Monday, November 29, 2010

Butternut, Sausage and Brie Wontons - "Turkey Day Wontons"

I made these tasty little things for Drinksgiving, an annual party held the night before Thanksgiving. I took 50 of them with me and they all disappeared, so consider making extras if there will be a large group.

2 Butternut Squash
2 T Maple Syrup
1 handful Pecans
2 Potatoes - boiled and peeled
Pinch of Ground Cinnamon
6 Links Spicy Turkey Sausage (or pork)
1 Egg - whisked in a small bowl with a splash of water
Wonton Wraps
Oil for frying

Step One - Preparing the ingredients

Preheat oven to 400°F.

I like to cut the squash into manageable pieces before I peel it. To do this, I lay the squash on it's side and cut the ends off. Then cut it in half, across the equator.

Stand the squash up, half at a time, and using a peeler or a knife, remove the outside skin of the butternut.

Cut each half in half again, this time cutting down lengthwise. This will expose the seeds. Remove them with a spoon, and discard.

Next, dice the meat of the squash into about one inch pieces. Repeat this process with the other squash.

Once all of the squash is diced, toss it in a bowl with the syrup, EVOO, and s/p. Then, evenly spread the butternut out onto two half sheet pans.

Place the pans in the oven and roast, turning once or twice, till the squash is very tender, but not brown. Your fork should easily mash a piece.

While the squash roasts;

Toast the nuts. To do this, heat a pan over medium and place the nuts in it. Stirring almost constantly, cook the nuts till you can smell them, they won't look very different. This will only take a minute or two.

Chop the nuts in a food processor, or with a knife and set aside.

Heat a skillet. Add half a teaspoon of oil.

Cut a slit down the length of each sausage link. Flip, or pull the meat out of it's casing and put it into the hot pan.

Using a spoon or spatula, break the sausage up into tiny pieces as it cooks.

Once the meat is completely cooked, drain out the extra fat from the pan and set the meat aside.

Next, cut the Brie into little cubes, about a quarter of an inch squared.

Once the squash is soft, remove it from the oven and blend it in a food processor, or mash it the old fashion way (by hand).

Mash the potatoes with a dash of cinnamon and s/p.

Mix the butternut, potatoes, and nuts together in a bowl.

Step Two - Assembling

Set up a work station.

To do this, you want to have everything that you'll need on the table or counter where you'll be working. This includes; the meat, cheese, squash mix, egg wash, and wraps. Once everything is ready and in place, you can start making some wontons.

Place a single wrap in front of you, turned so that it is in a diamond shape.

Place half a teaspoon of the butternut mixture on the center of the wrap.

Top the squash with a half teaspoon of meat.

Place a cube of cheese on the sausage. (It does not have to sit right on top, it can be snugged up to the side of the meat too.)

Dip you finger in the egg wash and slide it up the left top edge of the wrap. Then, dip your finger in the egg again and slide it on the right top edge of the wrap. This will act as glue to keep your wonton tightly sealed.

Now, fold the wonton in half so that the two edges without egg will come up and rest on the two sides with the wash. As you do this, use your fingers to gently push all air out of the pocket.

You should have a triangle with the stuffing secured in the center. Don't worry if your first few don't look perfect, it takes a little practice.

Messy looking wontons are okay. Broken ones are not, they are likely to ooze out into your oil, causing messy and potentially painful splatters.

Place the stuffed wonton on a sheet pan or another large flat surface sprinkled lightly with corn meal.

Step Three - Cooking

Once all of the wontons are neatly folded, heat half an inch of oil in a pan.

As the oil heats, grab a few paper towels or a kitchen towel and a plate. Place the towel on the plate near or on the stove, but away from any flames.

Carefully put the wontons in the oil, in small batches. Do not over crowd the pan. You don't want any of the wraps to touch each other.

After a minute or two, carefully lift one of the wontons with tongs and check the bottom side. If it looks lightly browned, flip them all over. If it's not quite golden yet, let them cook for another minute on the first side. Cook the second side till it's also lightly browned and crispy.

Carefully remove the wontons from the pan and place on the plate to absorb the oil.

Sprinkle with sea salt.

Then, move them to the oven to keep warm. (The oven should still be warm from when you roasted the squash. If it's not, just set in to 200 till it is warm, then turn it off.)

Add more wontons to the oil and cook the same as the first batch. Repeat till all of the wontons are cooked.

Serve warm.


Skip the sausage and you will have a tasty little vegetarian bite. Skip the cheese for a dairy free snack. If you want to make two kinds, one without meat or dairy and the other with, just fold them differently so that they are easy to tell apart.

You can also make egg rolls with the same ingredients. They will be larger, so add more stuffing.

The stuffing ingredients can be prepared a day or two ahead of time and refrigerated till you're ready to assemble and cook.

Although these fusion wontons were themed for Thanksgiving I think they're tasty enough to eat any time of the year!

1 comment:

  1. Sub leftover turkey (shredded or chopped) for the sausage to make a great post Thanksgiving day lunch/snack.