|I kinda can’t believe I made these all by myself — and it was easy!|
If you have hot plum jelly — or if you want to make hot plum jelly — might I suggest that this would be a fine thing to do with it? These are golden fried wantons, stuffed with chèvre and liberally drizzled with a sauce of said plum jelly and a few other good things.
I’m going to tell you how to make them — but first I want to share the story of how I got the recipe.
|I can’t help wanting to eat a thing that begins with a big lump of goat cheese.|
A few weeks ago, I took off on a little road trip because when I need to think, I like to drive. One of the things I needed to think about was this blog. Like, how did it happen? If you had known me just a few years ago, you would have laughed at the idea that I would want to write a blog about any kind of food. I was scared of the burners on my stove and couldn’t make much of anything without setting off the smoke alarm. (Actually, now I wonder if that’s why Stewart removed the smoke alarm from our kitchen.) Then I went plum(b) crazy for putting fruit in jars.
Still, I was puzzled. A year ago, I quit my job of fifteen years and I didn’t know what I would do next. I hoped I might do some writing. You know. Serious writing. Months passed and when I looked around, I’d become a semi-retired, forty-something-year-old woman who spent a whole lot of time making jam. Huh? It seemed like a fine time for an identity crisis. When I drove away, I felt like the blog and I . . . well, maybe we needed some space from each other.
This is Caroline. I met her about 200 miles from home, when I pulled into a farmer’s market in a small Mendocino County town called Redwood Valley. Upon seeing this market, my first thought was “Uh oh,” because it comprised four small booths and a few guys playing guitar. I almost turned around and drove away, but I’m so glad I didn’t because, lordy, this girl makes gorgeous and delicious preserves!
|Beauty. Some people have the touch.|
Caroline’s farm is called Black Dog Farm. (Now, I’m not sure why Black Dog Farm has a sign with a little chicken on it — see above — instead of a you-know-what, but I don’t care, because that is one damn cute chicken. I was trying to take the photo of Caroline and I’m all, “I want to see the chicken! I want to see the chicken!”) I lurked around her booth for as long as seemed reasonable. We got to talking, like jam people do. We talked about quince, we talked about pectin. Like that.
I asked Caroline, if I were to buy one jar from her, which should it be? She handed me the hot plum jelly and told me about this thing she’d done with it the other night. (That’s the thing pictured above and described below.) After buying the jelly and lurking a little more, I thanked her and started to walk away, but then she asked, “Do you follow the Tigress’s Can Jam at all?”
Uh. Come again?
Me: I do!
Caroline: Do you blog about it?
Me: Yeah. I have a blog called Hitchhiking to Heaven.
Caroline: No way! That’s you? I read your blog!
We started laughing and she came out from behind her table and we had a big hug. Then we really started babbling like crazy, and she pressed her last jar of Pear Cardamom Jam into my palms. A gift. I promised her I’d send something nice in return.
And that’s what happened when I tried to get away from this blog. So I’ll admit it. I love doing this. I love that doing this means I get to meet people like Caroline. And Julia. And Tigress. And Marisa. And Kate. And Audra. My goodness.
I guess I’d better get used to it.
Chèvre Fried Wontons with Hot Plum Sauce
1/2 jar hot plum jelly
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Premade wonton wrappers
8 ounces chèvre
32 ounce bottle canola oil
Mix the hot plum jelly with the chili garlic sauce and rice wine vinegar. Heat this mixture in a small saucepan on low until it’s nice and saucy.
To make the wontons, put 2 tablespoons of chèvre in each wonton wrapper, fold in half to make a triangle, use a little water to brush the seams closed, and deep fry in canola oil heated to 350F. Fry until the wontons are golden brown, crispy, and delicious looking.
Serve with sauce and garnish with scallions. Caroline says ground pork works well, too. I believe that.
Tip: You’ll probably have the best luck finding the chili garlic sauce (I used Lee Kum Kee brand) and premade wonton wrappers in a big supermarket. Think Safeway.
|Keepin’ it real . . .|