Friday, April 27, 2012

No-Crab Rangoon

I love cream cheese in most forms.

I AM a vegetarian, but I've been known to eat imitation crab in a Crab Puff aka Crab Rangoon.

Tonight I made up a batch since we have a house-guest and were eating dinner somewhat tapas style.

These were super easy and SO tasty.

No-Crab Rangoon
Oil for frying (I used vegetable oil, you have to adjust the temperature pretty much the whole time to keep it from overheating, but it's a good flavor)
Won ton wrappers
1 pkg Cream cheese (I use neufchatel cheese)
1 tbs Homeward Bound SnapDragon hot sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tbs chopped fresh chives
warm water in a small bowl or dish

Place a small to medium sized pot on medium heat and add oil. Cover, but check the temperature every few minutes by dropping a small piece of wonton into the pot. If it just sinks to the bottom, the oil is not hot enough yet. The oil is the right temperature when the piece of wonton bubbles and starts to float.

While the oil is heating, place cream cheese or neufchatel cheese into a microwave-safe bowl, microwave just until soft (35 to 45 seconds should do it).  Stir in hot sauce, garlic salt, and chives.

Lay individual won ton wrappers out on a clean, flat surface and place about a tablespoon of cream cheese mixture in the center.  Wet your finger with the warm water and wet two edges of the wrapper, folding it into a triangle and press sides together to seal.

Once oil is hot, drop wontons in. The wontons will start to bubble and brown. After about a minute, use tongs to flip the wontons over so they brown evenly.

As they start to turn golden brown pull them out and place on paper towels to dry.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Massaman Curry

Our cupboards are close to bare, as it is the last few days before payday.

I was feeling creative and cruising around on Pinterest, when I came across this pin. It inspired me to want a curry-type noodle dish, but I don't have curry paste hanging around, so I looked up curry paste which then led me to a Massaman Curry recipe.  

I had most of the ingredients so I figured I'd give it a whirl and see how close I could get.  I had no potatoes, (I know, traditional Massaman pretty much always HAS potatoes) so I added some broccoli, carrots and green beans in addition to the noodles to make it go a little further.

Reese's Massaman-ish Curry with Tofu & Veggies
  • 1 to 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red chili paste
  • 1 tsp cilantro paste 
  • 1/2 cube Not Chik'n boullion dissolved in 1/2 cup water
  • 3 bay leaves (from Ellie Bluebell)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/3 chopped dry roasted cashews
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp fine ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, cut in 1" chunks
  • 1 13.5oz can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp Homeward Bound PunJab Hot Sauce
  • 1 cup frozen "cross-cut" carrots
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 3-4 large stalks broccoli, cut into whatever size you like
  • 1/2 pkg Japanese Udon noodles
  • 1 pkg Ramen noodles 
  • 1/2 cup water

Heat a wok, large frying pan, or soup-type pot over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the oil and swirl around, then add the garlic, chili paste, and cilantro paste. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes to release the fragrance.

Add the boullion, bay leaves, turmeric, chopped cashews, cumin, black pepper, lime juice, and sugar. Stir and bring to a light boil.

Add the tofu, stirring to coat with the spicy liquid, then add the coconut milk and PunJab. Stir and bring back up to a boil. Reduce heat to low, or just until you get a good simmer.

Simmer 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, add Udon noodles, separate so they don't stick together, and cover.

Simmer another 8 minutes, add Ramen noodles, broken up into quarters. 

Simmer another 2 minutes, add carrots, broccoli and final 1/2 cup of water, stir, cover and simmer until veggies are tender.

Add a handful more cashews and fold in. Transfer to a serving bowl, or plate up on individual plates or bowls. 

(This picture's lighting/color is weird... but it tastes fantastic!)