In this, the new year, I swore that I was going to go through my pantry and cook with some of the things that got pushed to the back. This is the first installment of the Pantry Challenge…
I would like to introduce you to guava paste.
Guava paste came into our lives after the In-House Taste Tester saw it on the shelf at the store, thought it was “interesting” and threw it in the cart.
I asked him, after picking up this random object and started gazing at the ingredients (guava pulp, refined sugar, citric acid, pectin), “What do you do with guava paste?”
He replied, “I don’t know. What are you going to do with that?”
It’s been in our pantry for a few months now, taunting me.
The other day, I finally had enough. I grabbed it, checked the expiration date (I still had a few more months to spare), opened it up, and gazed at it for a short bit. I then poked at the thick gelatinous matter cautiously.
I’ll be honest, it’s not that pretty.
I presented the opened container of guava paste to the In-House Taste tester who promptly sniffed it, tasted it and then said with doubt dripping in his voice, “Ooooh, I don’t know…”
Undaunted at his upturned nose, I looked up the various combinations of ingredients using guava paste and settled on a savory combination. Guava paste on its own has a very distinct strong fruity flavor; therefore, it is often paired with a mild cheese like manchego, farmers cheese or cream cheese.
I needed to slam dunk this Pantry Challenge, so I came up with a recipe using only items I had on hand. In the end, it’s a very simple recipe, just takes a little assembly.
Once the turnovers were fried up, I presented the plate to the In-House Taste Tester. He still had a dubious look on his face when he bit into his turnover. I took a bite of my turnover at the same time and…
Well, I do have to declare that these little turnovers tasted really good. In fact, after swearing we’d only eat a couple, the entire plate of turnovers were gone in about 5 minutes.
The mildness of the cream cheese was the right balance for the punch from the guava paste. Served up in a fried wrapper, you can’t go wrong. I have plenty of paste and cream cheese left, so I’m going to make another batch. Next time, I may add a little sliver of jalapeno inside each one to add a little “bite” and take it to the next level…
Recipe: Guava Paste and Cream Cheese Turnover Poppers
- 1 12 oz package won ton wrappers
- 1 21 oz container guava paste
- 1 8oz tub soft cream cheese
- canola oil
Note: I know that I didn’t put the exact amounts of each to use. I used about 1/4 of the cream cheese and guava paste which yielded 14 turnovers. You can certainly make a whole heck of a lot more than that.
- Add a small amount of guava paste and cream cheese to the center of each wonton wrapper. Do not put too much in or you’ll break the wonton.
- Lightly moisten the edges of the wonton with a little bit of the water.
- Fold the wonton into a triangle and press the edges to seal.
- Repeat with as many turnovers you’d like to make.
- Add about a 1/4 inch of oil into a heavy, high sided, frying pan and put over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, add turnovers to pan, in batches, and cook each side until browned (it’s not very long!) Do not crowd turnovers in pan while you are cooking.
- Place cooked turnover on plate covered with paper towels to soak up the oil.
- Serve warm.
Diet type: Vegetarian