I absolutely love my in-laws, and I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to say that. Not only are they a fabulous, fun group of people, they're also very good (and creative) cooks. They are definitely my sort of people. I always look forward to holidays with them, because I know the food is going to be just as fantastic as the company.
When we got together for a Labor Day cookout recently, Joe's grandma and cousin were on the same page when it came to their appetizer offerings. Joe's grandma made an incredible jalapeno popper dip, and his cousin walked in with a casserole dish full of jalapeno popper wontons, announcing, "If you want any of these you'd better get them now, because I ate five of them on the drive here." Once I tried one, I could see why: They were absolutely delicious and addictive. So addictive that I had to make my own version of them at home.
Now, I'm sure there are a lot of recipes out there for these, but here's what I did. I decided to fry my wontons rather than bake them (like Joe's cousin did), because I like a really, really crispy texture. For the filling, I used cream cheese, shredded cheddar, and fresh jalapenos, and I sprinkled the wontons with coarse salt when they were finished frying. I thought about adding bacon to the filling, but in hindsight (I can't believe I'm saying this...) I'm glad I didn't. I think the bacon would have made them too heavy.
With the measurements below, I had enough filling to make an entire package of wontons. They take some time to make, it's true, but to say they're worth it would be a massive understatement. These wontons are a perfect football snack, a real crowd-pleaser, and I know I'll make them over and over again.
Jalapeno Popper Wontons
1 package refrigerated square wonton wrappers
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Vegetable oil for frying
1. In a bowl, combine cream cheese, jalapenos, and cheddar cheese. Arrange wontons in a single layer on a baking sheet.
2. Add 1 teaspoon of the filling to the center of each wonton (don't overfill them). Dip your fingers in a bowl of water and run your wet fingers around all edges of each wonton. Fold the wontons over the filling, pinching the edges to seal to make a triangle and removing any air bubbles.
3. Fry wontons in batches in hot oil until browned and cripsy. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with coarse salt. Serve warm.