I might be getting the hang of Battle: Yum after all. Then again, I might have just got lucky. For the past two weeks I teased the wife who went ‘classic’ style with the challenge ingredients, while I went outside the box.
My original idea was to go “surf and turf” with an elegant presentation. But that put me in the box. Then I thought I would go with some form of pasta/scallop dish, but once again, I felt trapped. The thought of pasta put me on the right track, however, and my mind wandered to the wonton wrappers that were in the refrigerator. Ah hah! Just what my entire family likes to eat. But to be truthful, I didn’t want to get all the fillers that would make a good wonton. I knew that we had cream cheese, so the idea of the rangoon came into clarity. The tangerine and honey were easy components for a sauce for the rangoons. That left the pistachios… What to do, what to do? I went back to the original idea of “surf and turf”–since I was making appetizers with the rangoons, I thought I could accompany them with bite-sized pieces of crusted meat.
So how did it go over?
Well, the wife was impressed that I came up with idea of rangoons. She liked the crusted meat as well. However, to her, the sauce was too savory for the rangoons. It didn’t retain the citrus flavor and she thought the ginger and sesame took over. She got some regular duck sauce to eat with the rangoons. The wife DID like the sauce paired with the meat, though. Both the daughter and the son agreed. We had 20 rangoons, and 20-25 pieces of meat to share between us. The best and only way to finish this story is to say that there weren’t any leftovers.
Pistachio-Crusted Beef and Scallop Rangoons with Tangerine-Ginger Sauce
- 1/4 lb bay scallops (20 pieces)
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 20 wonton wrappers
- Oil for frying
Heat oil in deep fryer while preparing the wontons. Dry off scallops with paper towels. Place one scallop in the center of one wonton wrapper, then top it with 1/2 teaspoon of cream cheese. Wet the edges of the wonton skin with water and bring all four corners to the center. Press the sites into the center to form a pouch. Press the edges to seal them tightly. Once all the wontons are prepared, fry them in oil for 3-4 minutes until the dumplings are a light brown color and crispy.
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 tangerine, juiced
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
- 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with cold water
In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add shallots and sweat them until they are soft. When shallots are soft, add tangerine juice, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger. Whisk until well-combined and let cook over low heat. Add cornstarch paste and heat until thickened.
Pistachio Crusted Beef
- 1 lb cubed beef
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup ground pistachios
In a frying pan, heat oil very hot. Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Cut the beef into 1/2"-thick bite-sized pieces. Dip one side of each piece of beef in the egg, then into the ground pistachios. Place the meat, pistachio side down, into the hot pan. After two minutes, turn the meat over, and cook two more minutes for medium rare. Serve on toothpicks.