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Friday, July 29, 2011

Dinner Par-tay

Buffalo chicken and rice wantons, super ramen, and bacon ranch
Tonight we invited RC, Heydew, and Jett over for dinner and pool time. We hadn't seen Jett in at least a month, so it was good to see him. Pon had lots of fun playing with his "aunt" and "uncles" at the pool and in the apartment while I finished up dinner.

Pon and I had actually had a pretty full day, filled with an event at the library, McDonald's playplace, and Target wanderings with Rose, Monkey, and Keats (Rose's husband). Even with that flurry of activity, Pon was still uninterested in a nap. Instead he snuggled himself on the couch for a Dragon Tales marathon and I pre-stuffed the wantons so I could just toss them in the oven once we were ready to eat. Pug had actually requested a repeat of the buffalo calzones, but I still had the leftover wantons from the lasagna cups- I thought this recipe would merge both perfectly.

Buffalo Chicken Wantons adapted from Baked by Rachel

4 chicken tenders
1/4-1/2 C buffalo sauce of choice
1 C rice
Bacon ranch (or regular ranch, or bleu cheese dressing) to taste, more for dipping
24 wanton wrapper
Water for sealing wrappers

*This was at least twice as much filling as I needed for the wrappers I had, so either cut the filling in half, or double the wrappers.

Place tenders and buffalo sauce in a pan and bring to a simmer , turning occasionally until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Shred with fork in pan.

Add rice, ranch, and additional buffalo sauce if desired and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

Prepare a work area, whether it's the counter, a cutting board, or the pan you plan to bake it on with a pinch bowl with lukewarm water, the wrappers, and the filling. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, wet two edges of the wrapper. Place a spoonful of filling off center, towards the dampened corner. I tried to use my cookie scoop (just over 1 Tbls) but that was way too much. 1/2 Tbls wasn't enough, so I tried 2 tsp (which is 2/3 Tbls) and it was perfect.

Fold the dry corner over to the wet corner and press edges to seal. Continue until you have filled all of the wrappers, covering completed wantons with slightly dampened cloth or paper towel to keep them from drying out. Arrange the wanton on a baking sheet so they are not touching (or they'll stick together).

If, like me, you're preparing these ahead of time, cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in fridge until you start to preheat your oven. When ready to cook, spray lightly with cooking spray (for crispiness) and bake for 15 minutes at 350, rotating once midway. Serve as an appetizer, side, or main dish with your choice of dipping sauce.

The "super ramen" I served these with is just regular packaged ramen cooked with peas, corn, and lightly scrambled eggs. I typically only use one seasoning packet per two packs of ramen to reduce sodium. There's still plenty of flavor, though you can add more to your liking.

Baked by Rachel's recipe is just chicken, I added the rice to make it more filling, and because I was afraid I hadn't made enough chicken for all of my wrappers. That was not the case. I had enough leftover filling for at least as many wrappers again.

Maybe I'll reheat it for burritos as lunch one day this weekend!

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