I live in an area that is heavily populated by hispanics, so there is an abundance of Mexican and South American ingredients at my local store. While I was out last week I picked up a package of chorizo sausage, which is pork sausage seasoned with Spanish Paprika and chilies. It tastes great and you should search it out if you have never tried it. Chorizo can be used in place of any sausage or ground meat, but it really shines in Latin dishes. I decided that I was going to try and use the chorizo in a dish you wouldn’t expect to find it. I had a package of Wanton papers in my fridge and I used those as my inspiration. No, its not hot damn "fusion" food. I cooked the chorizo in a saucepan and added 2 teaspoons of cumin near the end of cooking. I then drained the grease from the chorizo in a colander and let it sit for a few minutes while I prepared the other ingredients. I then chopped a few scallions, greens and whites, and mixed them into a entire package of cream cheese. Once the chorizo was cool enough to touch I dumped it into the cream cheese and scallions mixture. The warm the of the chorizo makes it easy to stir together into a thick paste. To ensure stability, I put this bowl of filling into the fridge while I prepare my wanton station. To get everything ready for making wantons I set out a plate, a small bowl with cold water, the wantons package and a rack to lay out the completed wantons. Please make sure not to stack the wantons on top of each other once you put them together, they will stick together and tear. I then place my filling bowl right in the middle, above my plate. Then, one by one, I take out a wanton skin and drop a dollop of the filing in the middle. I dip my finger in the water and gently run it around the edge of the wanton. Then I carefully pick up the wanton and touch all of the sides together. The water is like a magic wanton glue and the sides stick together sealing in the filling. You can make any shape you would like to with your wantons, but I like a rectangular shape. I think they are easier to eat that way. From there its just repeating the process until you are out of filling. I was able to make about 50 wantons. I guess you could bake the wantons in a hot oven, but obviously frying them is best. I used a 350 degree canola oil for mine and they tasted great. They actually tasted a bit like a taco, which was a nice surprise. I let them dry on a baking rack for a few minutes to make sure they were free of extra oil while remaining crispy. I tried some different dipping sauces for the wantons and my two favorite were ranch dressing and sweet and sour sauce. Although this recipe is somewhat time consuming, the end result is well worth it. Not only that, but with this basic recipe you could make dozens of different variations to suite your tastes. Simply change ingredients in the filing or maybe just the sauces and see what tasty creation you can come up with.
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