Thursday, May 23, 2013

Creativity in the Kitchen

On April 20th I was fortunate in being able to volunteer at the Isanti County Historical Society's Fundraiser: Taste of Home Cooking School. Of the many wonderful recipes they made, the one I really wanted to try was the potstickers. I purchased some of the ingredients but could not locate the wonton wrappers.

Whenever I search for or buy egg roll/wonton wrappers I always wonder whether I could make them from scratch or not. When I search the internet I only find recipes to use the wrappers, never to make them.

On another shopping trip I found the wonton wrappers to make the potstickers. The recipe turned out very good even though I forgot the actual recipe at the office, the internet was not functioning at home,  and I guessed about how the potstickers were made at the show - I know there were ingredients I missed. Glancing at the package I noticed it said, "Great for wontons or Ravioli."

Lightbulb! Maybe I could make my own wrappers out of pasta dough!

The actual story:
Wednesday evening I mixed up a batch of white whole wheat pasta. The kids asked to roll and shape as they usually do. Often we end up with an interesting mix of linguini, spaghetti, and random shapes (bow-ties, strawberries, hearts, apples). Very often it is clumped together because the kids have trouble with spreading it out, but we do not care. We love pasta, and really love the whole wheat home made kind.

This time, Lily made these adorable roses, and when stacked on top of her bow ties, it was amazingly like a flower with leaves. The photo quality does not do her amazing creativity justice.

Vincente started with his usual 3-foot-long linguini, then switched to making squares. I was not sure what his end goal was, but I reminded him of the wonton wrappers and how we could save his squares for making potstickers on another day (I had made a double batch of dough). He then told me he was planning on using the squares to wrap up the lamb steak for dinner.

While the kids are working the pasta, I was milking the goats and doing my other afternoon chores. One of the times I was in the house, Vin asked if he could put sugar in his wraps. I hesitated. Sugar with steak did not sound good to me. However, he has created some amazing recipes when I have allowed him the freedom to do so. I agreed he could use a little.

We started with a plate for papa - the photo above. The two balls are Vin's creation - one is around only steak, the other contains only sugar. I boiled the ones on this plate, but after they were finished he informed me he had wanted to fry them like we did with the potstickers.

So we fried another batch. One of each type. I mentioned to him that we did not have to boil them as well if he wanted them to just be crispy - something I think he had wanted to do when we were making the potstickers. So we only fried them, and it was amazing. The steak wrapped in pasta then fried was lovely, and the sugar was just like a doughnut.

Vin handed me his 3 foot linguini that he started rolling it into a ball - he wanted more.

Then I had the ultimate idea.

Deep Fried Mini Cinnamon-Sugar Pasta Egg-Rolls (our digital camera is very bad).

The rolls are about the size of a finger. They are thin rolled out pasta - my pasta machine's thinnest setting (although the husband said he preferred them one setting thicker). They are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, then rolled like a cinnamon roll. I even sliced a few into Barbie sized cinnamon rolls, but they were too hard to keep up with.