Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wonton Success, Parent Fail

My son celebrated his 9th birthday yesterday, a Tuesday. I asked him if he would like to go out to eat, or would like me to make something special for him. He said, “I'd like you to make something.” I can't tell you how happy that made me. My son often compliments my cooking, but to have him choose me over Chuck E.Cheese's for his special day made my heart sing.

I always teach dance class on Tuesdays, and contemplated canceling, but asked him if we could celebrate on Monday as a family night instead. He said, “Sure,” and I headed off to research “Cool food for 9-year old boy birthday party” on Google. Seriously. I used those search terms. It drives my husband crazy.

I decided it would be fun to do a chopstick-themed dinner, and my son loves dipping sauces, so right away I knew I would make wontons. The filling? Ground chicken and veggies. Katie and Christina at Gold n' Plump generously sent me a few packages of ground chicken and I knew it would make a great filling, mixed with some onion, carrot and cabbage. It was delicious! I only added a bit of soy, ginger, Chinese 5-spice and garlic for seasoning. I baked them instead of frying for a healthier dish. (see recipe below).

The main course was a beautiful piece of salmon that I marinated in a soy-rice wine-honey marinade and grilled in parchment. I tried to wrap a bow-tie on with nori, but it kind of didn't work. Let's call that mild fail #1. Mild fail #2? Wontons overcooked, a bit.

The major fail #1? I got the bad parent award of the year. My son, on his actual birthday, had to stay home with a babysitter while my husband and I went to teach class. I guess I didn't understand that “sure” meant “lame parents.” In the middle of class my husband runs off, djembe strapped around him, to answer the phone. Our son had called three times, crying. We had left him on his birthday. I felt so horrible. I mean, what was I thinking? I can see how he would feel sad. My heart broke, and my husband and I headed home. But not before buying a piece of cake to take to him in bed. We sang happy birthday to him at 9:30 at night.

The birthday dinner was delicious, and kids are forgiving. And he has laser tag and a party to look forward to. And plenty of leftover wontons.







Baked Chicken Wontons

2 tbsp veg oil

1 pound fround chicken

1 onion diced

2 carrots, finely shredded

1 cup cabbage finely diced

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 clove garlic

1 tsp salt

2 tsp soy sauce

1 pinch or so Chinese 5-spice.

1 pkg wonton wrappers


Preheat oven to 425. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray (use real, organic oil)

Sautee ground chicken in oil until browned and moisture evaporates

Add onions, carrots and cabbage and sautee until soft (about 5 minutes).

Add garlic, ginger, soy and spice and sautee another 2 minutes or so.

Place wonton wrappers on a flat surface and spoon a small amount of filling in each one.

Seal with a bit of water around the edge of each wrapper.

Keep covered with plastic wrap until ready to bake, or freeze on the cookie sheet, then place in bag in feezer to cook later.

Place wontons on cookie sheet, and spray with oil, or brush oil on top.

Bake about 8 minutes until golden. (Check often, like I didn't)