Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First Times the Charm!

Leftovers, whatever they may be, always seem to leave me in a quandary...they need to be used but I don't really want to eat the same thing several days in a row. I try to get my 'little grey cells' moving (I hope you all like Poirot ;-) and dive into my cookbooks and magazines for inspiration. Unfortunately, I often cut myself short on ideas and pass them over because they seem to be too difficult and time consuming.
This is where I found myself this weekend. Cam drew his deer tag this year, and the day we left for Kentucky, he actually got a beautiful 4-point buck! Friends of ours took on the task of preparing the meat to be packaged (Cam did all the labor except the actual butchering) for which we are EXTREMELY grateful!! This left us with the job of making room in our freezer for such a blessing!
I organized, cleared up, cleaned up, and made enough room for all of our venison. I did, however, have to take out a chicken. I baked him up for dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, and fresh Brussels sprouts and tomatoes; my comfort meal to go with the changing weather. But after one day, the two of us had only put a small dent into this chicken...lots of leftovers. I use it on sandwiches for lunch but for dinner, I wanted something new and exciting! So I perused my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry to see what I could muster up and couldn't talk myself out of making. This is the culinary creation I came up with:
Chicken & Butternut Squash Won tons with Pineapple-Sesame Dipping Sauce

 (I had purchased won ton wrappers at my local Grocery Outlet for $.50 which were in my fridge along with a small bag of squash puree I made last fall in my freezer, fresh pineapple with its juice in the fridge as well...never underestimate the power of a well stocked pantry and freezer!)
Won tons:
  • 1 pkg won ton wrappers
  • Butternut Squash puree
  • Cooked chicken
  • mozzarella cheese, if desired
Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/4c. chicken broth
  • 1/4c. soy sauce, reduced sodium
  • 1/4c. fresh pineapple juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 4 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Healthy grind of black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes, as much as you like
 Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place won ton wrappers on a cutting board at a diagonal so the point is towards you. Place a small amount of squash puree on each wrapper on one side of the 'diamond', place a small amount of mozzarella on top of the squash (if desired), and top with a small amount of chicken. Fold the other half over the top to close and, with wet fingers, press the edges closed. Place the sealed won tons onto a greased cookie sheet. Give them a light dusting of olive oil or cooking spray and place into preheated oven. Bake for 8-10 min. or until golden brown and warm through.
While the won tons bake, place all 'Dipping Sauce' ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil until slightly reduced and the won tons are done.
Place won tons onto a platter and the dipping sauce into a dipping bowl.
If you want to dress it up, sprinkle the won tons with sesame seeds (toasted or not, up to you) and green onions.

This being the first time I've ever used won ton wrappers, I must say I was impressed! We are already thinking of new combinations for fillings for these wonderful, delicate squares of dough!

All of these ingredients are readily available in most grocery stores if you don't have them. I would encourage you to make sure your pantry is stocked enough, so much as you can, to accommodate your tastes and likes so you can base your meals on the things you like and have on hand. This not only makes us more creative, but saves us some money...which we can all use these days!!

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Do you have any other ideas on fillings or what we should try next with our chicken? I still have half a bird left!!

Enjoy every day to the fullest...no matter what it brings forth!

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