Guest Blog: Veggie Rangoons

Today I bring you a guest blog post from a college student in Austin. Joseph Ver is not only learning lessons in the classroom, but he’s learning his way around the kitchen. Without further ado, here he is:

I can give you a long list of my grievances in having to live in dorm conditions, from loud running and screaming in the middle of the night to my heightened mysophobia, but I feel the winner of the worst reason to live in a dorm is the lack of kitchen. I remember dorm shopping with my mother. I was excited to buy skillets and cutting boards, which is possibly a strange thing for a college bound guy to be excited about. Imagine the tears I shed when I found out that the kitchen was on the fourth floor. Nevertheless, I did try to cook tofu curry on the first week of school. It was a disaster to say the least, and successfully kept me away from that kitchen for the rest of the year.

Fast forward to today, a few semesters later, and I am now living in an on-campus apartment. Sure, I still have to hear my loud peers in the parking lot during thirsty Thursdays, but at least I now have a kitchen to myself (and a roommate). Maybe I should have prefaced this post by saying that I have little to no culinary experience. My training has consisted of helping my Filipino mother cook dinner, experimenting with eggs, watching cooking shows on PBS and the Food Network, and drawing inspiration from religiously watching Top Chef. To say the least, I’m a scrappy cook. I’ll find and follow recipes and add my own little twists.

Starting from the beginning of this school year, I’ve tried my hand at mashed potatoes, chicken teriyaki tacos, mapo doufu, French toast with my very own egg bread, and chicken tikka masala among many other dishes. You can probably tell that I cook a lot of Asian inspired dishes. I think my proudest moment actually stemmed from having to salvage vegetables. Now, I’m stereotypical poor college student on a strict budget. Throwing away food does not make me happy in the least bit.

Having bought a bunch of vegetables the week before, I remembered that I had to eat my spare broccoli and asparagus ASAP before it truly went bad. I wanted something more exciting than steamed vegetables, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but merely something I wasn’t in the mood for at the time. I had bought wonton wrappers and a block of cream cheese when I realized that I could make crab rangoon. Having learned how to make this simple Chinese-American restaurant staple a few years ago at an Asian Festival back in San Antonio, I decided to do my own vegetarian rendition of it with a twist. (Keep in mind that this was me throwing things from the fridge together, so ingredients are approximate and rather spontaneous)

Broccoli and Cheese Rangoons

Ingredients:

-A pack of wonton wrappers (Found in an oriental store, but your local supermarket may have them)
-A block (16 oz.) of cream cheese
-A head of broccoli, chopped up into very small pieces
-Three sprigs of finely sliced green onion
-Cooking oil for deep frying
-Salt and pepper to taste
Optional:
-Finely chopped asparagus
-Finely sliced sundried tomatoes
-Finely chopped up of any vegetable that you think would fit in a small pocket of fried goodness

Directions:

This recipe is very simple. Just soften some cream cheese in room temperature, place it in a bowl and mix in all of your veggies nicely.
Now, there are many ways you can wrap the wonton wrapper. The best way is to put around a tablespoon of filling into your wanton wrapper, and fold it diagonally into a little triangle. Seal the wrapper with water.
guest_rangoon_590_390
I don’t have a deep fryer, so instead I just put a considerable amount of cooking oil into my wok and fried it that way.
guest_rangoon_pan
Be afraid of getting hit by crackling oil- it really hurts!

It’s really easy to tell when they’re finished. It’s not like you have to worry about having the filling uncooked and getting sick since it’s merely cream cheese. Go ahead and place them on a plate with a paper towel to cool and enjoy! (One looks like a tiny egg roll, hehe)
guest_rangoon_plate_590_390
Once again, this is a really simple recipe and thing to make and my main point for making it was to salvage vegetables that were going to end up in the trash in a few days. Are there any other recipes that you make on the fly because you want to save certain ingredients? Let me know!

Joseph Ver is an SEO intern at SpareFoot.com. He attends Saint Edward’s University in Austin, TX and, aside from cooking, loves watching reality shows (Top Chef, Project Runway, Survivor) and befriending various people on the bus. He also blogs when he actually remembers that he has one right here.

Would you like to be a guest blogger? Email emily@thethreebiterule for more details!

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