Friday, September 28, 2012

Fermented Friday: Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Appetizers (part 2)

Fermented Friday: recipes featuring yeast, wine, beer or some form of fermentation.

What started out as a recipe for Tuesday's Twist has taken all week, thanks for your patience. After a third try I finally got the pictures to work.  Something is still a little goofy with the formatting, but at least I can see pictures instead of blank, invalid images.  I wasn't intending to use this recipe for a Fermented Friday, but such is life.  Technically speaking it does contain yeast and balsamic vinegar, both of which involve fermentation, so let's just go with that.

The Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Filling I posted on Tuesday was inspired by two recipes for stuffed tomatoes.  I wasn't in the mood to stuff and bake tomatoes, so I decided to play with won ton wrappers.  These thin sheets of dough are extremely versatile and perfect for bite-size appetizers.  The squares can be stuffed with a wide variety of fillings and then baked, fried, boiled or steamed.  I liked the idea of baking, but also tried making tortellini by boiling the filled pockets.  Since I'm playing with my food again, it's probably easier to just show you what I did (which is why I wanted to wait until my camera was working).

For tortellini,  place 1 tsp of filling in the center of each wrapper.  Wet the edges of the won ton wrapper (a wet finger or pastry brush works great).  Fold the wrapper in half diagonally to form a triangle, pressing to seal edges.
 Fold in each of the two corners and pinch to seal.
 These would look a little more like tortellini if they had more filling and a bit less overlap on the folding.
  Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil and boil pasta for 2-3 minutes.

These were okay, but I preferred the baked versions.  I used varying amounts of filling depending on the shape, but the same baking temperature and time; 375 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  To get crispy brown edges you need to spray each piece with non-stick cooking spray before baking.  I'm sure you could also brush them with butter to achieve similar results.

. For cups, press the wrappers into mini muffin tins and fill each with 1 Tbsp filling.

These little squares use 2 tsp filling and are formed by bringing all four corners to the center, then pinching and sealing along each edge. (remember to wet the edges in order to get a seal)

If you're going for a little less work, spread 1 tsp of filling along one edge and roll up.
 Leave whole or slice at a diagonal.

If you feel like a little more work you can try your hand at these purses.
Draw a circle of water around 2 tsp filling, then gather and fold the edges to form a bag.  Press to seal and tie with fresh chive.  

I'm sure you can come up with some other fun shapes.  Try serving each shape with a different filling.  I used a savory Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Filling this time, but you could also use a spinach-artichoke dip or maybe  hummus.  Or try something sweet like chocolate and peanut butter or apples and caramel.  Sweet and savory combinations of fruit, nuts and cheese also work well, but I'll just stop there before I get too carried away.

Food for Thought: "With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." -Eleanor Roosevelt 

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