I decided that I was going to have to make something a bit more fancy than a smoothy for this event, so I put on my fall food thinking cap and decided I wanted to make something similar to my summer go-to appetizer of Caprese Salad Skewers. What are Caprese Salad Skewers? Only the easiest appetizer ever that actually looks impressive. Heres what you do:
Caprese Salad Skewers
Mini Mozzarella balls
Fresh Basil Leaves
Long Party Toothpicks
Put: One of each Ingredient on a Long Party Toothpick
Salt and Pepper to taste
Present Skewers with Balsamic dipping sauce.
Easy right? I also do a chicken version of this where I soak the Toothpicks for awhile, skewer the tomatoes and roast the tomato/toothpicks together until the skin on the tomatoes just start to pucker. Then I pan fry or grill some chicken, cut it into bite sized pieces and VERY CAREFULLY (because the tomatoes are delicate) but a piece of chicken on each skewer. Maybe add a piece of basil or something if you want.
So, I really like those skewers, but they scream summer, not fall, and this was a fall food fest. So, as I was saying a long time ago, I decided to try and make a fall skewer. I decided that each Skewer had to have a cube of roasted butternut, a piece of fried sage and a golden raisin.
Can you see the problem here? Not only would it be impossible to skewer fried sage without it crumbling everywhere, chances are the butternut would slide right off the skewer. Disaster.
So I decided that I needed to come up with a different vessel to combine my desired appetizer ingredients. My idea - wonton cups. Now, I had seen this done before and it seemed pretty easy - you just buy wonton wrappers, push the wrappers into a mini muffin tin and bake. So I did that. It was very easy. Next I did the following:
Bake: Butternut squash cubes at 450 degrees until browned
Fry: Sage in a little canola oil
Combine: ricotta (or mascarpone...I tried both) with maple flavored agave syrup (I was out of maple syrup)
Put: Some of each plus a few golden raisins in a wonton cup.
I was pretty pleased with this effort. I made six as practice the weekend before the food fest and called it a day.
The next night I had a ton leftover wonton wrappers and roasted butternut...so I decided to try my hand out at butternut ravioli. Ready?
Combine: Roasted Butternut, Ricotta, Chopped Fresh Sage, Tarragon, Pepper, Salt, Cinnamon, Nutmeg to taste (lets call this "Butternut Mixture")
Wet: Each side of a wonton wrapper with water
Put: About a tablespoon of Butternut Mixture in the middle of the Wonton
Seal Up: the Wonton (I did this a variety of ways...just get it done)
Put: Wontons in boiling water until they float to the top (this was about 2 minutes...its fast)
Toss: Wontons in olive oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese (I also tossed in some roasted broccoli)
These. Were. Awesome. WAY better than the Butternut Cups (which were still good but not awesome).
I wanted an awesome food blogger recipe. I also wanted a portable, appetizer like food. Thus, the Butternut Wonton was born.
Roast: Butternut (I forgot to take a picture of this)
Lower: Oven temp to 350 Degrees
Combine: Ingredients to make Butternut Mixture
Wet the sides of each wonton wrapper and put a little Butternut Mixture in the middle
Seal Up the Wonton
Oil or spray cookie sheet (I actually forgot this step and it was a bit of a mess getting the wontons off the sheet whole...Bill actually saved the day here helping me get the wontons unstuck)
Dab: Some egg white onto each Wonton for shine (you can totally skip this step)
Bake Wontons until crisp - about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them.
Mix: Mascarpone Cheese with some Maple Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup to taste.
I think it is safe to say that these were a hit at the event. I heard unsolicited comments such as "These are incredible, who made them" and "Seriously, these are addictive...I am going to be thinking about them when I'm on the couch watching tv later."
So feel free to try them out - they are not hard to make just a little time consuming. At the very least, I hope this post has inspired some of you to get in the kitchen and create.