Thursday, February 8, 2007

Caution: Experimental Food Preparation in Progress

I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner last night. Nothing fancy or authentic, just the Better Homes and Garden recipe. I wouldn't recommend it. A real Italian inspired recipe is much better.

Anyway, I ended up with a half a dozen OK meatballs as leftovers. I didn't think I could stomach them again for dinner (I didn't think DD or Munchkin wanted to either), so I started thinking of some alternate meatball uses. Meatball subs were tossed out immediately due to lack of a good bread and cheese to go with them. Straight meatballs with sauce wasn't appealing. I was about to give up when I opened the fridge. There was my inspiration: won ton wrappers.

Given my latest potsticker/gyoza kick, I now have two packages of wrappers stocked up. I finally found the round ones at Fred Meyer (although they weren't the "gyoza" style I was hoping to find). The packages claim they can also be used for ravioli. That's when I put two and two together, and decided I had to make meatball potstickers.

I started out taking a leftover meatball (in sauce) and cutting it in half. I placed one half on a square wrapper and realized it was way too much meat for one wrapper. Using water, I moistened the edges and used a second wrapper to cover the meat. I folded the edges up like a shrimp pouch. It didn't look too bad.

To cook the "potsticker," I wiped a non stick pan with a oil laden paper towel. In went the potstickers and I let them cook just for a minute on medium-high before adding 1/2 cup water. I covered the pan and steamed the potstickers for about 6 minutes. After removing the lid, I let turned up the heat slightly and allowed the water to evaporate. When all the water was gone and the potstickers were browned on the bottom, I was done.

I really wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. I was thinking a bit like ravioli, but not too much because of the flavor of the won ton wrappers. The combination of meatball and won ton was good. It wasn't really like a ravioli or a potsticker. For a second I was reminded of the Olive Garden's Fried Ravioli, but then it tasted like a potsticker. I kept going back and forth trying to figure out if I would enjoying dipping it in Alfredo sauce or soy sauce.

The second batch I decided to go all out and use a whole meatball. It was the same basic process, but I did not fold up the corners. I also made sure to preheat the oil slightly before adding the potstickers. That did the trick. I ended up with a use for leftovers that was tasty and unique.

It makes me wonder. What else would be good steamed up in a won ton wrapper?

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