Back in college, the dining halls usually had a baked potato bar on Fridays when all of the students were exhausted from the previous week of classes and needed comfort food. Last Friday, after a very long week at work, I came home craving a similar treat. This recipe takes all of the baked potato essentials - bacon, sour cream, cheddar, and scallions - and turns it into a crispy hors d'oeuvre which would be at home at an upscale dinner party or a casual gathering among friends. —littleknitter
Peel the potatoes and measure out 16oz. Cut the potatoes into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes and place in a large saucepan full of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain, then let rest in a colander for a few minutes to let any excess water to steam out.
Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a pan until crisp. Once cooked, remove the strips from the pan and drain on a sheet of paper towels. When fully cooked, chop the bacon into very small pieces. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the rendered bacon fat.
Mash the cooked potatoes with the sour cream, butter, milk and rendered bacon fat.
Stir the bacon and scallions into the potatoes and stir until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make the herb dip: mix the sour cream, dill, and scallions together until fully incorporated. Spoon the dip into a bowl and garnish with scallions.
Form mashed potatoes into small balls approximately a little over a teaspoon in size. Place one ball into the center of each wonton and sprinkle a little cheese over the top. Apply a thin layer of water along the outer edge of two consecutive sides of the wonton wrapper, then fold the other half of the wonton over the potatoes so that it forms a triangle. Press along the edges to seal. Repeat with remaining the wontons.
Shallow fry the wontons. Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a large pan until the oil is hot (the wontons will sizzle immediately when placed in the pan if the oil is hot enough). Fry over medium-high heat until the wontons are crisp and golden brown, then flip and repeat the same process on the other side. Cook the remaining wontons in the same manner.
Remove the wontons from the pan and let drain on paper towels.
My one party trick is that I have a photographic memory when it comes to food. I can not only remember almost every meal that I have eaten in a restaurant ever, down to each individual ingredient and the way it was presented, but I can do the same thing for everyone else who was eating with me. Totally weird, but fun!
Much to my mother's chagrin, my passion for cooking started early. At the age of 5, I was reading a picture book that described (in basic terms) how to make custard - just eggs, milk, and sugar! I waited until my mother went downstairs to put the laundry in the dryer, then promptly dumped an entire gallon of milk into a bowl and cracked two eggs into it. As I was staring into the bowl, contemplating the raw, runny yolks staring balefully back up at me, I was busted by my mother. Instead of going ballistic (ok, she went a little ballistic), she sighed and said "ok, let's use this to make tapioca," thus teaching me an important lesson in salvaging botched food experiments.