Go ahead, take one...
This past weekend I had a little get together...
When I have a get together no matter how small or how large, I must have a theme. Everything from the food and drink to decorations must be coordinated and compliment each other. Do I need therapy? Am I the only one??
That being said, my "theme" was "FALL". What with Saturday being the first day of Autumn, and it being dreary and raining not too mention chilly all day. That was the best "theme" in my mind.
So I went about creating some recipes to match my theme.
What reminds me of Fall? Pumpkins, assorted winter squashes, cinnamon, apples, cloves, maple syrup, color yellow, the color orange, rust browns, cider, bon fires, FOOTBALL, Halloween, candy, caramels, nuts, butter and candles... In other words home!!
So I created three amazing appetizers for my get together. When I put all three recipes on one post along with the pictures it was almost 4 pages long!! So I have broken the recipes up into three posts for your reading and drooling pleasure!!
These little gems will be gone the moment they take the first bite!! They are literally "a taste of Fall" in your mouth!! You have crunchy, buttery, maple, sweet, savory and spicy all in one!! TOUCHDOWN!
That's what my friends said!! Well, actually what they really said was; "OMG Didi, mmmmmmmm, oh man... don't touch that, it's mine, I got dibs"!! "Ahhhhhh", melody to my ears!!
They are filled with a sweet spicy chicken and pumpkin base, add your real maple syrup and the most unique spices that will literally have your tastebuds jumping for joy!! You can taste the savory, but the sweet and spicy ultimately will be the winning combination.
Ready for the recipe? Here we go;
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg wonton wrappers (smaller size - 4 X 4)
1-1/2 cups pumpkin / winter squash puree
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (it really makes a world of difference)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Fenugreek spice
1-1/2 tsp allspice powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (more if you want more heat, I kept it at "oh" notch)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
few cranks of black pepper
*cup of water for wetting down wonton sides*
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
dash of ground red pepper
In a small saute pan using the dry heat method, heat your ground Fenugreek spice, your allspice powder, cinnamon and finally cumin for about 1 minute or so. This will ensure that the heat will literally wake up those spices. You will know they are ready when your kitchen will be filled with the aromas of maple and cinnamon spices. Pull off of heat and immediately, transfer to a small bowl, set aside.
What is Fenugreek?? HERE. The maple flavor Fenugreek adds is next to none. But it can be extremely bitter if you use too much (trust me, I know from personal experience), so please use the lesser amount till you become familiar with it. You can certainly omit it totally and just add a few more tbsp of maple syrup.
Dice the chicken into small pieces.
In a medium frying pan over medium heat add your butter. Once melted add your chicken. Saute chicken till no longer pink.
Add your spices and saute a minute more, then add your smashed, pureed pumpkin / winter squash.
I used fresh frozen pumpkin that I had steamed till soft. You can certainly roast the pumpkin/squash if you want. You can also buy in your produce section already peeled and cubed butternut. Hey, I'm all about easy!!
Finally add your maple syrup and the basil along with your salt and a few cranks of pepper. Stir well. Taste for seasonings. Do you need more salt? Do you need more maple syrup? Set aside.
Let's start on the wontons. In a small bowl add your cup of water.
Lay out your first wonton wrapper. Using a very small pastry brush (or your fingers, I use the latter), baste all around the four corners of your wonton. This will ensure they will seal together. Place 1 tbsp or so of filling in the middle of your wrapper.
Fold over and seal. Pressing down just a little and making sure all areas have some filling. Place on sprayed aluminum foil lined baking sheet (easy clean up, hello). Continue filling wontons.
Preheat oven to 375F. In a small bowl, melt your 2 tbsp of butter in your microwave (about 30 seconds), add your 1 tbsp of maple syrup and a dash of ground red pepper. Stir till incorporated and using a pastry brush, baste the chicken bites.
Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes till golden and the edges are starting to crisp.
Remove from oven, place on pretty platter and serve.
Make sure to keep the appetizer thieves away...
I could not figure out for the life of me why the platter kept looking leaner everytime I walked into the dining room... AHA!!!!
They were giggling up a storm, but still took off with the bowl!!! The best feeling in the world!! Even Bella was in on the action!!
So make up a batch of these, they are simple and DIVINE!!!
Yield: 30-32 appetizers
Till next time!!
Dishin with Didi