Monday, July 30, 2012

Latin and Asian Fusion: Delectable Beef and Zucchini Wonton Cups


Looking for a quick and delicious recipe for entertaining.  This  is a sure fire winner for the crowd, especially if you like ground beef, veggies and wontons.  This recipe makes good use of your flavor building vegetables like peppers and onions too!  The prep time is minimal and the kids can even  take part, which helps encourage them to eat more variety in their diets. The presentation is spectacular with the two to three bite portions.  I did a lab last evening and my four year old, Bronwyn, thought they were delicious.  I  got rave reviews all around the board and the vegetables are inconspicuous to the little ones that may persnickety about what they eat.
These babies are packed with an outstanding profile of flavors.  Cumin and garlic are the key spices and the taste is reminiscent of eating scaled down Tostadas,  especially with the vibrant and tangy sauce I created to complement the savory wonton cups.  Monterey Jack cheese is featured in this recipe as well.
     Vegetarians and Vegans don't fret, they may easily be prepared sans beef for a satisfying medley of veggies.  Mushrooms may be added in place of the meat.  The zucchini in this recipe when sauteed lightly can create the idea of meat, so even the devout carnivore won't feel slighted in the least.  On the other hand, if you want a leaner menu item, simply substitute in lean ground chicken or turkey.  Do keep in mind that white meats will dry out faster, and become tough, so incorporate a little olive  or grapeseed oil to maintain  the moisture balance.   This recipe makes 24 cups, using a mini muffin pan, but feel free to double the recipe, depending on guest or family size.   For appetizer servings, it's 3 per person, serving 8.  Admittedly, it's not going to be easy sticking to that ratio, so plan to make more, many more!  
Delectable Beef n' Zucchini Wonton Cups
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
6  mini peppers, various colors, small dice, about 1/3 c.
1/2 soft beef bouillon cube, optional
1 jalapeno,, small dice   
2 c. zucchini, medium dice
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
SPST
24 wonton wrappers
Monterey Jack cheese
Chili Powder for garnish
Preheat oven to 375*F.
In a saute pan over medium high heat, add beef , bouillon and onions.  Once beef is  browned, add peppers and zucchini.  Cook for several minutes until veggies begin to soften. SPST.  Drain off excess oil and add spices.  Turn off heat.
Meanwhile, spray with non stick spray or lightly grease and press a wonton wrapper into each muffin hole, and  add equal amounts of ground beef mixture.  Top with desired amount of cheese crumbles or shreds.  Sprinkle tops with Chili Powder and bake until golden and bubbly, about 5 minutes. 
NOTE:  For extra crispy wonton shells, BAKE FIRST WITHOUT FILLING, until golden, several minutes, then fill and broil until cheese is melty and bubbly.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce:
1/2 c. fat free sour cream
1/3 c. good quality Ranch dressing
1 tsp. Sriracha 
splash of lime juice
SPST
  Mix all ingredients until  well blended.  SPST.  Transfer to serving bowl.                                                                                                                     



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Smokinhotchef
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