Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cook: Guacamole Wonton Salad

After a hard night drinking shots of Shirley Temples and Dr. Pepper, J-Fur loves to start reminiscing about all the places she has traveled and the adventures that took place while she was there. Her most recent story involved a steaming pot of queso fundido, bogus taxi drivers and cops with semi-automatic weapons. Sometimes I swear she is making this stuff up. I'm told that queso fundido is a communal treat in Northern Mexico. It consists of Mexican cheese (typically Oaxaca or Chihuahua) that has been either broiled or flambeed. The cheese, which is traditionally topped with chorizo, is served while still hot. It is usually spooned onto tortillas and then eaten. 

Slightly jealous of her story, I wanted to create my own queso fundido adventure. But since queso fundido is hardly vegan (and most times not even vegetarian) I decided to replace the cheese with a giant bowl of guacamole. So instead of queso fundido, we had an evening of guaco fundido. To make things even more adventurous I invited our neighbors, the dudes with the fishing poles and machetes, to stand and watch us eat. Unfortunately, we ran out of tortilla before the guacamole was cashed, and our machete toting neighbors wouldn't let us leave to get more (or was it that I was already in for the night, wearing my alligator pajamas and slippers, and had no desire to go and purchase more?). A search of the pantry turned up some wonton wrappers and I figured they were....who am I kidding. They weren't even close. But, like I said in the beginning, I wanted an adventure. So, using the wonton wrappers as is, we dipped them into the guacamole. Terrible. But I felt enough of a tickle on my tastebuds that I was inspired to continue pursuing a guacamole and wonton pairing. That's how this salad came into existence.

Guacamole Wonton Salad

For the guacamole:
-3 avocados
-juice of one lime
-1 clove of garlic, pressed
-quarter of an onion, small dice

For the dressing:
-2 1/2 Tbs. Maple Syrup
-2 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar
-3 Tbs. Lime Juice
-2 small garlic cloves, pressed

For the wontons:
-wonton wrappers
-bowl of water
-peanut sauce (for frying)

For the salad:
-mixed greens
-1/2 pint cherry tomatos, quartered
-1 cup black beans

For the drizzle:
-vegan ranch dressing
-hot sauce

1. For the guacamole: Place the avocados in a bowl and mash them with a fork or potato masher. Add the garlic, onions, lime juice and salt to taste. Stir until the flavors have meshed together. Spread the guacamole on the bottom of a square, glass baking dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap touches the top of the guacamole. Place in the freezer for an hour.

2. For the dressing: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until combined.

3. For the salad: Mix the greens and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl. Cover with the desired amount of dressing. Add the black beans on top and toss until the dressing has been mixed in. Set aside.

4. For the wontons: Heat about an inch of oil in a pan over medium heat. When it shimmers, the oil is ready for frying. Take about a tablespoon of guacamole (should be stiff but not completely frozen) and place in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Dip your finger in water and run it along the edges of the wrapper. Fold diagonally overtop of the guacamole and seal the wonton wrapper (use additional water if necessary). Place four wontons in the oil at a time. Fry for a minute and forty five seconds on the first side. Flip and fry for an additional minute on the other side. Using tongs, pull the wontons out of the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat until all the guacamole has been used.

5. For the drizzle: Mix some vegan ranch dressing with a teaspoon (or more) of hot sauce.

6. To arrange the salad: Spoon the mixed green mixture onto a plate. Top with the guacamole wontons. Drizzle the vegan ranch mixture overtop. Grab your creepiest neighbors and make it a party!

This dish parties like this.