Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

By Stacie Morgan, May 26, 2016, Recipes

Welcome to Cooking with Less Kilowatts! There is nothing better than sitting down in the evening to enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal. But did you know that changing what you do in the kitchen can make an impact on your monthly electricity bill? Each week, I will help you find ways to cook using less energy while still getting a satisfying, flavorful meal. Trust me – I won’t just tell you to do everything in the microwave. I’ll help you cut down on your energy consumption.

This week’s low energy use recipe is a delicious spicy pimento cheese spread and a variety of wonton-related serving option.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

It’s a taste sensation in dip form!

Think of this dish as a riff off of the classic crab and cream cheese stuffed wontons you find on many Americanized Chinese takeout menus. I wrote this recipe to create an appetizer easily eaten by hand for a Memorial Day party. This includes loading the spread on top of flash-fried wonton strips or stuffing it into wontons and frying them up.

The cheese spread is loaded with fresh sliced green onions, sweet pickled jalapenos, roasted red bell peppers, pimentos, crumbled bits of real bacon, and four different cheeses. The seasoning mixture really complements each component, while a creamy Sriracha dressing ties everything together.

To be sure, you shouldn’t fry your food all the time, but it’s great for a party every now and then. And deep frying is a good low energy use option because of the short cooking time! These stuffed wontons fry up to a beautiful golden brown color in about 60 seconds, and the sheets alone fry up in 20 to 30 seconds.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

Just look at that cheesy, spicy goodness!

There is enough pimento cheese spread in this recipe to fill about 3 dozen wontons and then still top the rest from the package. Most wonton dough packages come with 50 wonton wrappers so that is the perfect amount for this recipe.

The spice level on the finished wontons is about medium, so if you prefer a milder version, use less of the jalapenos and cut the Sriracha measurement to ½ tablespoon instead of 1 tablespoon.

If you want to completely skip the frying portion for a completely energy-free recipe, just skip the wontons and serve a platter of bread, toasted crostini pieces, carrots, celery, pita chips, crackers, or any other crunchy element you want to pair with this spread.

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

Ingredients:

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

Not a bad collection of ingredients, if I do say so myself.

  • 1 c. Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 c. Mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¾ c. Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ c. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 6 oz. Cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ c. Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. Sriracha
  • ¼ c. Real bacon bits
  • ¼ c. Pimentos, diced
  • ¼ c. Roasted red pepper, diced (from jar)
  • ¼ c. Sweet and spicy pickled jalapenos, diced
  • ½ c. Fresh green onions, thinly sliced (white and green part)
  • ½ tsp. Garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. Celery Salt
  • ½ tsp. Paprika
  • ¼ tsp. Cajun/Creole seasoning
  • 50 Wonton wrappers (premade from package)
  • Canola oil for frying

Pimento Cheese Directions:

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

Look at this color!

1) Measure out and prep ingredients as directed.

2) Combine the garlic powder, celery salt, paprika, and Cajun seasoning into a small bowl.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

Don’t be afraid of the Sriracha. It makes all the difference.

3) Add the softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, and Sriracha to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

Any dish with this much cheese is a winner in my book!

4) Combine the shredded cheeses in a large mixing bowl.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

Hooray for bacon!

5) Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the shredded cheeses. Add the bacon bits, jalapenos, pimentos, red peppers, and green onions to the cheeses.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

Get to stirring!

6) Pour the creamy sriracha dressing on top of the other ingredients and fold the spread all together.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

Who needs wontons? It’s so good you can eat it up with a spoon!

7) Refrigerate for ten minutes to cool down before stuffing wontons.

Wonton Frying Directions:

NOTE: Frying should only be completed by a grownup. 

1) Place ½ tbsp. of pimento cheese in the middle of each wonton sheet.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

Fine – I’ll show how to make the wontons.

2) Using warm water and a finger, dampen the four edges of the wrappers, and then fold the wrapper in half. Clamp the wet edges together to seal the wonton.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

Frying on your stove is only unsafe if you don’t follow the directions and/or pay attention to what you’re doing.

3) Add two inches of oil into enameled cast iron Dutch oven or any large frying safe cooking vessel. Heat oil to 375° F. Fry stuffed wontons for 50-60 seconds until golden brown. Fry the wonton sheets alone for 20-30 seconds.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

It’s super-important you make sure the wonton is sealed before you drop it into the frying vessel. This prevents spills, splashes, and burning.

I either make triangles, or I crimp up the edges to create the classic crinkled that fried wontons have. You can even stick the stuffed wontons back in the refrigerator for ten more minutes before frying to ensure the filling doesn’t melt out of the wrapper. The important step is to make sure the edges are completely closed so the filling doesn’t leak out into the hot oil. And keep an eye on the fryer to prevent overcooking!

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Pimento Cheese Wontons

FYI – I won’t be sharing these with you – they’re all mine!

Serve up the wontons with any remaining Sriracha sauce, some ranch dressing, or your favorite dipping sauce.

Happy dining!

Check in next week for another Cooking with Less Kilowatts series entry ready to help you create delicious, homemade recipes while keeping energy use and effort to a minimum!

Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan

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About 

Stacie is a Texas A&M graduate using her animal science education and passion for food to get creative in the kitchen. She previously worked in business before becoming a mom to a special little boy. She's excited to share recipes her family enjoys at home - and they may even help you save energy and be more green in the kitchen.

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