Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tasty Freezer Finds...

I know, the title is kind of scary, tasty things in the freezer - if your freezer is anything like mine, you can't tell what is what - how old it is or why you should be keeping it (ok, I'm not that bad, but there are definitely some unidentified items back there!). Tonight instead of doing massive cooking, I went searching the freezer for some dim sum-esque components...first on the list is some edamame, a staple in my, some gyoza chicken dumplings from my local asian grocery store, last, homemade crab wontons.

My mother and I made these wontons sometime last year (I can still say that without it sounding bad since last year was just a few days ago!) and really enjoyed them. They were easy to make and very tasty - coming out of the freezer they are still great. Here is the recipe for them (fresh) and my freezer + reheating instructions.

2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
2 shallots, chopped
1/2 carrot, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
1 pound lump crabmeat (Dungeness, if you can get it), picked through for shells
1 (12-ounce) package square wonton wrappers
1 egg white, for brushing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crab Filling Preparation
1. Soften cream cheese to room temperature
2. In a bowl, combine cilantro, scallions, ginger, lemon juice, carrot with softened cream cheese.
3. Add crab mixture and lightly mix (be careful not to completely break up crab) with other ingredients.

Wonton Wrapper Preparation
1. Using wonton wrappers approximately 4 inches square will work to make smaller dumplings for appetizers. However, if a larger dumpling is preferred, a 4 x 6 inch rectangular wrapper can be made from spring roll dough sheets.
2. Lay wonton wrappers on a flat surface and add a teaspoon of crab filling in the center of the wrapper or adjust amount depending on size of the wrapper. Lightly and evenly spread the filling into a coin-shaped portion making sure to keep it well away from the outer edges.
3. Dampen the edge of each wrapper with water and fold in half.
4. Dampen the edge of each wrapper with water or a lightly beaten egg and press the edges together so they seal the contents.
5. Moisten the edges again if necessary so they adhere better. Fold each end in toward the center of the wrap, allowing half of the end to remain in a vertical position while the other half is folded over on top of and overlaps the opposite side end piece, like the end corners of an envelope. Press the ends together that overlap, so they adequately seal.
6. Keep the filled wontons covered with a damp cloth to retain the moisture in the dough while others are being filled.
7. When ready to cook, place the filled wontons on a baking sheet layered with parchment paper. 8. Pour cooking oil in a skillet and heat on medium high to 350ºF
9. Fry wontons in small batches for 3 to 4 minutes each until they are light golden brown.
10. Remove and place on paper toweling to absorb any excess grease.

Sesame Soy Dipping Sauce

3/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1. Stir together components and serve dipping sauce.

These are addictive fresh from the stove but it makes so many wontons that unless you are entertaining you can't eat them all! So, after they have cooled and drained (on paper towels), place them in a freezer safe bag and freeze them. To reheat, preheat oven at 450ºF, once oven is hot, put wontons in the oven for ten minutes and flip half way through. They are just as good out of the freezer as they are from the stove!


♥Reeni said...

I was planning on making fried wontons sometime soon, I have everything in my fridge! These are one of my favorite things. How lucky to have frozen some, mine always disappear way too fast! They look so delicious, I am wishing I made them tonight!

Chef E said...

Yeah that would be kind of scary to think 'last year', since I only recommend 3 to 6 months and then feed it to the animals or compost it... My parsnip soup was good, but you have to heat up the water very slowly with them in it, no boiling only a water bath so to speak and it was good, the roasted ones were great!

Your story started and I thought of my son and his empty freezer except for the package of dumplings from the ethnic market :)

Dee said...

So sad I missed this fun meal! I remember it well. The crab wontons (otherwise known as racoons...) were delicious. I believe late Oct. We made them for Halloween. You & I both need to get serious in the freezer;)

Hornsfan said...

Eek - I really do need to clean out the freezer, I think my New Years Resolution may be to see how much freezer food I can clear out this month....might be a good idea!

Kaitlin said...

What an awesome medly of yummy food!!

Dee said...

You have been tagged in my blog! Happy 2009, check it out.

Chef E said...

I thought of you again tonight son called and said "mom, that bacon in the freezer and swiss cheese, can I eat that, since you bought it for me when you were here"...I laughed...of course sweetie I said...make yourself a swiss bacon grilled cheese like I made when you were sick...he said yeah I thought it sounded familiar...

Why I find it funny...all he had before I came were the dumplings and he has already forgotten!

Hornsfan said...

E - that's hilarious! Yea - I'm planning much freezer food for the next few poor family and friends will be subject to it as well :)

Joie de vivre said...

What a great way to clean out your freezer. I'm not even sure what is in the back of mine...eek.