Friday, May 15, 2009


I started making these wontons when I was in 7th grade. That was a very long time ago :) It started out as a foreign foods project for Social Studies. I ended up with China. So I went to the library, and started looking through all the cookbooks for Chinese cooking. I managed to find one that looked interesting. The cover was yellow, with red writing. I don't remember what the name of the cookbook was though, otherwise I'd probably be trying to find it now.

So, I looked through the recipes, looking for something that wasn't too "weird" or called for strange ingredients I'd never heard of. The first one I found was the recipe for Wontons. They looked relatively easy, and we had most of the ingredients available. The one thing we couldn't find was Chinese Parsley, which I found out many years later was actually cilantro. But, I hate cilantro so I stuck with our substitute of regular parsley.

Over the years I've tweaked this recipe to the point where I really don't even measure anything, I just add it until things look right, or smell right, or whatever pleases me that day. The liquids usually stay roughly the same (although I'll add a few extra squirts of soy sauce usually), but the dry ingredients usually get upped a bit, especially the ginger root. I love ginger root, and add probably about 10 times what the recipe calls for. It makes these taste soooooo good.

So, without further ado, here are my instructions for making some very good wontons. I will share the original amounts, but you can always feel free to increase or decrease whatever you like.


1 whole boneless chicken breast, cooked
2 scallions
1 thin slice ginger root
¼ cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon oil
1 pkg. wonton wrappers or egg roll wrappers cut into 4ths.
1 egg, lightly beaten
Oil for frying

Mince and mix the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. In a small bowl mix the remaining ingredients (excluding the wrappers and the egg). Combine both mixtures and allow to stand for 30 minutes. Place a teaspoon of mixture in the center of a wonton wrapper. Using a chopstick or the back of a spoon, place a small amount of egg around two edges of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half, touching the sides with egg to the sides without egg, forming a triangle. The egg will seal the edges shut. Deep fry in oil until a deep golden brown. Serve warm or chilled.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lemon Poppyseed Almond Brioche "Bostock", Continued

Well, I've got it baking right now, and so far, it looks pretty good. I had trouble with the dough though. Being that it's such a wet dough, it does make it difficult to work with. I think I may have rolled it a bit thin, too. So when I put it in the freezer, it ended up spreading out quite a bit. So I just sort of rolled it over on itself, which will make for some interesting swirls... though I don't think they'll be well defined at all. Even after a 20 minute set in the freezer, they were still pretty loose. However, they're looking good, and baking away.

Now, for this recipe, I ended up making a homemade almond paste. I love the texture of homemade almond paste much more than the storebought stuff, and it's really pretty easy. Here is the recipe I use:

Homemade Almond Paste
• 1-1/2 cups blanched almonds
• 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
• 1 egg white
• 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
Place almonds in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar, egg white, extract and salt; cover and process until smooth.
Divide almond paste into 1/2-cup portions; place in airtight containers. Refrigerate for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 3 months. Yield: 1-1/2 cups.

I then pulled out 1/2 cup for the Bostock recipe. Which is starting to overflow in the pan by the way.... I think I had too much dough. I need to work on those measurements again... It does smell good though.
40 minutes didn't seem to be long enough.... when I turned it over there was still some raw dough on the bottom. So, back in the oven for another 10 minutes. We'll see how that goes...

And another 5 minutes just because I still don't think it looked quite cooked (thought much closer than last time...)

Mmmm... much better. And pretty. This looks so pretty with the poppyseed in the dough. This turned out very well :) I can taste the almond cream mixed in throughout the dough, and the poppyseeds, like I said, make it so pretty. And then there are the yummy sugary almonds on top... Mmmmm! I will definitely try this again soon. Hopefully with actual raw almonds for the almond paste instead of roasted and salted (a little purchasing mishap). It's still good though :) Maybe I'll even break down and use that storebought almond paste just to see how well it works.

Lemon Poppyseed Almond Brioche "Bostock"

I have been reading through Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes A Day for a few weeks now, and I just love the book. The concept of minimal input for maximum output is just great. My husband and children love having fresh bread at almost every dinner, and I love trying different ways to vent the bread. I am planning on using the next batch of dough to teach my two oldest how to mix the dough and how to shape the dough when it's ready to be baked. It's so easy they really can do it, and I know they will be happy to help with the meals a little more.

So anyway, as well as reading the book (which you really must buy), I have been following their website. There have been some very good ideas of how to make variations of their doughs, with different recipes using already made bread, as well as variations on the doughs themselves. The most recent one was a recipe for a Lemon Poppyseed Brioche dough, which was used to make little "muffins". It didn't turn out too bad, but I'm a muffin girl when it comes to lemon poppyseed, so it seemed a bit odd to me. It tasted good, don't get me wrong, but the texture just didn't seem right with the flavor.

So, I remembered reading in the book about an Almond Brioche "Bostock". Looking through the book, I found it. A simple brioche dough (which in this book, really is simple), rolled up with an almond cream, cut up like cinnamon rolls, topped with more almonds, and baked. I even found this example while searching for an image of what Bostock should look like, and it looks very tasty.

Now, onto today. I have a bucket of Lemon Poppyseed Brioche dough that needs to be used, and no immediate desire to make more "muffins". Enter Lemon Poppyseed Almond Brioche "Bostock". Using the dough from this variation on the website, filling it with the almond cream, changing everything from orange to lemon, I hope will produce something tasty and pretty.

I will be making this recipe today, and posting it this afternoon.