On How to Salvage Vegetables

The premiere of Top Chef was on this past Wednesday, and can I say what every recap post has been saying? “Everything’s bigger in Texas~” That was the name of the episode as well, how awful. It was an overwhelming episode, but of course I loved it. Top Chef can do no wrong.

The show also makes me want to cook everything in the world. Although I can’t make, or afford to make, chicken fried rabbit, I did have asparagus and broccoli that really needed to be used asap. Oh look, I took a screenshot of that chicken fried rabbit on Bravo’s website:

"It's what we call a screengrab" -Tyra Banks

The chicken fried rabbit is in the middle on, I believe, potato hash. It was cooked by this chef with a really nice back story. Sell drugs, go to jail, find salvation in food. I like your beard, friend.

I really like asparagus. They remind me of Junior from Veggie Tales. I was actually planning on posting a picture of him, but now I don’t even feel like uploading him and the next pictures I want you to see will be foods. Okay, so I’ve been wanting to get better at this new wave cooking technique called blanching. I know, I know, blanching vegetables is easy, but I’m dumb and it requires practice for me! In case you were interested, here is a really nice guide for blanching veggies. In case you don’t want to read that, blanching is essentially boiling vegetables and shocking them in ice cold water to stop the cooking process. This helps keep the vitamins and color in the vegetable while giving it a nice raw feeling. Since broccoli and asparagus blanching times are more or less the same, I went ahead and blanched them in the same pot. (Actually, I didn’t know that vegetables had different blanching times until I read that guide so I guess I was lucky?) Boil boil boil, shock shock shock and my vegetables are blanched and ready to chop. I didn’t really care to take pictures during the blanching and chopping process, so here’s one of the chopping aftermath.

plz pak ur knivs && go

Oh! I added some sundried tomatoes as well! My boss gave me some for Halloween. I guess I should detail the ingredients. Have I even explained what I was trying to make? I’m so dumb.

Brocolli and Cheese Rangoons

  • Asparagus that you really should use soon because you paid money for it.
  • Broccoli because of the same exact reasons.
  • However much sundried tomatoes you want to use.
  • However much cream cheese you need to balance out with the previous ingredients.
  • Wonton wrappers.
  • Vegetable oil for frying.

I’m the worst. I learned how to make crab rangoon at the Asian Festival back in San Antonio. That was a lot of fun. This is just a variation of what I learned. Instead of using green onions and imitation crab, I used other vegetables and no fake crab. Chop up the asparagus and broccoli, and try your hardest to julienne those sundried tomatoes. Have I mentioned that whenever I chop vegetables, I pretend like I’m a contestant on Top Chef until I realize I suck at chopping vegetables and am about to cut my fingers off? No. Okay. So you do that and you get some cream cheese. I think I used about half a block of cream cheese, so a good eight ounces? It really depends on the quantity of your vegetables. Put it in a big bowl and mix it with a spoon or smoosh it with your hands.

So grab your wanton wrappers and put about a teaspoon or so of the mixture into the wrapper. I was a big derp at this part because my wonton wrapping varied as I made them. At first, they were tiny money bag looking things like the things you find in wonton soup. Then, I folded them into triangles like the place I get Chinese take-out does their crab rangoons (see below). I finally wrapped them like mini-egg rolls. I like the egg roll option the best, but here’s the triangle approach.

I'm wearing a shirt with Cesar Chavez on it. My school has the best shirts, but I'm bad at being social sometimes.

You can find wonton wrappers at your local oriental store. I’m not sure if you can find them at Wal-Mart or whatever is your local supermarket, so I suggest you should try to be adventurous and go to an oriental store. They can be some good fun.

Make sure you seal your pockets/egg rolls with water. That’s really important because if any of the cheese leaks out, you’ll get hit in the face with some hot oil and you’ll yell at your wok like I did.

Since having a deep frier isn’t really practical for a college dorm, and an awful idea as well, I just got a wok and filled it with some vegetable oil. Make sure you heat it up really well because you’ll get soggy rangoons on the first fry. A good way to test it out is to dip a test rangoon on the hot oil. If it sizzles immediately, it’s good. Oh, and make sure you keep your oil on medium. So fry fry fry.

So I guess you can say that this is my little rendition of broccoli and cheese. It was pretty good! It got the roommate seal of approval, I guess. You could really taste the vegetables, which was nice. Honestly, you could put so many things in wonton wrappers and fry it and it would probably taste good. That being said, I felt awful after I scarfed a few down. It’s like I inherited all of the world’s grease in my body.

Now that I think about it, this would be a really good party thing to make. Not a “I really need to use these vegetables, oh I should fry them” type of thing. Oh well. Apparently you can use wonton wrappers to make ravioli, isn’t that neat?

Before this post starts evolving into a self-deprecating post, I’ll leave some questions for you guys to answer in the comments even though I know no one ever does. What would you fill your wonton wrapper with? (My roommate suggested chicken salad..) Do you watch Top Chef? What foods should I try cooking next?

Now if you excuse me, A Series of Unfortunate Events is going to be on oh wait, I guess we’re watching Napoleon Dynamite. Wild and crazy Friday night, eh?

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2 thoughts on “On How to Salvage Vegetables

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