Pear and Hazelnut Wontons
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, skins removed, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 pears, pealed, cored and diced finely
- 1 -ounce Poire William (a pear eau de vie)
- 1 package 3 1/2-inch square wonton wrappers (available in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores)
- 3 cups peanut or canola oil
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
In a saute pan over medium heat, toast nuts for approximately 4 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Reserve.
In a saute pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add pears and nuts and saute for approximately 5 minutes, or until pear begins to brown. Add Poire William, let it heat for 5 seconds, then ignite with a flame. Stand back! If flame does not burn out after 10 seconds, smother with a lid. Remove from heat and let cool.
Place a small bowl of warm water beside wonton wrappers. Put a single won ton wrapper in the palm of your hand and spoon 1 teaspoon of pear mixture onto the center. Dip your finger in water and trace a circle around the pear mixture with your wet finger (water is the glue of wonton wrappers). Pinch and seal wrapper around pear mixture like a small beggar's purse. If you are not going to fry the wontons immediately, cover with a damp dishtowel and refrigerate.
Pour peanut oil into a pot or heavy skillet until it is 1-inch deep. Turn heat to medium-
high and heat oil. When you think oil is ready, drop in a tiny piece of a wonton skin. If oil sizzles immediately, you are ready to rock. If oil begins to smoke at any time, remove pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Fry as many wontons at 1 time as your skillet will accommodatewithout letting them touch. Fry or 30 seconds, or until the bottom side is golden brown. Then turn over for 15 more seconds, or until top side is the same color. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large brown paper grocery bag, or paper towels, to drain excess oil. Proceed to next batch.
Recommended beverage: Poire William
Recipe courtesy Bob Blumer