground pork in soy sauce, salt, garlic powder, oil, and cornstarch.

Mix in minced water chestnuts and garlic.

Prepare wontons by placing a spoonful of the meat mixture in the center of the wonton skin (be careful not to put too much or it will burst!). First brush 2 adjacent edges of the skin with water and fold in half diagonally to make a triangle. Then dab one of the bottom 2 corners with water and fold the 2 bottom corners together.

Heat a pot of water to boiling and add wontons and heat until wontons begin to float. Meanwhile, prepare garlic oil by microwaving the oil and garlic for 30 seconds. Heat the rest of the soup ingredients in a pot and add the garlic oil. Serve wontons and soup together.

Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

I saw this recipe (probably on Foodgawker or Tastespotting) and knew immediately that it was going to be delicious. I mean, pasta, 3 kinds of cheese and bacon? How could it not be?

This mac and cheese dish is hearty. I made it with a couple friends and ended up with probably close to 3/4 of the pan leftover and we were all full. Also a good thing to note: it’s not as delicious when it’s reheated. So make this dish for a party or something where you’ll be able to finish it in one night!

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook macaroni until al dente.

Fry bacon until crispy, then cut until small pieces. Reserve 1 tablespoon of grease.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter and saute onions on low heat until soft and browned. Set aside.

Melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and add 1 tablespoon of grease. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Add milk and half and half and heat until thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Beat eggs and drizzle 1/4 cup hot mix into beaten eggs. Stir to combine. Then add egg mix to the sauce and cook for about a minute.

Add cheese and stir until melted. Add 3/4 of the bacon and onions, saving the rest for the top. Add macaroni and stir to coat.

Pour into a 9×13 baking pan and top with remaining bacon and onions. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until sizzling. Serve immediately.

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Chicken and broccoli alfredo is something I used to like to order at Italian restaurants, mostly because a) my family is not a fan of cream-based cheesy sauces, and b) I didn’t really cook much until college, so I never made it myself until last summer. The recipe I tried back then wasn’t really all that great, so I probably won’t post it here.

Sometime last year, I randomly had some ingredients around, so I threw this together… and it was really good! One thing that I find I always change is whenever a recipe tells me to boil or bake chicken, I prefer to marinate it and pan fry it instead. It’s super easy, it gives the chicken extra flavor, and it keeps the chicken from getting disgusting dry.

Also, as far as I can remember, this was also the first time I tried making pasta in a rice cooker. [Although I didn’t put that in the original recipe because a) I wasn’t supposed to have a rice cooker in my dorm and b) that’s not how I normally cook pasta… in a dorm, cooking it in a rice cooker is easier because I can do it in my room.]

Of course cooking it in a rice cooker is not like cooking rice. You don’t just put in rice and water and hit cook. You fill the rice cooker with water and hit cook and wait for the water to boil. Once the water boils, you cook it just like you would in a pot on a stove.

1 pint heavy cream
1 8 oz. bag of grated parmesan cheese
2 cups broccoli florets
1 box farfalle pasta
2 chicken breasts
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
salt, pepper, garlic powder
vegetable oil

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta for 10-15 minutes or so until al dente. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.

Slice chicken breasts and marinate with vegetable oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

While the chicken is marinating, in a non-stick frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add about 1/3 of the garlic and saute until browned. Add broccoli, sprinkle lightly with salt, garlic powder and water, and cook until the broccoli is a vibrant green. Remove pan from heat and add broccoli to bowl with pasta.

Heat another 2 tablespoons of oil and add another 1/3 of the garlic and saute. When garlic begins to brown, add chicken in a single layer in the pan. Allow to cook on medium heat until the top side of the chicken begins to change color. Flip and brown the other side. Once thoroughly cooked, remove from pan and add to the bowl of pasta and chicken.

Pour heavy cream into the pan and bring to a slow boil. Simmer until cream thickens. Add 3/4 of the parmesan cheese and stir until it has all melted in. Season to taste with last 1/3 of garlic, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Pour sauce over pasta, chicken and broccoli. Add last 1/4 of cheese. Toss and you’re done!

S’more Cookies

These cookies have all the fun of s’mores without quite as much messiness. I made these over the summer and since my parents don’t really like sweets, I think I ended up sending most of them to a friend in California…

If memory serves me correctly, the cookie dough was a little thin, so they spread out a lot when I baked them. They still tasted delicious, but they weren’t super pretty. (I took a picture of the prettiest one, haha).

Recipe from Baked Perfection.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups miniature chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
12 miniature Hershey’s bars

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt and a dash of cinnamon. In a larger bowl, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto parchment paper covered cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven. Push 4-5 marshmallows and 1/4 of a mini Hershey’s bar into each cookie. Bake for another 3-4 minutes until fully cooked.

Southwestern Eggrolls

Whenever I see adds on tv for the “triple dipper” meal at Chilis I always want to go there. The triple dipper is a meal made up of three kinds of appetizers, and I like it because then I can order southwestern eggrolls (which no one else in my family really likes).

So then I wondered if I could make them myself, and started looking up recipes. I found this one from Chat & Chew but I made the unfortunate mistake of getting spring roll skins and not eggroll ones. Personally, the taste of spinach was too strong for my liking, and when I was baking them, they inexplicable started smoking and set off the smoke detector in my house (luckily I was home alone and I just opened the window and the alarm stopped).

The funniest part of the story is that while I wasn’t the biggest fan of them, my parents actually liked them and finished them for me. Haha. Funny how these things work out sometimes.

In my opinion, they need more spice.

1 can (15 oz) corn, drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 can (4-5 oz) chopped green chiles, drained
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
20 spring roll/egg roll wrappers

Preheat oven to 425 degrees(F).

In a large bowl, combine everything except for the wrappers. Place 1/4 cup of the mixture in a wrapper. Fold 3 corners of the wrapper in, over the filling and roll up towards the last corner.

Grease a pan and place each roll seam-side down on the pan. Spray tops lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Turn halfway through.

Serve hot with salsa.

Chinese Cold Cucumber Salad

“Salad” I guess is a bit of a misnomer. But then again, what exactly is a salad?

Salad (noun):
1. a usually cold dish consisting of vegetables, as lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, covered with a dressing and sometimes containing seafood, meat, or eggs.
2. any of various dishes consisting of foods, as meat, seafood, eggs, pasta, or fruit, prepared singly or combined, usually cut up, mixed with a dressing, and served cold: chicken salad; potato salad.
3. any herb or green vegetable, as lettuce, used for salads or eaten raw.

So I guess by definition 3, it is a salad.

Anyway, it is a really nice cold dish to eat in the summer. I originally learned how to make this in a cooking class in Beijing, but then forgot about it. I don’t really remember why I remembered it, but I got this recipe from Tiny Urban Kitchen.

2 medium sized cucumbers
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
dried red pepper flakes

Cut the ends off the cucumbers, then peel half the skin in alternating strips. Cut each cucumber in half length-wise, then cut each of those halves in half length-wise. Chop into 1-2 inch pieces.

Put pieces in a bowl and sprinkle liberally with salt. Let sit for around 30 minutes, then drain the water that has come out of the cucumbers. Squeeze cucumbers, add more salt and let sit for another 15-20 minutes. Drain again.

In a bowl, toss cucumber with garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, and sugar. Place in a single layer in a dish and allow to marinate for a few hours or overnight if possible. Sprinkle with dried red pepper flakes and serve chilled.

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