The other day, I was having One of Those Days - I'd spent the day doing a lot of cleaning and sorting through things (we just moved, and are currently playing an ongoing Tetris game, trying to figure out where everything should go) Suddenly, I glanced at a clock and realized it was 5pm, and not only had I not taken anything down to thaw, but I had given no thought to dinner at all, and I was too tired to muster any inspiration.
A peek into the refrigerator yielded a motley assortment of odds and ends - we hadn't shopped yet, so all I had was a few items we'd carried over from the old house. I was in no mood to suggest eating out (which would mean dressing in publicly-acceptable clothing), but I feared that might be what we needed to do if I didn't come up with something.
I had a block of cream cheese and a tub of smoked salmon I'd purchased on a whim thinking to have it some morning with bagels, but no bagels.
However, I did have some round won-ton wrappers, and because I'd just been mentally running through take out options, crab rangoon came to mind - except with smoked salmon!
Surely that could be a thing, right? A fast Google search showed that it was.
They wouldn't make a meal all on their own - but we now have a Panera directly across the street from us. I knew my husband wouldn't mind walking over while I put these together - so I sent him to pick up one of their Chinese Chicken Salads for us to split, and set to work myself.
Like I said, there are several Google versions online, but this is what I did, based on what I had on on hand.
Smoked Salmon Rangoon
1 oz block creamed cheese
4 oz smoked salmon, chopped
5 green onions, white and green minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. A1 Sauce (or Worchestershire Sauce)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 pkg round or square won ton wrappers
vegetable oil for frying (I used coconut oil because it is what was available)
Prepare the filling:
Soften creamed cheese.
Mince the vegetables and smoked salmon.
Combine all filling ingredients in a bowl, and cream together thoroughly.
Do not add any additional salt! Between the smoked salmon and the A1/Worchestershire sauce, this is plenty salty enough.
Set up your work station - have at hand the filling and a small spoon for scooping, a small dish of water, a small plate for folding the rangoon, and a larger plate for setting the rangoon on before frying.
You'll also want a paper towel lined dish for draining the rangoon after they've been fried, and a slotted spoon or spatula for using while frying.
To prepare the rangoon, use a scant spoonful (no more than a teaspoonful) of filling for each rangoon.
Set the filling slightly to one side of the wonton circle, wet the edges with your finger, and fold the wanton in half, so that it makes a half moon shape.
Carefully pick up and set it on the plate, flattening the folded end so it sits upright.
I made 16 of these, and still had a good bit of filling leftover - this should make about 25-30 total.
Once your rangoon are prepped, heat oil in a deep pot (I used a medium sized sauce pan). If you have a thermometer, the oil should be 375F - mine was still packed, so I had to guess at it.
Carefully lower one rangoon at a time into the hot oil with a slotted spoon - don't crowd them while they're cooking. I did 3 at a time.
When they are golden brown, scoop out and set on the paper towel lined dish while you do the next batch. Once they're all done, enjoy, either as an appetizer, or, as we did, with a big salad as part of a delicious meal.
But what about the rest of the filling, you ask? Well, remember my initial intention was to have cream cheese and salmon bagels - well, when my husband walked over to Panera for our salads, he also brought back some bagels! Toasted and spread with the leftover filling, they made for a very satisfying breakfast the next morning!
One more thing before I go - now that we are in our new place, and have scoped out available options for food shopping, I've decided to take up meal planning again - because generally, that 5pm confused peek into the refrigerator rarely leads to good results.
We have a Farmer's Market and a Harris Teeter in walking distance, and I also have a weekly grocery delivery from Relay Foods, and my daughter recently talked me into giving Home Chef a try, so we have several good options to work with!
Menu Plan, 8/15 - 21
Goat Cheese Cavatappi Primavera (Home Chef)
Tapioca Pudding with Fresh Fruit
Whipped Potatoes & Balsamic Brussels Sprouts (Home Chef)
Stir-Fried Chicken, Veggies & Rice
Mini Egg Rolls
Chicken Adobo Tacos with Mexican Street Corn (Home Chef)
Leftovers/Take Out/Not Cooking