What in the wild-world-of-culinary-sports made me ponder turning wonton skins into mini-taco shells? Over the weekend I made two popular deep-fried Chinese-American appetizers to celebrate Chinese New Year: crab Rangoon and firecracker shrimp. Yesterday, I roasted a chicken, for the purpose of making some Asian chicken salad today -- to use up a few of the miscellaneous Asian ingredients that were leftover, which, included some wonton skins.
Wonton tacos? Why not? They're a ton of tasty fun.
For those who don't know, these small squares of flattened dough are very versatile. They can be boiled, steamed, pan-fried, deep-fried and/or baked. When I bake with them, I usually place them in mini-muffin cups. When they emerge from the oven, they are brown and crispy -- pretty little cups, each one ready and waiting for a dollop of an interesting savory or sweet filling.
Making mini-wonton cups is straightforward: Lay one wonton skin on top of each of 12 mini-muffin cups. Using a wooden tart tamper or your fingertips, push each skin down to form a flat bottom. Bake in a 350° oven, until pretty golden brown around the edges, 5-6 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately remove from pans. Cool and fill with a savory or sweet filling.
Making mini-wonton taco shells requires a contraption: Place a 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish on a 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan into which a smaller, oven-safe baking pan has been placed in order to elevate one side of the baking dish about 2" -- this elevation enables them to bake "open" (a la taco-style) rather than hanging straight down, which causes them to "close" or "clam up".
Place the "contraption" in a preheated 350° oven about 10 minutes. Working 3 wontons at a time, drape them over the low side of the baking dish. Bake until golden around the edges, 5-6 minutes. Using your fingertips, remove them from the side of the pan (I just place them on my pot holder). Repeat this process until you've made as many wonton taco shells as you want.
Indulge me in this delish 5-minutes-to-fix Asian slaw recipe.
No pretense here. They day I came across store-bought "broccoli cole slaw mix" (cole slaw mix made with crunchy green broccoli stems instead of green cabbage), my mind immediately raced to the flavors of soy sauce and sesame oil. Why? Broccoli is classic Asian. There's more. I didn't have to experiment with the perfect dressing for it -- I'd already come up with one for my Asian chicken salad recipe. After a quick mix of the pre-shredded store-bought raw vegetables and my honey-sesame dressing, Asian slaw perfection was revealed. The brand I use is organic, and, contains just three crunchy ingredients: broccoli, carrots and red cabbage. It truly is a high-quality time-saving mixture that any busy cook can and should appreciate.
1 tablespoon each: sesame oil and Thai seasoning soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1, 12-ounce bag store-bought broccoli cole slaw
Place the slaw in the refrigerator for 2-6 hours (or overnight will work too), stopping to stir it about every 30-45 minutes in the beginning so that all the slaw gets to absorb the dressing equally. Note: This recipe yields 3/4 cups of salad dressing and 4 cups of basic broccoli slaw.
~ Step 3. To turn it into chicken-broccoli slaw, I toss in 2 cups bite-sized diced or pulled, roasted chicken and 1 cup thinly-sliced green onion and refrigerate as directed above. The new yield will be a generous 6 cups of chicken-broccoli slaw.
Scoop a generous 1/4-1/3 cup into each wonton taco shell:
Special Equipment List: 13" x 9 x 2" baking dish; 17 1/2" x 12" baking pan; 1-cup measuring container w/tight-fitting lid & pourer top; cutting board; chef's knife
Cook's Note: Skip the store-bought rotisserie chicken. Roast two chickens in two hours. Yep that's what I said, and, they come out moist and juicy with crispy skin every time. ~ This Womans's Way to Roast the Perfect Chicken + My Stressfree "Carving for Dummies" Methodology ~ can be found in Categories 3, 15, 19 or 20.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2017)