Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Baked Crab Rangoons: Picture Overload

**Update: A lot of recipes call for garlic, which I originally intended to add a pinch of it.  I like these as they are, but you may choose to add that in.
For the sake of my sanity, I am not going to try to line up the details with each particular picture.  I was trying to add captions to each picture for your sake but it is acting just like Word does and messing up my formatting.  At least I tried.  Recipe now, discussion to follow:
-1/3 Block reduced fat cream cheese
-Onions and chives to taste, see pictures, go lightly
-Heaping 1/2 cup of finely chopped imitation crab, or the real stuff, the imitation was on sale for $1, so it won.
-1/2 container of greek yogurt (plain)
-3 Dashes of Soy Sauce (I refuse to metric this, everyone just shakes some in regardless of tsp amount)
-Wonton wrappers (about 20-30 depending on shape, details to follow)

Finely, finely, ever so finely chop the onions.  I mean mutilate them, seriously.  No crunchy chunk of onion is going to fly in a rangoon.  I had chives in my spice rack, and gave them a good chop as well.

As you can tell by the pictures, I use VERY little of each.  These are crab rangoons, not onion rangoons. 

Chop the crab and mix all of the filling ingredients together.

Place little dollops in the center of the wonton wrapper and fold to desired shape, brushing the edges with water and then folding to seal.  Bake at 350 (I did it at 375 but I would suggest a lower temperature, as I expected) for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown, which will vary by shape and amount of filling.

Other recipes call for other additions such as worchestire, lemon, etc etc, so feel free to add other things as you see fit.  I personally like how these taste.  With it being a reduced fat cream cheese and with the inclusion of greek yogurt, it gives it a tangy taste and so I did not add lemon into mine. I did brush a few of the tops with butter and this did not seem to overly change the results.

Shapes, with my own name designations:

-Commodore Hats.  These made me think of those goofy hats the sailors wear in Pirates of the Caribbean.  You probably just have to be in my crazy brain to see it.  Regardless, start with a dollop in the center.  Brush water on all edges of wrapper, and fold two corners into themselves as if you were going to fold it over into a triangle. Bring these two corners together toward the center to create a pouch, and stick the remaining two sides together.  This will make a LOT more sense in the pictures.

Only because it literally can't make any less sense writing it out.  But that, my friends, is WHY I took all of these pictures for you.

-Traditional looking crab rangoons.  These are similar to the hats, but you will want to bring the middle of each side in toward the center and stick them together.  You can pretty much do this one handed when you get used to it.

-Pocket Packets.  What can I say I like weird names.  Anyway, do the same thing you did for the traditional shaped ones, but wet the corners as well and bring them in to the center after you have the traditional shape.

-Triangles.  Boring name, easy shape, if you can't make your wonton be a triangle...bad news bears.

Here is what I learned from all of this.  First, the shape of your wonton and subsequently the amount of filling will affect your baking time.

How recipes like this bake at 425 is beyond me.  If you want to try that be my guest, I prefer to do this at 350.  Height and corners become your enemy at higher temperatures.  You can probably get away with a higher temperature with the triangles or with a folded in square type shape, but you need to test that theory before you use these for a party.

You should test all recipes before a party, by the way.  Solid advice from my mother.

You need to watch these like a hawk.  I facebooked for a few minutes when they were nearing completion and I got some brown corners.

That being said, don't be afraid of the darker corners.  They are delicious and crispy and this is coming from someone who hates everything that is even remotely "burnt".  Like char marks on grilled food, not a big fan.  I like barely there marks on my hot dogs.

These aren't fried, so they won't have the same crispyness as a deep fried rangoon would, but they still have plenty of merit.  Mostly in the form of not being so incredibly unhealthy.

You can use philly cream cheese that has onion and chive in it already.  They make that.  What would the conversion be? I have no idea.  Some? :)  It should not be hard to adjust.  I don't buy that particular thing and always have cream cheese on hand, so I just used what I had.

There are probably a zillion ways you could fold a wonton, so get creative and have fun with it.  Food should be fun.  Sharing food and meals with others is fun, and there is no reason the cooking can't be as well.  The dishes will never be fun, and that is a fact of life.

Now, time for me to ramble about my day.  Although I think there is a howler monkey or something in the hallway...or a very drunk sorority girl.  Maybe a very drunk sorority girl who owns a howler monkey.

Oh lord.  That would be quite the combination....

Regardless, my mom came to visit me today and it was such a pleasant sort of surprise.  She obviously called first to make sure I wasn't embroiled in some intense homework.  I technically had my paper I am working on open, but to say I was working on it would be a teeny bit of a ginormous stretch. 

When she got here, however, I was VERY surprised because she came armed with cupcakes.

Now, for anyone who doesn't know me if I ever truly had a weekness it would be cupcakes.  I love them.  I love everything about a cupcake.  I went to DC and I was fixating on the idea of getting Sprinkles cupcakes to the point of near insanity until we finally went over to Georgetown.  I would take a trip back to DC just to have that red velvet again.

And eat at the restaurant inside the Museum of the American Indian.  That was delicious.  Sweet potato cheesecake, for the win.

Anyway, the point is it was so nice to have company here in Muncie.  I was one of the few from my hometown that actually took off to school pretty far from home, just passed that distance that people are more willing to drive to come visit.  I go home every other weekend in most cases, and go to a friend's house some of the weekends that I am not here, but it is always such a pleasant change to have someone come here.

And I had just cleaned my apartment, how convenient!

That made the cupcakes like a reward for cleaning.  I sent most of them home with mom as I will be headed that way for break tomorrow (she was in this neck of the woods for business is how this started), but there is currently a red velvet cheesecake cupcake and a snickerdoodle cupcake sitting deliciously in my fridge.

I wish I had not been such a rudeling and had thought to make these while she was here.  I was, however, caught up in conversation and enjoying the moment.  I shall have to make it up in leftovers that I am bringing with me tomorrow.

You could fill these with anything.  Think of the insane amount of possibilities in the simplicity of a wonton shell.

Happy crafting.

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