paper chef no. 5 – fig, goat cheese and prosciutto won tons

it was narrowed down to two: goat cheese fondue with prosciutto toasts and mixed greens, or goat cheese and baby greens tossed with a sherry vinaigrette atop roasted green garlic flatbread. but when it finally came down to the wire, i went back to my roots and made wontons for tomatilla‘s paper chef no. 5. now i can’t ever make fun of asian fusion cuisine again! well, i’ve got to restrain myself for at least a few days.

what a challenge the ingredients were, from slapping my own hand away from one of my main ingredients as i kept popping pieces of prosciutto, to trying to determine if the final product will taste funny to me because i’m not fond of goat cheese, or if they will taste funny, period. then, there must simply have been a crazed run on the local supply of green garlic, because it was nowhere to be found. this is southern california, where i am almost always able to find any produce any time of the year, but not green garlic in the first weekend of april. and sherry vinegar just threw me for a loop. i know balsamic. i’ve even flirted with champagne vinegar. but sherry?

but they all came together in a simple won ton, and i even managed to add my favorite fig. my indignant, “what do you mean you don’t have figs?” at the market just got an apologetic shrug, then a gentle education in the finer points of the fresh fig season, fall. *sigh* but that was a blessing in surprise – it made for a stronger sweetness that stood right up to the creamy bite of the cheese and salty prosciutto.

sultry salty prosciutto

filling ready to wok and roll

there’s no exact recipe. the dipping sauce is simple. a bit of sherry vinegar and bit more olive oil, a touch of honey to pick up the sweetness of the figs, and chopped scallions, not for a bite, but a soft nuzzle.

the filling is all mixed by taste, just like my mother used to mix all the ingredients for mahn-doo. it’s a perfect 5×4 matrix of won ton wrappers on a tray, a tiny ball of the simple three ingredient filling (goat cheese, chopped prosciutto, chopped dried figs) centered on each square. a beaten egg white brushed along two edges. then fold into a pert triangle, gently massaging the filling to relax into the space, letting it softly exhale any air, and sqeeze-seal the edges together. they slip into the wok with hot oil and deep fry for but a minute, maybe two at the most, and they’ll still develop a bit of a tan as they rest and drain. when they’re hot, the skins crisp open and the inside, first melted together, now melts apart. i’ve popped three before i remember, “oh yeah, i’m not fond of goat cheese.” ;)

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1 Owen April 6, 2005 at 6:26 am

Fantastic sounding! I loved the addition of fig to the flavor mix and since I have no hangups about asian fusion, I’ll be making this soon!


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