Friday, March 23, 2012

Baked Artichoke Wontons, Julia Meet Julia, and Move It

I'm cooking for three parties this weekend...  two of which are within 6 hours of each other on Saturday.  All of them are quite small events, probably 15 or so people.  ((It's funny of how my idea of small has changed--  a couple of years ago the idea of cooking for 15 would have scared me.  Now 75 doesn't even give me pause.))  The first of the three was yesterday and for the appetizer, we had Baked Artichoke Wontons.

Appetizers are notorious for being fat-bombs...  It seems everything that is typically available is either fried, dripping with cheese, or fried and dripping with cheese.  The default alternative is usually a veggie tray that gets completely ignored.  These are a good alternative and they look like you really did something, when actually they are pretty easy.

What you need:

EVOO  ((That's extra virgin olive oil to you))
24 round wonton wrappers ((you can find these in the produce section of the grocery store typically))
1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts in water, drained and coarsely chopped
1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
2 oz mozzarella cheese, grated  ((like a handful))
1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated  ((like half a handful))
1 lemon  ((for zest... don't be scared, hang on))
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup fat-free mayo
1 garlic clove, pressed

Do it:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Take the wonton wrappers and brush them lightly with olive oil using a basting brush on one side.  Place the wrapper into a mini muffin tip, pressing it down into the cup part evenly with the oiled side up.  Bake for 6 minutes or just until edges turn a light golden brown.  Remove to a rack.

In a large-ish bowl, combine the artichoke hearts, red pepper, mozzarella, Parmesan, parsley, mayo, and garlic.  Zest a little bit of lemon over the top, maybe 1/4 of a teaspoon is all you need.  ((TIP:  I've done this.  I've seen other people do it.  To zest a lemon, just take a very fine grater or microplaner and run it LIGHTLY over the outside of the lemon.  You want the yellow stuff, NOT the white stuff.  The white stuff is bitter and will make whatever you are scraping it on taste horrible.  Use a light touch and a little goes a long way.))  Combine well.  ((I made this concoction ahead of time and refrigerated it for about two hours.  I think it turned out better than the time I did it immediately before, but I have a bias that I think everything is better after it sits for a while so there you have it.))

Using a spoon, add a small scoop to each of the wonton wrappers.  Sprinkle with a little more Parmesan.

Bake for 8 minutes or until edges are golden brown and the cheese is starting to melt. Remove from pan and serve immediately.

Not the greatest picture, but I was in a hurry.  Sorry.
I adapted this recipe very slightly from my pals at Pampered Chef.

Nutritional Info:  Win!  1 cup contains approximately 60 calories and 3 grams of fat.  Just don't eat the whole pan and you're good.


Look at the great gift my friend Amy, aka the host of the party, got me!

I wonder if she ever went by Jules?
I can't wait to dig into both of these.  But not today...

Today is Operation Move Deb and Not Kill My Back or Anyone Else.  Moving is so fracking stressful, especially for someone with an obsessive-compulsive-clean-freak bent.  Add in that the movers will be there sometime after they finish their other job and no, they don't know when that is and hopefully they can get it all done today.  Argh.  I can already sense this is going to be a bit of a long day, especially because both Deb and I are morning people who would much rather get things going basically right NOW.  ((It's 5 am and I've been up for an hour.  This is not unusual.))  So anyway, wish me luck and post bail if necessary!


  1. Good luck! Can't wait to try those tomorrow.

  2. They are really good. I'm thinking of a way to add crab to them too, but not for tomorrow, sadly. And WAIT until you have the dessert! So, so good.

  3. Color me jealous! I so WANT Mastering the Art of French Cooking!

    1. I'm excited to try some things! Deciding where to start will be the hard part...

  4. What a great gift!! I haven't read either of those, but I saw the movie and loved it. Definitely rings true for food bloggers. :)