Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sweet Mango & Banana Wontons

What is better to end a meal than a deep fried wonton? These delicious little triangles are so simple to make...have them with vanilla ice cream if you prefer but they are amazing just as they are dipped in mango puree.

I am still in the process of clearing out the fridge and freezer so this was a quick, impromptu dessert. I was craving something sweet and this was the result - no recipe, just imagination!

Ingredients & Preparation:
  • small wontons, cut in 2 on the diagonal
  • about 2 cups of mango, diced
  • 1/4 banana
  • 1/4 cup of raw brown sugar
  • 1 squeeze of honey
  • 3-4 cups of peanut oil for deep frying
  • icing sugar for dusting

Put the mango, banana, brown sugar and honey into a blender and puree until fairly smooth but not runny. Leave a few bits in it. Cut your wontons on the diagonal. Put a little of the mixture in the centre of the triangle. Wet the sides with a little water on your finger and fold over being careful to seal the edges. You should now have a triangular pocket.

Heat your oil up to 350F in a deep, heavy pot. Once hot enough, place 3 wontons in the pot. Let them turn golden one the 1st side, then flip over and do the same for the second. Let the wontons cool on a wire rack or on paper towel.

When ready to serve, dust with a little (or a lot!) of icing sugar. Serve with ice cream or a small bowl of the leftover puree. A perfect end to an Asian-inspired meal!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Empty-the-Freezer Seafood Chowder

We are going away on vacation soon and I'm in the process of using up all the things in my fridge and freezer. This is going to be a week without a trip to the grocery store so I'm sure my posts will be sporadic at best!

Yesterday afternoon I thought I'd try and make a seafood chowder - without a recipe in sight! I had scallops and some cod and whipped up pot of chowder - I was truly surprised that it tasted so good! I had to use frozen scallops which is sort of a sin but they were in the freezer and had to be used up at some point! Use fresh if you can and have the budget for it. Let's see if I can remember what I did...

Ingredients & Preparation:
Serves 6 people or so

  • 2-3 swirls in the pot of olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 package of frozen scallops (I used a bag of bay scallops, which are the small ones and I can't remember the weight.)
  • 2-3 fillets of cod, cut into small squares (mine was frozen so I thawed it ahead of time)
  • 3 cups organic chicken broth
  • 3 small Yukon gold potatoes (I used 5 piccolo potatoes as they were in the pantry), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (this is not necessary but I added it for that decadence factor)
  • 1 cup 10% cream
  • 1 cup homogenized milk
  • white pepper to taste (black pepper is fine too but white is my preference with fish dishes)
  • fine sea salt to taste
  • fresh parsley

In a large pot, sauté onion in some olive oil until translucent. Add scallops & cod fish and cook until done. As soon as the scallops are opaque they are cooked. Be careful not to overcook. Your fish should be done at the same time. Add the stock and potatoes and cook for another 12-14 minutes until your potatoes are tender. Add the butter, cream, milk, salt & white pepper.

Take half of your chowder and puree it in the blender until smooth (I added about 1 tablespoon of flour to make it a bit thicker). I pureed all of my potatoes as I don't like chunky chowder but this is up to you and what your preference is...

Add the pureed soup back in with the remaining soup in the pot and stir. Add some fresh parsley and serve with a big slice of crusty bread.