You've heard the saying, You never get a second chance to make a first impression. No wonder I'm always stressed when I have to prepare appetizers. Apps create excitement and anticipation, as they set the stage -- with or without drinks -- for the occasion to follow. When I serve the same old same old dips and chips, my guests are probably wondering if they're in for a ho-hum dinner. The solution to the pre-dinner blahs is a repertoire of easy, yet impressive, appetizers, like these samosa wontons. The dip is store-bought mango chutney, and the wontons are baked, not fried, so nobody starts the meal with a mouth full of grease. The traditional mashed potato and pea filling gets a kick from Madras (yellow) curry paste, which is easy to find in the Indian foods aisle of many supermarkets. You can make the filling ahead and refrigerate it. Or, make and bake the wontons ahead, and freeze them to reheat at party time. Either way, these apps, easy on the cook, will surely be a hit for your holiday entertaining.
Baked samosa wontons with potato, pea and broccoli filling
This recipe first appeared in Meatless Holidays: Fun, festive recipes for vegetarians, vegans, and the people who cook for them. Makes 30-36 samosas, which can be made ahead, frozen, and reheated in a 350°F oven.
1/2 lb potatoes, any type, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp Madras curry paste, or more to taste
1/4 lb broccoli florets or peeled stems, finely diced
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1/2 cup frozen peas
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup unsalted, roasted cashew nuts, chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro (optional)
1 package wonton skins (you'll have some left over)
Mango chutney, for serving
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with Silpats (silicone mats) or parchment paper, and set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring one quart of water to boil. Add potatoes, and cook 6-8 minutes or until very tender when pierced with a knife; remove from heat, drain, and place in a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, mash the potatoes to a fairly smooth consistency.
In a nonstick medium frying pan, heat olive oil, and sauté onions and curry paste for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until the mixture is fragrant and the onion golden. Add broccoli and agave nectar. Cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes, until the broccoli is tender. Stir in the peas, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Add this mixture to the mashed potatoes, along with the cashews and cilantro. Let cool for 10 minutes. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. (Filling can be made ahead to this point, and refrigerated.)
Remove the wonton skins from the wrapper, and set a small bowl of water on the counter top. Working with one at a time, paint the edges of the wonton skin with water. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each wonton. Fold in half to form a triangle, and press firmly all around to seal.
Place the wontons on the baking sheets (they can be quite close together).
Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve with mango chutney as a dip.
More savory and sweet fillings for wonton skins:
Red curry shrimp dumplings
Apple crisp wontons
Asparagus wonton wraps with hoisin, wasabi or mustard filling
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Korma curry, from Delicious Days
Assam curry chicken, from House of Annie
Lamb curry with cauliflower and double cilantro, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Quick and easy curried tofu, broccoli and mushroom soup, from Soup Chick
Thai yellow curry with beef and potatoes, from Viet World Kitchen
Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.