Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shrimp and Avocado Rangoons with Grapefruit Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce

CALLING ALL AVOCADO LOVERS!! Hold onto your socks because they're about to get knocked off.

A couple weeks ago, I heard about this recipe contest: The Adaptable Avocado Challenge put on by Avocados From Mexico . The challenge: Come up with an avocado recipe that is new and different. No cilantro. No guacamole. No Mexican food (except avocados from Mexico, of course).  

One thought blazed through my head: ACCEPT THIS CHALLENGE.

For both Hubs and I , avocados are our "Desert Island" food. I would estimate we eat, oh, about a barn-full every year. So we worked on this recipe together. Hubs has a bright and daring palate. He's the dressing and marinade man in the house. My flavors are more feminine. I like to take quality ingredients, and amplify their inherent flavor. When our forces combine in the kitchen, it's usually a winning combination. 

I elevated the avocado flavor in these rangoons with a little soy, a kiss of fresh ginger, and the right amount of salt and white pepper. Bites of briny shrimp add a toothsome texture to the rich, creamy filling. Hubs jazzed up our first attempt with the addition of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice in this easy and delicious sweet and sour sauce. He also suggested a bit of wasabi in the filling. I fretted over the addition of such a strong flavor. This recipe needed to be an homage to our beloved avocado. Would it overpower? But I've learned to trust his ideas when it comes to creating flavor profiles, so I gave it a shot. WOW. You'd never know it's there, but the subtle undertone of horseradish makes magic in your mouth. Put that filling into a bubbly-crisp wonton skin, and add the zing of a sweet-sour-bitter-salty dipping sauce. Yep. It's there. After 3 re-tests to tweak the flavor balance, this is a blue-ribbon recipe. I hope the judges agree... 

So, without further adieu, I present to you a Ginz and Hubs Production (wish us luck!):

Shrimp and Avocado Rangoons with Grapefruit Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce
(a full batch makes 35-40 rangoons)

2 medium, fully ripened Hass Avocados from Mexico (about 1 cup mashed)
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
1 - 12 ounce package wonton wrappers
1 egg white
6 cups oil for frying (canola, peanut, or vegetable)
Grapefruit Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce (recipe below)

You will need a pastry brush and a candy/deep-fry thermometer.

In a small bowl, combine diced shrimp with ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, kosher salt, white pepper, and wasabi paste. Stir to combine and set aside.  

Dice the avocados, and in another small bowl mash with a fork or potato masher. A little lumpy is good. Add to shrimp mixture and stir to combine.

Prepare a clean workspace on which to build rangoons. Place eggwhite in a small bowl and have a pastry brush handy. Place wonton skins under a damp towel so they remain pliable. Working in batches of 4, brush wonton skins with a thin sheen of egg white using pastry brush.

Place 1 1/2 teaspoons filling in the center of each wonton.

Fold crosswise into a triangle and gently press the edges to seal. Bring the two outermost corners together and pinch to seal. If necessary, use a dab of eggwhite as "glue".

On stovetop, pour oil into a heavy 5-quart pot, and clip candy thermometer to edge of pot. Tip: Make sure everything is bone-dry; water makes hot oil splatter and pop.The base of the thermometer should be submerged but not touching the bottom of the pot.  Watch the temperature closely. When it reaches about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, reduce the heat to medium. Bring oil to 325 degrees. Working in batches, add about 8 wontons to the oil. Fry for 3 minutes, at 325, flipping halfway through.

 Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper bag or paper towels.

Wontons can be held in a warm oven until all are ready to serve. Serve hot, with Grapefruit Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce.

Grapefruit Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce
(makes about 2 cups)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes
3 - 1/4 inch-thick slices fresh ginger root (quarter-sized coins)
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Whisk to combine. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside. Remove ginger coins before serving.


Kristi@Ja Cie Kocham said...

I am a die hard avocado lover! I seriously can mash them and eat them from a bowl. Your rangoons look unbelievable!! I am bookmarking this right now :)

Trix said...

You could have brought this also for the International Dumpling Incident Party, they would have been perfect!!

Margie said...

can't wait to try them and good luck in the contest!

Kathy Gori said...


bunkycooks said...

Interesting flavors. These look tasty!

Anonymous said...

These sound fantastic, Ginny.
Hope you knock their shoes AND socks off in that contest!
(Noah's Aunt) Pat in Belgium

Brie: Le Grand Fromage said...

very interesting! i will definitely have to try this!

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

These are extra special with the grapefruit dipping sauce!

Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopstsicks said...

Now I could get down on these rangoons. Love the ginger/avocado combo.

Look forward to peeping more out more recipes.

Linda's Yummies said...

Yum! I bet they taste really good. Great apps to make.

Lia Huber said...

Holy shmokes does this look good! Love the idea of a grapefruit dipping sauce too ... I'd say it's a winner.

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