Wonton Pizza Pockets

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

This tasty little snack came together due to lack of food in the house. It was slim pickins around here one day because I just didn’t feel like going grocery shopping. We’ve all had those days, right? I looked around and saw that I had wonton wrappers, cheese, and pepperoni – and not much else. How about snacks for dinner kids? No complaints there! (I did add some veggies on the side, however…) While I don’t recommend this as an option for dinner normally, it would make the perfect appetizer for a party or while watching the football game.

What you’ll need:
1 package wonton wrappers (the small square ones)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Pepperoni slices (cut up into small pieces)
Vegetable or canola oil for frying
Optional:
Wire rack and baking sheet for keeping them warm and crispy
Marinara sauce for dipping

They are easy to make, but you want to get them all prepped before starting to cook them. They fry up so quickly that you want to have them ready to go. On a nice big work surface, lay out a bunch of the wonton wrappers, get a little bowl of water, and set it nearby. If you put too many wrappers out at the same time they will start to dry out. Keep the remaining wrappers covered while you work. On each wrapper, dab some water along the edge with your finger. This will be the glue that keeps the pocket intact. Don’t put the water on all of them at once — wet each one as you go.

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

Next take a little bit of shredded mozzarella cheese and put it in the middle of the wonton wrapper.

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

Take a little bit of cut up pepperoni slices and put that on top of the cheese.

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

Finally, add a little more mozzarella cheese on top.

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

Try not to overfill it, or you’ll have a hard time sealing it up. Now take opposing corners and bring to the center, pinching them closed.

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

Take the other two corners and bring them up to meet the sealed ones. Remember the water is your glue so if you are having trouble, make sure you have water where you want it sealed!

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

Press all the edges to seal shut. If any of the edges are not sealed, your cheese will leak out when you fry them.

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

You can also seal up the pockets like this…

Wonton Pizza Pockets : Zim on a Whim

Whatever works best for you. Just pinch and press everything tightly.

Heat some vegetable or canola oil up in a pot over medium heat. When it’s hot enough, the wonton pockets should float in the oil. The first time I made these I set my burner for medium-high and they cooked way too fast and almost burnt. Keep it at medium heat and just be patient until it gets hot enough. When the oil is ready, fry a few at a time in the hot oil, a couple minutes on each side until they turn golden brown.

Drain on a paper towel, or better yet on a wire rack set on top of a baking sheet. This method will keep them crispy. You can keep them warm in a 250 degree oven while you fry up the remaining pockets. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping if desired.

FYI: I have tried these with a little marinara sauce added to the cheese and pepperoni, but I prefer to leave it out of the pockets and just dip them in the sauce while inhaling enjoying.

~Micha

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Easter Quesadillas

Easter Quesadillas | Zim on a Whim

Easter doesn’t have to be all about the candy! Here’s a fun and quick lunch idea that the kids will love after hunting down all those eggs. Quesadillas are so versatile and you can use whatever filling you like or what you have on hand. Here I used some thin deli ham and shredded cheddar cheese on flour tortillas. Just plain cheese quesadillas work great, too!

Here’s how to make them:

Take some Easter themed cookie cutters and cut out your shapes from the flour tortillas. Obviously you need 2 of each shape for each quesadilla.

Easter Quesadillas | Zim on a Whim

The metal cutters work better because they are sharper, but the plastic ones are fine, too. I just had to press down in sections and wiggle my cutter to get through the flour tortilla.

Heat up a skillet over medium heat. Place one tortilla shape in the pan. Add in some shredded cheese first, then some of the meat.

Easter Quesadillas

Top the meat with some more cheese.

Easter Quesadillas

You need cheese next to both tortillas to glue it together.

Top with the other tortilla shape and press down on it (with a spatula or carefully with your hands) so it all melts together.

Easter Quesadillas

In just a few minutes it will be golden brown. Flip to brown other side and melt the rest of the cheese.

Easter Quesadillas

Remove from heat and enjoy!

The kids will love this exciting new take on grilled cheese and the shapes make them fun to eat.

Now, not so fast. You are left with a bunch of tortilla scraps, right? It’s a shame to toss them so why not make baked tortilla chips with them?

Just cut up the scraps and lay them in a foil-lined baking sheet. Spray the chips with cooking spray and season to your liking. You can use just salt and pepper, or add in garlic powder, chili powder…whatever! Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until crisp.

Baked Tortilla Chips

I hope you give these a try. If you like making quesadillas as much as I do, you might like to try my Roasted Asparagus and Pancetta Quesadillas soon!

Enjoy your holiday!
Micha

Bite-Size Cheese Straws

These light, crispy cheese straws are a perfect savory snack…and they are bite-sized so you can munch a bunch! I used a sharp cheddar cheese and added a little garlic powder and cayenne pepper. It’s the perfect balance for me, but feel free to adjust the seasonings to suit your taste.

Aside from the ingredients, I recommend using parchment paper to line your baking sheet. The cheese straws will just slide right off. (I love parchment paper and use it for all my baking…such easy cleanup!) I also recommend using a disposable decorating bag and star tip (both can be found in the cake decorating aisle of craft stores, Walmart, or anywhere else that sells those supplies. The star tip should be at least a #21 or #22, or you can go larger and use a #32. I used a #21 tip. If you don’t have a love/hate relationship with your cookie press like I do, you can use that instead. (I may or may not have thrown mine out the window…)

**If you don’t have those supplies and don’t want to buy them, just grab a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, fill it with some of your dough, cut a small opening in the end and squeeze it out into small logs. They won’t look as pretty, but will taste the same. I did not test this method so the baking time might vary slightly.**

I made them about 1 to 1-1/2 inches long. You can make them however long you want. If you use butter, they will puff up a little and spread slightly. If you use margarine, they don’t seem to increase in size much. Still, you can pipe them fairly close together and get a lot on your baking sheet.

They don’t take that long to bake, so don’t walk too far away! They are ready in about 7-8 minutes or when they get a little golden brown along the bottom edges.

Here is the recipe for the Bite-Size Cheese Straws

Ingredients:
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup salted butter or margarine, softened
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the shredded cheese and the softened butter or margarine with a mixer. It will look like little balls. Add the flour, baking powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Combine (you can use a big spoon at this point). Add 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water. Combine with mixer a little, then you can use your hands and get it all mixed thoroughly. Your dough should be soft, but not runny, and able to squeeze through a piping bag or cookie press.

Put some of the dough into your piping bag with a star tip (I used a #21). Do not fill too much or you will have a hard time piping the straws. You have to use a little muscle, but you shouldn’t have to break a sweat. 🙂 Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Pipe little straws to fill up your trays.

Bake for 7-8 minutes (or until you see the edges get golden brown) in a 400 degree oven.

Cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then serve.
(These would go great with some chili, soup or as a snack all by themselves.)

At the size I demonstrated, this recipe makes about 180 straws…yup, I counted them for you ’cause that’s how I roll.

They are best the day you bake them because they start to lose their crispiness and get soft when stored. (But they still taste good!) I usually store them in an airtight container or a baggie, but maybe I should try a paper bag next time and see if they stay crispy? Hmm… Any suggestions are appreciated!

Happy Snacking!
~Micha