Unlike yesterday's broccoli soup, this was a brilliant idea. I love strawberries. I love lemon. I love mint. I love cream cheese frosting. And I love wontons. Combine them together, and I am in love. From where did my love grow? My craving for crab rangoon, of course. For those of you who are unaware of this delicacy, it is a wonton stuffed with cream cheese, crab and green onions, and then fried. I had never seen one before I moved to the Midwest and refused to try one for months thinking them gross. I'm extremely glad I finally relented. They're apparently quite big on the East Coast and in the Midwest, but have only recently gained widespread traction in California, despite being invented here. I just want to let you know that the best crab rangoon I have ever had was at Red Jade in San Francisco. When I lived nearby two summers ago, I had to talk myself out of stopping a few times a week.
This recipe builds off of my love of crab rangoon and the deliciousness of its warm cream cheese filling. Running across a recipe for homemade crab rangoon, I started to think about different ways I could use wonton wrappers and cream cheese. My first requirement was that my creation needed to be baked, not fried. Fried food is delicious, but pretty bad for you, and leaves your kitchen smelling like oil and tiny burns on your arms (okay, my arms). My second requirement was that I didn't want to purchase anything besides the wonton wrappers. While on occasion you can find king crab in my house, today it was not the case. So I went to the next best thing: strawberries. Strawberries n' cream. Yum. How I got from crab to strawberries is a mystery, but I did, so deal with it. However, I can tell you that the lemon mint sauce is a product of my desire for a dipping sauce, and my belief that lemon, strawberries and mint go well together.
What was really nice about this dish was that it was quick. The sauce took five minutes, the filling two. The wrapping of the wontons was the biggest time consumption, but got easier and faster after the first few. But let's just say that my first few were quite ugly and did not make the photo cut.
1 cup diced strawberries
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp powdered sugar
Package of wonton wrappers
Lemon Mint Sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 tbsp water
3 tbsp chopped mint leaves
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1. Cream together cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar. Add in chopped strawberries and mix by hand.
2. Fill your wontons with about 1 1/2 teaspoons each. This website shows different ways to fold them up. Do this right before you want to bake them, so they don't get soggy.
3. Preheat your oven to 400F.
4. Spray your wontons with cooking spray or olive oil -- both sides -- and sprinkle with granulated sugar. The spray makes sure they brown and get crispy.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until brown.
6. While your wontons are baking, heat lemon juice, 5 tablespoons of water, sugar and mint in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved (about 3 minutes).
7. Strain out the mint leaves, and place liquid back in the saucepan.
8. Thoroughly mix cornstarch with reserved tablespoon of water.
9. Bring sauce to a boil, add cornstarch mix, and stir in well.
10. When sauce thickens, take it off the heat.
11. Serve wontons hot. Sauce can be hot or cold, depending on your preference.