Crab rangoons are my weakness…. There is nothing better than cheesy, ooey goodness inside a crispy fried dough. It is certainly a cheat food because all that saturated fat should only be consumed once in a while. I don’t typically make them at home because I don’t like to fry at home, so I decided to make a baked version of crab rangoons in not wonton wrappers, but in a flaky crescent dough. I experimented with biscuit dough, but preferred the texture of crescent dough.
BEWARE. These are extremely addicting and I could not stop eating these after I made them. Please have friends around so they can eat some before you eat them all!!
Crab Rangoon Bombs
yield: 10 bombs
- 1 can crescent dough
- 6 oz. chopped imitations crab meat
- 6 oz. softened full-fat cream cheese or neufchatel
- 1/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 tbsp. chopped green onions
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Furikake or Japanese rice seasoning for garnishing (optional, but highly recommend)
- 1 beaten egg or 1 tsp. melted butter for egg/butter wash (optional)
- In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, crab meat, mozzarella, green onions, 1 tbsp Furikake, and chopped green onions. Set the bowl aside.
- Roll out the crescent dough and press on the perforated lines so that the dough is one entire piece of dough. Cut the dough into 10 equal squares and set aside.
- Spoon 1 1/2-2 tbsp. of filling into the crescent dough and seal edges in the center so that you have a ball in your hand. Continue until all 10 are completely stuffed.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. and spray a baking pan with non-stick spray.
- Optional: Use a pastry brush and brush the egg wash or melted butter on the balls and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp. of Furikake seasoning.
- Place bombs onto the baking sheet, about 1 1/2 in. apart since they will expand. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before eating.
The bombs taste best when fresh out of the oven; when the cheese is gooey and the crust is flaky and warm. Beware of burning your tongue though! I may or may not have waited long enough for them to slightly cool and may have regretted my decision….
One of my favorite things to make for parties or hang-outs are pinwheels, made from canned biscuit or croissant dough. I prefer croissant dough because it is more flaky, but both are great options. You can put anything into your pinwheels, from cheese, meats, to nutella and nut spreads… it’s one of those recipes where you can’t go wrong. For a movie night with my friends, I decided to make a cream and onion filling since I really need to grocery shop and some of my friends are vegetarian. As always, the recipe was divine and I am excited to share it with you all!
Cheesy Cream & Onion Pinwheels
yield: 10-12 pinwheels
- 1 can croissant dough
- 4 oz. softened cream cheese (1/2 of a whole bar)
- 1/3 c. shredded cheese of choice (I used mozzarella)
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 3 slices turkey/ham
- 1/4 c. chopped caramelized or browned onions
- chopped green onions for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
- Open the can or croissant dough and unroll the entire dough without breaking off at any of the perforated points. Seal the perforated lines together so that the dough is one complete sheet.
- In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except turkey/ham and use a spoon to spread onto the entire dough.
- Lay the deli meat on top of the spread.
- Roll up the dough tightly and slice into 1 cm. thick pieces.
- Place onto the cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Once done baking, let it cool for 5 minutes and serve immediately. I served them with a side of honey dijon mustard but the pinwheel have tons of flavor on its own.
These are beyond delicious and so simple to make. I can honestly eat them all in one sitting as I watch Netflix, but this is a very decadent treat that should be eaten on special occasions only! Feel free to double or triple the recipe for mass production.
Who doesn’t like pasta? It’s practically the noodle version of pizza, and if you dislike pizza, you should go get your tastebuds checked… like right now. Yikes! That was totally rude and I’m joking, but seriously!! As an Italian food lover, I prefer pasta over pizza in that the varieties of noodles and sauces are infinite. The Italians utilize different ingredients to create divers colors, flavors, and shapes of pasta and I am beginning to explore the world of noodles, by making them by hand.
I’ve only eaten handmade pasta noodles a few times, with my favorite, so far, being Patrizi’s , a hole in the wall restaurant in Austin, Texas. Handmade noodles are a game-changer. I disliked splurging on them because it’ll cost about $5-6 more and my mentality is driven by value. Thoughts in my mind may look like: “Buy store brand; same quality but cheaper” OR “why go to that restaurant when you get more bang for your buck at this one”. I balance value and quality, but when it comes to pasta, I have indeed concluded that handmade, fresh pasta is worth the extra bucks. Why? Well, for a few reasons that I shall note below:
1.) It’s chewy and tender, considering that it contains eggs and has a higher moisture content.
2.) It has more flavor because it absorbs sauces better and has a rougher texture that’ll trap sauces and seasonings in its minute crevices.
3.) It’s better for you; dried pasta comes with additives and preservatives to fortify the product. While the fortifiers aren’t fully harmful, I like to steer away from additives as much as possible.
Storing dried pasta in the pantry is difficult and it often gets chewed up by flour weevils. I no longer have any more dry pasta in the house, and am ready to make fresh pasta from now on. It’s cheap, simple, and the only tool you need is a wooden rolling pin, which I got from Chinatown for $1 🙂 Promise me, handmade pasta will change the way you eat Italian food.
Handmade Ricotta Ravioli
yield: 20 ravioli
- 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour PLUS approx 1/4 c. more for kneading and flouring surface
- 1 egg
- 1/4 c. lukewarm water
- 1/4 tsp egg
- 3/4 c. ricotta cheese
- 1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 egg
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- pinch pepper
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning OR 1 tsp fresh chopped Italian herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme)
- pinch nutmeg
- 1/8 c. frozen spinach, thawed + pat dry
- To make the filling, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until incorporated.
- To make the dough, pour all the flour onto a clean surface and make a well. Crack the egg into it and beat with a fork, carefully working in the flour gradually.
- Once the mixture is chunky and dry, gradually pour in the warm water and combine the mixture with your hands. Keep working all the water in until the dough is sticky and incorporated.
- Gradually dust board with additional flour, and kneading dough ball at the same time. Continue kneading for about 8 minutes until the dough is sticky, but not too sticky that it sticks to your fingers.
- Wrap in clingwrap or place in a bowl with a damp paper towel and let dough rest for 15 minutes.
- Once dough has rested, lightly flour a surface and cut the dough in half. Making the dough can be done in many ways, but due to limited counter space, this is how I did it: Roll one half of the dough using a floured rolling pin into a long rectangle, until it is thin, almost enough so the dough is see through, but just ALMOST. We don’t want the dough to break. Carefully remove the dough and place on piece of parchment paper of non-stick baking mat.
- Lightly flour the work surface again and roll out the second half of dough in the same manner and size. Dollop the filling, about 1 tsp onto the dough as shown below. Once finished, place the second rolled out dough sheet and place over the first dough and its filling. Seal the edges with your fingers. Seal tightly so the filling does not come out.
- Using a knife, pizza cutter, or a cucumber slicer (like I used), cut the edges of the ravioli to form the squares. Set the ravioli on a floured on non-stick surface and allow them to dry for 45 min. Excess dough can be re-rolled to make more ravioli, or thrown in as pasta.
- Once ravioli has been set out for 45 min, boil a pot of water with 1/2 tsp salt. When the water is boiling, throw in the ravioli and let them cook for approx. 6-8 min, or until dough becomes see through.
- Serve the ravioli fresh with your favorite pasta sauce and fresh herbs. I made a crema rosa sauce, which I will be posting a recipe tomorrow! Watch out for it:)
When Vegans say nutritional yeast “really does taste like cheese!” I always mutter mmhmm under my breath and roll my eyes a bit. Cheese is cheese. I may be the biggest cheese lover in the world, so I WILL know if I am eating fake cheese. So the thought of some orange flaky bits being able to replace the gooey goodness of cheese seems too good to be true, but was it too good to be true?
OK. Yes. It was too good to be true and the nutritional yeast vegan queso was simply not up to par as the traditional non-vegan queso, but I do have to say it comes in a close second and serves as a wonderful guilt-free snack. I’ll still relish on my favorite Torchy’s show-stopping queso here and there, but nutritional yeast queso is something I’m going to eat pretty regularly since it actually contains the good stuff. The good stuff, you know? The B-vitamins, folate, zinc, and all other immune-boosting nutrients that trump all the saturated fat in real cheese.
Vegan Cheese (No Cashews)
yield: approx. 2 cups
- 1 1/2 c. potatoes diced
- 1 c. carrots diced
- 1/3 c. water
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar or lemon
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika (optional)
- pinch of pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder (opt.)
- 1/4 tsp onion powder (opt.)
- 1/4 c. nutritional yeast flakes
- Boil the potatoes and carrots together until soft and tender. I like to boil on high, turn the water off and let the remaining heat soften the vegetables to save energy!
- Drain the vegetables and let them cool a bit but not completely.
- Place the vegetables in a high-speed blender along with all other ingredients and blend until completely smooth and creamy.
- The texture should greatly resemble queso. It should be gooey and melty.
look at that queso!
I’m not a food chemist so I don’t understand how this vegan queso gets its gooey consistency, but the resemblance with traditional queso is uncanny. Also, if you’d like to spice up your queso, by all means you may add a roasted pepper!! Now the holidays have rolled around, this is a great dip for parties so go ahead and deceive your friends!