Creativity at suppertime may seem whimsical and fun, but can be like rolling the dice and hoping for snake eyes. It’s taking a chance. Especially when much of my inventiveness is more often eyed suspiciously.
But it doesn’t mean I give up.
I wait until they’re usually back in “we’re safe” mode, finding mostly tried and true dishes placed in front of them. Then … I spring it on them. Something I’m positive is good for them, certain is appealing and hopeful is memorable.
I’m lucky the dog has low standards.
Last night I struck gold. It was a last minute, low fridge contents, too-tired-for-recipe-book-help kind of a night. I had ground chicken, wonton wrappers and jelly beans.
I put the jelly beans in a bowl and pushed them off into my “use-in-case-of-emergency” corner. I sautéed up an onion and the chicken, seasoned the mixture and tipped it into wonton cups. I baked those Asian meat muffins (no, I promise I didn’t call them that) for less than ten minutes and served them up with a side of sesame roasted asparagus and Bhutanese red rice to give the plate some color.
Okay, maybe not, maybe it was more of an Oh my goodness, this tastes good. But we all know just how difficult it can be to stand up at the dining room table to give a round of applause when you’re too busy stuffing your mouth. It was implied.
Wonton Cups filled with Asian Spiced Chicken
Wonton wrappers (usually around 3 inches square) or eggroll wrappers (6 inch squares)
Toasted sesame oil
1 pound ground chicken
Grated zest of one lime
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (feel free to substitute freshly ground black or Szechuan for a kick)
Equipment needed – Muffin tins
Heat your oven to 350°.
Throw a glug or two of sesame oil into a sauté pan and sizzle up your onions until nicely translucent and just beginning to brown.
Toss in your ground chicken, stirring to break apart any clumps.
Add your lime zest, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice and pepper. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
Spray the inside of your muffin tins with vegetable oil and line with the wonton wrappers (if using medium tins place two squares inside—one on top of the other with the top one rotated to make an eight point star) or eggroll wrappers (if using large tins).
Spoon the spiced chicken into your lined muffin tins and place inside the oven for 8-10 minutes.
Serve on its own, with some hoisin, plum, or Asian hot sauce.
Feel the waves of parental honor rolling toward you. Feel grateful you did not resort to using the jelly beans.