Cream Cheese and Guava Paste Turnover Poppers

January 22, 2013 By: Megabeth Category: Recipe

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?”

Obviously, nothing.

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

By: Megabeth

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz package won ton wrappers
  • 1 21 oz container guava paste
  • 1 8oz tub soft cream cheese
  • canola oil
  • water

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.

Instructions

  • 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

Three Recipes for Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings

January 12, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

I received a bamboo steamer as a gift over the holidays from my in-house taste tester. It was partially a hint to make some of the awesome dumplings we had when we were in Sydney, Australia. I’ll some day try to re-create those dumplings, in the meantime, I adapted three recipes and created my own dim sum extravaganza.

If you get a brand new bamboo steamer, heat some water in a wok to boiling. Place the steamer over the water, and let it sit there empty for about 30 minutes. When you’re ready to use it for cooking, line the bottom with lettuce or cabbage leaves so all your hard work doesn’t end up just sticking to the bottom of the steamer. (Trust me, I experimented by not using them for the last batch and I really don’t want to go through that clean-up again.)

The stuffings are very easy and quick to make. Count on spending a little time in the assembly of the dumplings; although, they are a lot of fun to put together.

Three Recipes for Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings
by Megabeth

Prior to starting these recipes, cut 14 oz block of tofu in half, press with paper towels for at least 20 minutes. Two of the recipes below require one half of the entire block.

1 package won-ton wrappers (40)
lettuce or cabbage leaves for bamboo steamer

Dumplings with Tofu and Vegetables
(inspired by Alton Brown)

7 oz firm tofu, diced
1/2 cup broccoli slaw (prepackaged shredded mix)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 T finely chopped scallions
1 T soy sauce
1 T hoisin sauce
1 egg lightly beaten

Finely chop shredded broccoli and carrots. Put ingredients in small bowl and mix to combine.

Shitake and Soy
6 shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced and chopped
1 T soy sauce

Combine in bowl.

Spicy Tofu with Chili Garlic
7 oz tofu, diced
1 T chili paste with garlic
1 scallion, finely chopped

Place ingredients in small bowl. Stir to combine.

Place lettuce or cabbage leaves in bottom of bamboo steamer. (Leaves prevent the dumplings from sticking to the bamboo…trust me.)

Place wonton wrapper on flat surface. Scoop a heaping teaspoon of filling in middle of wrapper. Wet finger with water and brush the edges so that they will stick together when folded. Fold into a triangle or into a bundle. Place dumpling in steamer. Cover dumplings with damp paper towel while working on assembling the rest.

Once you’ve filled the steamer trays, fill the bottom of wok with water (not enough to touch bottom of steamer) and bring to a boil. Place covered bamboo steamer in wok. (Be sure to remove the damp paper towels from inside of steamer used during preparation!) Allow to steam for 10-15 minutes.

While they are cooking, assemble more of the dumplings until you run out of filling (or run out of energy). Put finished dumplings in a preheated 200 degree oven until all are finished cooking. Otherwise, serve dumplings straight from the steamer.Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings

 Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings

 Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings


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