Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wonton Pierogis & Oven-Fried Panko Zucchini Sticks


I'm trying desperately to come up with healthy, interesting, vegetarian dinners. You can only eat so much fake meat, spaghetti and curry. My husband doesn't mind repeats, but I just get bored way too easily. I've been searching for some new staple items I can keep around the house to dress up with different ingredients. This week I decided to revisit won ton wrappers. I'm always coming across recipes for ravioli made with them, but I tried that once and failed miserably. A whole lotta work for a pile of empty soggy wrappers in a cloudy broth (and no back-up plan).

My husband and I had been discussing meals I haven't made in a while, as I placed a grocery order. I've totally forgotten about pierogies! They only have the ones we like in certain stores that I haven't been to lately, so I wondered if I could make my own using the won ton wrappers. The project was probably a little too ambitious for a Monday, but we got surprisingly good results. I usually try to get some colorful vegetable on the table as well, but I have a hard time getting the husband to eat them - so I tried a healthier version of zucchini sticks and it totally worked! (To quote him - "Anything panko crusted is good!")

Oven-Fried Panko-Crusted Zucchini Sticks
2 zucchini, cut into thin wedges
2-3 egg whites (2 extra large, 3 if smaller)
Seasoning salt (I used Vermont All Purpose Country Seasoning)
Black Pepper
Panko bread crumbs
Marinara sauce (try my Sweet Garlic Pizza Sauce)

Mix egg whites, seasoning salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Pour about 1/4C panko into another shallow bowl (add more as needed, since the panko absorbs the egg and then won't stick to the zucchini after a while). Toss zucchini in egg and then turn to coat in bread crumbs. Arrange on a wire rack over a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Serve with warm marinara dipping sauce.


Jack Cheese & Potato Pierogies
Wanton wrappers
2 large Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 Tbsp Milk
2 Tbsp Fat Free Sour Cream
1/3 C shredded cheddar / jack cheese
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
2 Tbsp chopped chives

1 large onion, sliced (any kind will do - I like Vidalia or Spanish)
2-3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
Black Pepper

Boil potatoes. Drain and mash together with milk, sour cream, cheese, salt & pepper. Follow package directions for the won ton wrappers, and spoon a small spoonful of potatoes onto the center of each square. Wet two edges and fold into triangles, pressing to seal the edges. Fold each point back on itself by wetting and pressing. Bring water to a boil, and then reduce heat so it's not bubbling vigorously. Gently slide each pierogi into the water. Cook for 2-3 minutes - it may also help to do them in small batches, so the pot doesn't get crowded.

Meanwhile saute the onions in butter over medium-high heat. When they are translucent, add seasonings and continue to cook until they start to turn golden.

Serve pierogies topped with onions and chives, and crushed red pepper, if desired.

Fill each with small spoonful

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