April 2015 archive

Neapolitan Chocolate Crepes

crepes1I am very excited to finally get this post up today!¬† It has been in the works since before Valentine’s Day when my husband brought home a recipe from the newspaper for crepes and suggested I do a post on them.(I love how he’s always thinking of me ūüôā )¬† First I had to try out the recipe and it was perfect!¬† I love these chocolate crepes.

crepes2 Next, I needed to work out the fillings and that is what has slowed down this post. I now have three different crepe fillings that each are amazing in their own right.  The wonderful thing about all three of the flavored whipped creams is that they all are simple to make.  No using a double boiler or tempering eggs like is required in traditional mousse recipes.

As you know, the strawberry cream took a while for me to figure out.¬† I’m so happy with the final results of it.¬† You can click on this link to find the recipe.

The article also had a recipe for a hazelnut mousse that I was super excited to try.¬† It called for hazelnut paste, which I had never used.¬† I tracked some down and tried out the recipe and it was good, but the nutella mousse that I made for mini trifles I thought was just as good, a lot easier to make and cost less to make.¬† So, after all of those points in the original recipe’s favor, I saw no point in using the new recipe.¬† If you are a fan of hazelnut and chocolate, this is a guaranteed winner.

The final filling in our trifecta is coconut whipped cream.¬† I really cannot say it enough.¬† I love this whipped cream!¬† Coconut+ Chocolate=YUM!¬† Here’s the details on how to create this sophisticated and impressive dessert that is always a hit.

AnneOpinion

The chocolate flavor in these crepes is very mild.¬† They are light and tender and perfect for breakfast/brunch, a bridal shower, baby shower, or dinner party.¬† You can have a fancy “Build your own Crepe” bar with different fillings and toppings.¬† I used coconut whipped cream, strawberry whipped cream, and nutella mousse. (click on the links to find the recipes)¬† I garnished the tops with toasted coconut, grated hazelnuts, and powdered sugar.¬† Chocolate syrup is also great drizzled across the top.

When I first learned to make crepes I would put all of the ingredients in the blender, turn it on, and cook the crepes.  Since then I learned a few things to make my crepes better.  First, I have you strain the ingredients twice when making these crepes.  Once to make sure and get the lumps out of the dry ingredients and once to make sure there are not lumps in the batter.  I have you do the first one because cocoa can have a tendency to have lots of lumps and I want to lose as little cocoa as possible when we strain the batter the second time.

You will want to make sure that you give yourself enough time to let the batter rest for at least 1 hour.  This will give the gluten time to relax and will result in a lighter, more airy crepe.  If you plan on making them for breakfast, making the batter the night before and putting it in the refrigerator will make cooking them in the morning a breeze.

Cooking crepes on both sides is a personal decision.¬† I grew up cooking crepes on only one side, my husband insists that they be cooked on both.¬† I now cook ours’ on both sides because the second side only takes about 5 seconds to cook and it’s that important to him.

I’m including a video with a demonstration of “How to cook crepes;”¬† If you’ve never done it before, don’t be intimidated.¬† They really are fairly easy.¬† Hopefully the video will help you feel comfortable enough to try.

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Chocolate Crepes
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Servings
8 Crepes
Servings
8 Crepes
Chocolate Crepes
Print Recipe
Servings
8 Crepes
Servings
8 Crepes
Ingredients
Servings: Crepes
Instructions
  1. Measure flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt into a strained and sift together into a bowl. Wisk in milk and egg. Pour ingredients through a strainer to remove any lumps. Stir in butter and vanilla. Let rest for 1 hour or refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook, heat a non-stick pan over medium heat until hot. Spray with cooking spray and pour 3 tablespoons of batter into the 11 or 1 o'clock position of the pan. Off heat, rotate the pan until the batter covers the pan. Cook until the edges curl and the batter has turned dark, about 40 seconds. Flip the crepe and cook another 5-10 seconds. Stack cooked crepes between sheets of parchment paper, if not being eaten immediately. Serve with strawberry, Nutella, or coconut cream. Garnish with powdered sugar, grated hazelnuts or powdered sugar. Drizzle chocolate syrup on top.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion, recipe from The Crepe Bar

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Strawberry Whipped Cream

strawberry-whipped-creamI have been on a mission for the last month to find a yummy strawberry mousse recipe.¬† You may remember my disastrous results when I tried to make an Oreo Strawberry Trifle.¬† After that I decided that I didn’t want to mess around and so I found an¬†America’s Test Kitchen recipe for strawberry mousse.¬† This recipe was very involved to make but I¬†decided that it would be worth it if it was amazing.¬† It wasn’t.¬† I pureed strawberries and strained out the juice.¬† Then I cooked the juice to reduce it down and I re-pureed the pulp the was left and re-strained it.¬† There were even more additional steps but sufficient¬†to say, when I was done I had lots of dishes and an OK strawberry mousse.

So I spent another couple of days thinking about what I was wanting out of the strawberry mousse (a filling for chocolate crepes and a layer in an Oreo trifle) and I decided that a strawberry whipped cream would be able to do the trick.  I also decided after the pain in the neck effort the other strawberry mousse took, I was going to use strawberry jam.  I looked online and found that Joy of Baking had a recipe that was just what I was looking for.  Hallelujah!  I made their recipe and made a couple of changes (because why would I ever just leave a recipe alone).  I loved the results.  It worked awesome as a frosting for cupcakes, I loved it as a filling for my chocolate crepes (stay tuned for that recipe on Wednesday) and it was delicious in a trifle with crushed Oreos (or on a spoon with an Oreo dipped in). Any way that you want to roll with it, you will not be wrong!

AnneOpinion

You will definitely want to freeze your bowl and beaters before you start.  That 15 minutes in the freezer really helps the cream whip up faster.

I like to use the gelatin because then the cream stays whipped and I don’t have to do it again later.¬† If you are using the whipped cream¬†immediately, you don’t need to include it.

The original Joy of Baking recipe had you add sugar to the whipping cream along with the jam.  I did not add any sugar to the whipping cream because I felt like there was enough sweetness from the jam.  I think the almond flavor that I added also helped the whipping cream taste more complete without needing to add additional sugar.

Make sure and stop beating the cream once the stiff peaks have formed.¬† If you go for too long you might just end up with strawberry¬†butter.¬† Unless, of course, that’s what you’re going for and then I say just go a head and whip away.¬† ūüėČ

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Strawberry Whipped Cream
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Strawberry Whipped Cream
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place a metal mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes. Place gelatin and water in a small bowl and allow it to "bloom" (grow and soften) for 5 minutes. Place whipping cream in chilled bowl and start beating on a low speed, gradually moving up to high. Beat until soft peaks form. Place gelatin in the microwave for 5-10 seconds. Pour gelatin, jam, and almond extract into the whipping cream. Combine together on a low speed, then increase speed to high. Beat until stiff peaks form. Your whipped cream is now ready to use as a frosting, filling, topping or for your spoon. ūüôā
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Salted Caramel Cups

salted-caramel-cupsI love a good cookie and these are a really good one.¬† In fact, I had hide these from myself after I finished making them for this picture.¬† They are so simple and good that it’s easy to eat 3..4…5 of them and not even notice what you’ve done.¬† These have been a favorite of mine for the last 10 years and they are always a hit where ever I serve them.

AnneOpinion

I like that these are made in a mini muffin tin.¬† It makes them look fancy and perfect for serving at any get together or as a treat to have around the house.¬† Warning: they won’t be around long!

These are incredibly easy to make.  They start with making the Nestle Toll House cookie dough (minus the chocolate chips.)  Dough is then scooped into each muffin cup and cooked.  After they come out of the oven, the middle will be sunken in showing the perfect place to put the Rolo.

Sprinkling the Fleur de sel salt on the Rolo adds the perfect finish.¬† Fleur del sel is a salt that is hand gathered in Brittany on the coast of France.¬† The delicate flakes are perfect for balancing with the chocolate and caramel.¬† I’ve tried using Kosher salt and it blends in too much and doesn’t have noticeable affect.¬† Fleur de sel is my favorite salt to add to any dessert that I’m wanting give a “sweet and salty”’ contrast to.¬† I purchase it off of Amazon.

These cookies freeze amazingly well.¬† They’re a great thing to make a head and have on hand for when a cookie emergency arises. (that happens at least once a week for me.) ūüôā

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Salted Caramel Cups
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Servings
34 cookie cups
Servings
34 cookie cups
Salted Caramel Cups
Print Recipe
Servings
34 cookie cups
Servings
34 cookie cups
Ingredients
Servings: cookie cups
Instructions
  1. Cream together the butter, shortening, and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs and mix. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until combined. Grease mini muffin pan. Using a cookie scoop, put dough in each of the muffin cups. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Immediately after taking out of the oven, place a Rolo upside down in the center of each. Sprinkle each with Fleur de sel salt. Let them cool for at least 15 minutes before removing.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion- adapted from Nestle Toll House recipe

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Chicken Bow Tie Salad

bow-tie-saladThis is my most favoritest pasta salad ever! (yes, I know that’s not proper English, that’s just how much I like it)¬†It’s perfect for everything.¬†¬†Dinner with the family, a baby or bridal shower, a luncheon…I even made it last year¬†at my church’s girls camp.¬† It’s one of those recipes that I’m always glad to find an excuse to make. ¬†I find most pasta salads to be flavorless and many times they taste like just have mayo mixed in with pasta and other ingredients.¬† Can you say “Boring?”

Have I convinced you to make it yet?  If not, here are some other reasons why I like it.

AnneOpinion

The dressing is a little sweet and a little sour.¬†¬†The vinegar¬†gives it a nice little kick.¬† I think that is what makes it unique from other recipes I’ve seen (and tried) over the years.

The fruit adds a sweetness, the craisins add a tartness and the cashews have the¬†crunch.¬† I always thought that it was perfect until girls camp last summer when I had extra curry chicken left from a previous meal that I need to use and decided to put it in to this pasta salad.¬† It added a whole new level to the salad.¬†I¬†haven’t made it without the curried chicken since. ¬†If you’re not¬†a fan of curry (like my mother)¬†it still tastes great with plain chicken.

You will¬†want to add the cashews and craisins right before serving so that they don’t become soggy.¬† If there are other ingredients that you like in a pasta salad, like pineapple or celery, feel free to customize it to your own tastes.¬† That’s the fun of a dish like this.¬† I’ve added and taken away ingredients over the years until it’s perfect for me now.¬† I hope you like it too!

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Chicken Bow Tie Salad
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Chicken Bow Tie Salad
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Instructions
  1. Marinate chicken in oil and curry for 30 minutes. Grill chicken until cooked and cut into bite sized pieces. Mix together dressing, sugar and vinegar. Add pasta, green onion, grapes, and apples. Combine and put in the refrigerator (at least 2 hours) until ready to serve. Mix in cashews and craisins just before serving. Serve with muffins, rolls or croissants.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion

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Red Lobster vs Bisquick Cheddar Biscuits

cheddar-biscuitsI thought that it might be fun to do some brand comparisons of products that are similar.¬† When I do these posts they are in no way sponsored and all opinions are completely my own.¬† The first one that I’ve decided to do is between Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits and Bisquick Cheddar Garlic Biscuits.

This is going to start in an odd direction but I promise that I’ll get to the biscuits.¬† When I was a freshman in college I lived in an on campus apartment that had a kitchen.¬† This gave me the fun freshman dorm experience without the awful “dorm food”.¬† Double win in my book! During this first year on my own I tried making some new things that¬†I had seen in commercials, ¬†but my mom had never bought.¬† One of these products was Manwhich.¬† My mother always made sloppy joes from scratch and I thought that Manwich looked like an easy way to make them.¬† Open the can, heat up the filling and put it on the bun; quick and easy.¬† Only that’s not quite how it works.¬† I found out the first time that I bought a can and opened it that it contained no meat.¬† It had never occurred to me that the can would just contain the sauce.¬† If I’m going through the trouble of browning meat, is it really any more trouble to make the sauce I thought?¬† So grilled cheese for dinner that night, and a lesson for the future. Just as an fyi- I really like Manwich and I have used it many times over the years.

I felt like the same thing happened to me when I bought the Red Lobster biscuits.¬† I had to shred cheese and melt butter, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but I was expecting what you do with the Bisquick ones: add water, mix and put on pan.¬† End of story.¬† (Can you tell that I was angling for one of these to be the winner?)¬† I made them both, had everyone in the house do a blind taste test, and there was an almost unanimous result.¬† You ready?¬† Here it is.

AnneOpinion

The Red Lobster biscuits were a little more work, but not much.  They take a third of a cup of cheese and they need butter melted to brush on top.  They dirtied a couple more dishes (I always pay attention to that).

I could smell the garlic in the Bisquick ones when I was making the dough.   I liked that.  The garlic in the Red Lobster ones came from the garlic butter which you spread over the top ( which were was plenty of.)

I had everyone individually do a taste test and I would switch around which biscuit was one and which was two so that there wouldn’t be any bias.¬†Every single one of my boys chose the Red Lobster biscuits over the Bisquick.¬† I thought that I had a run away winner until my husband tried them and chose the Bisquick.¬† I personally decided that I liked the Red Lobster ones better too.¬† I found the Bisquick ones much drier.

Cost wise the Red Lobster biscuits appear to be double the cost but they make 10 biscuits to Bisquick’s 6.¬† While they still are more expensive, that makes them much more comparable in price.

The bottom line:  Red Lobster had 5 votes and Bisquick had 1.  Both of them are good biscuits and both have no problem getting eaten around here.

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How to Clean your Top Loading Washer

washer-dirtyI try to keep on top of things around my house but sometimes I fail.¬† I had a major failure a few weeks ago when I put a load in the washer and then forgot about it for two days.¬† In a normal washer this would just mean that the clothes would need to be rewashed and everything would be fine but my washer has started to stop after filling unless someone kicks it into the agitation cycle.¬† I didn’t remember to do that and so I had a tub full of water sitting for two days.¬† When I finally did open it wasn’t good.¬† After a couple washings the clothes were ok, but the washer still had a funky smell.¬† It was definitely time for a cleaning.

I found a great tutorial on One Good Thing by Jillee.  She had a simple process that involved using bleach and vinegar.  It worked really well, I feel much better about using it and no funky scent.  Yeah!!

AnneOpinion

washer-cleanFirst I selected the longest cycle on the washer, filled it with hot water, and added a quart of bleach to the cycle (no detergent).¬† While¬†it was running I used a microfiber towel to wipe down the outside of the machine.¬† After the cycle was done I wiped down the inside.¬† I took this part out of the middle and ran water through it, shook it around and ran more water through it until nothing was coming out of the bottom¬†anymore.¬† I couldn’t believe all of the chunks of caked on fabric softener that came out of it.

After everything looked cleaned up I ran it again on the longest cycle, with hot water and a quart of white vinegar.¬† That’s it.¬† It’s done and didn’t take much work on my part.¬† Ideally this cleaning should be done every six months.

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Fried Lemon Ricotta Ravioli with Strawberry Sauce

lemon-ravioliI had a plan.¬† I was going to review this recipe for a copycat Oliver Garden Toasted Ravioli from Frugal Coupon Living.¬† I went to the store to pick up the needed meat filled¬†ravioli.¬† Just for fun I looked to see what other kinds of ravioli they¬†carried¬†and low and behold they (Trader Joe’s) ¬†had a lemon zest and ricotta ravioli and suddenly everything changed.¬† They sounded so good that I knew that had to try them.¬† I decided that I would try the lemon ravioli¬†two different ways, a savory and a sweet.¬† They both were good, but one was decidedly better.

AnneOpinion

The first thing that I tried was the savory.¬† I made a Parmesan sauce to dip them in because I knew that it would pair well with the lemon. (it did)¬† I used the same process as ¬†Ashley from Frugal Coupon Living¬† with the meat ravioli except that I used Italian breadcrumbs so I didn’t need to add any seasonings.¬† Everyone agreed that these were good, but no one felt like they were anything to get excited about.

I then made some with breadcrumbs (plain), cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg.  We tried dipping the sweet ravioli in strawberry jam and icing.  Everyone preferred the strawberry jam.  The strawberry and the lemon worked together so well!  It was like a match made in heaven.

I started out dipping each one in the ravioli the flour but I didn’t like how it was working.¬† I then took all of the ravioli¬†and the flour and put it all in a Ziploc bag and shook it around.¬† This made things much faster and I liked the way they were floured.

I’m sure that the meat filled¬†ravioli with marinara sauce from Frugal Coupon Living is great.¬† I’ll have to pick up some next time. ūüėČ

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Fried Lemon Ricotta Ravioli with Strawberry Sauce
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Fried Lemon Ricotta Ravioli with Strawberry Sauce
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Instructions
  1. Beat water with eggs together. In another bowl, combine cinnamon, nutmeg and bread crumbs. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Put ravioli in a gallon bag with flour. Shake lightly. Dip individually in egg wash and finally in bread crumbs and set on plate for 3-5 minutes. Carefully place in oil and fry until golden. Place on paper towels on a plate to drain. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with you strawberry sauce.
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Strawberry Lime Pie with Coconut Cream

strawberry-lime1This pie is¬†something¬†that came to me in a blaze of glorious inspiration and I fantasized about and dreamed that it would be as good as I hoped.¬† I love strawberry and lime together.¬† In fact I frequently pay extra to get a Strawberry-Lime slushie at Sonic instead of a Lemon-Berry.¬† Why it costs more to get lime instead of lemon, I don’t understand, but for me it’s worth it.¬† I have a serious obsession with lime.¬† Even if you don’t, there’s a good chance that you’ll love this pie too.

AnneOpinion

This pie is a graham cracker crust with a lime custard-like layer on the bottom, a strawberry gelation layer on the top and is served with a coconut whipped cream that is so over the top good I can hardly stand it.¬† (I’m not kidding, it took all the willpower I had to not get a spoon and just eat all of the coconut whipped cream that was left.)

I have tried the pie with both key lime and lime juice.¬† I liked them both; my husband thought the key lime was a little bit too sharp.¬† If you don’t have a lime obsession like me, you should probably stick with regular lime juice.¬† My favorite brand of lemon and lime juice is Italia Garden. (I’ve included a picture; completely my opinion, not sponsored!)¬†¬† It has the freshest taste of any¬†that I’ve tried.¬† I also¬†have tried adding a drop of green food coloring to the lime so it was green and not yellow.¬† I personally decided I like the natural look better; I thought it looked like a Christmas pie with the green and red.

Make sure and use a nine inch pie plate.¬† As it is, you will have extra of the strawberry mixture.¬† I couldn’t figure out how to reduce it so just have a bowl or glass handy to put the extra in and you can serve it with whipped cream, keep it hidden for yourself to eat later. ūüôā

The first time I made this pie I gave my kids the option of coconut or regular whipped cream.¬† All of my kids chose regular.¬† The next time I covered the whole pie with the coconut whipped cream and they all loved it.¬† Boy 1 commented that it was way better with the coconut.¬† Go figure, Mom knows what she’s talking about.¬† If you’ve never used an emulsion, they are¬†used in place of extracts by professional bakers and¬†contain no alcohol.¬† This¬†enables the flavor stay more intense and true when exposed to high heat.¬† I used to have to go to a cake decorating store to find them but they are becoming more popular and most Wal Marts and Hobby Lobbys¬†are now carrying a selection of them.

strawberry-lime2The lime, strawberry and coconut come together to make this pie a tropical dream.¬† So if you can’t be in paradise, just eat this pie, close your eyes and you’re almost there.

 

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Strawberry Lime Pie with Coconut Cream
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Strawberry Lime Pie with Coconut Cream
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the graham crackers in a blender or food processer and grind down to crumbs the texture of sand. Pour into 9 inch pie plate and add 1/4 cup sugar. Mix together; add melted butter and combine until evenly incorporated. Press the mixture onto the sides and bottom of the pie plate. Set aside. In a mixing bowl place the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Whisk together and pour into pie plate. Cook in oven for 12-14 minutes. Take out and allow to cool. After lime layer has cooled, combine water, corn starch and sugar in a pot. Turn on heat to medium high and stir until boiling and the mixture is clear. Add jello and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn off oven and allow mixture to cool for 20-30 minutes. Cut strawberries and place them on top of the lime layer. Pour cooled strawberry mixture over the pie until pie is full (there will be extra). Pour extra strawberry mixture into a small bowl and put in the refrigerator; this is extra that you can use however you would like. Put pie in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours. Just before serving pour whipped cream into a mixing bowl. Whip until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, coconut, and vanilla and whip until hard peaks form. Whipped cream can be served on individual pieces, spread over the top of the entire pie, or scooped into a piping bag with a large star tip and piped onto the top of the pie. Enjoy your taste of the tropics!!
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion

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Mongolian Beef

mongolian-beefI’ve saved the best for last in my Chinese food week.¬† Sometimes in life, I just feel like some steak and Mongolian Beef is my favorite thing to get when I go to Pei Wei’s (PF Chang’s mid priced restaurant chain).¬† I love the simplicity of it: beef with sauce, and green onion.¬† Very simple and very good.¬† I went looking for a comparable dish that I could make at home and I have to say that Spend with Pennies PF Chang’s Mongolian Beef recipe was pretty spot on.¬†I really didn’t change this recipe at all, which says a lot.¬† I just have a couple of tips that I learned along the way.

AnneOpinion

The sauce for this came together in minutes.¬† The part that took a little while was browning the outside of the beef.¬† I think that my batches were too small at first.¬† I figured out that I should have been able to do it in 3-4 batches.¬† You may want to divide the meat into batches ahead of time so you don’t make my mistake.

I used a top round roast because that was what was on sale.¬† It tasted great.¬† I would say to use whatever is on sale and you think would work OK (sometimes top sirloin is cheaper than anything else; watch the sales ūüôā ).

My tip for slicing the meat thin is to have it slightly frozen.  This will help immensely with keeping the thickness uniform.  You also want to make sure to cut against the grain, no matter which cut of meat you are using.

At Pei Wei’s they serve their Mongolian Beef with green onions and mushrooms.¬† I didn’t have any mushrooms available when I made¬†this, but it would be a welcome addition¬†if you enjoy mushrooms.

Overall, I really loved this recipe from Spend with Pennies and I loved that I could make enough for my family for about the same price as one serving would have cost me in a restaurant.

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Mongolian Beef
Print Recipe
Mongolian Beef
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Instructions
  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a small pan over medium low. Add ginger and garlic and stir just until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add soy sauce, water and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Let boil 3-5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Set aside. Slice the flank steak into ¬ľ" slices and toss with cornstarch. Gently shake off any excess. Place 1 tablespoon at a time of oil in a pan or wok and heat over medium high heat. Cook the beef in small batches for about 2 minutes. (It doesn't need to cook all of the way through, it will cook completely when combined with the sauce). Once all the beef has been cooked, combine with the sauce and heat over medium until hot and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in green onions. Serve over rice. Chopsticks optional. ūüôā
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion courtesy of Spend You Pennies

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Crab Rangoon

crab-ragoonAs I established in my Ham Fried Rice post on Monday, I did not eat very much Chinese food growing up.¬†¬†Lucky for me,¬†I got a job my senior year working at¬†a Chinese restaurant as a waitress.¬† At the end of each shift we were allowed to order whatever we wanted to take home.¬† I normally would get¬†an entr√©e (garlic chicken was my favorite) and an order of Crab Rangoon.¬† This was something new to me and was an instant love.¬† Crab Rangoon is a fried Chinese dumpling filled with a cream cheese and crab mixture, served with a dipping sauce and is crazy good!¬† I’m afraid that I never really shared with anyone else, keeping the order of 4 to myself, and it’s something that never grows old to me.¬† I’m always excited to get to have it.¬† I’ve dreamed of making it for myself and I have tried a few times over the years, but none of the recipes were ever¬†quit right.¬† My husband, who knows all too well of my love for this appetizer, saw a recipe in the local paper a couple of months back and brought it home for me to try.¬† It was good, but needed a little tweaking.¬† I think that you’ll enjoy the results!

AnneOpinion

The basics in all recipes that I’ve tried over the years include cream cheese, green onion, and crab.¬† While they were good, I always felt like they were missing something (including the base recipe I used).¬† After reading around I found what I was missing: sugar.¬† That is the secret ingredient missing in most homemade recipes and it makes a big difference.¬† It takes the edge off of the flavors which tend to come off too strong in most¬†made at home¬†recipes.¬† The sugar¬†helps to soften the flavors so that they work together well. Normally you would deep fat fry these, but I didn’t feel like using that much oil so I pan fried them and that worked great!¬† Just make sure and turn them over so that they cook evenly. You can shape them into a triangle or into a flower shape (see picture above).¬† Both are fairly easy to do and it’s really personal preference.¬† I normally make the flower because that’s what they did at the Chinese restaurant that I worked at and that’s how my mind thinks that they should look. In a restaurant you are normally served¬†sweet and sour sauce¬†to dip them in.¬† At home, I like to use sweet chili sauce that¬†comes in a bottle.¬† Sweet chili sauce is a condiment that I didn’t discover until a few years ago and now my home will never be without it.¬† It’s perfect for dipping most Asian appetizers in and it’s also tasty with plain chicken or veggies.¬† I feel like I’m always finding new ways that I want to use it. If you enjoy this appetizeer as much as I do, you’ll need to try making this version for yourself, and if you’ve never had it, first of all I’m sorry.¬† You really have been missing out in life, and you really need to try this! post-closer

Crab Rangoon
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Crab Rangoon
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix together cream cheese, crab, green onion, garlic and powdered sugar. Fold 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of a wonton paper. Paint a line of water on the edges with your finger. Either fold paper into a triangle, pressing the edges together to seal or fold up the middle of each side and pinch together. Meanwhile, fill a wok or large skillet with several inches of canola oil and heat on high. The oil is ready when a stream of tiny bubbles rises from the tip of a chopstick dipped into the oil. Begin gently sliding the puff's into the oil, cooking not more than six at a time. Cook for several minutes, turning when the bottom turns golden brown. Remove when both sides are golden. Serve with sweet chili sauce or sweet and sour sauce.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion adapted from The Arizona Republic

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