Monday, December 12, 2011

(Vegetarian or Not) Bacon Rangoon Dip with Wonton Chips

I had an idea. An awful idea. A wonderful awful idea. (Name that reference!)

Crab rangoons are delicious, but crab is not. The best crab rangoons are in actuality crab-less, in my opinion. I wondered if perhaps the crab could be substituted with bacon. But because I haven't eaten bacon in years, I could use imitation bacon bits instead. Homemade crab rangoons are kind of a hassle, so maybe then the filling could become a dip, like a party appetizer.

Thus, Vegetarian Bacon Rangoon Dip was born. Every year we shall celebrate its birth.

If you are not vegetarian, I encourage you to try using crumbled bacon in place of the bacon bits. Truth be told, imitation bacon kind of freaks me out. But I really wanted to make this concept work and be able to test it myself. While it's a health nightmare I can attest that the bacon bits work just fine.

This dip eaten with Wheat Thins was pretty good, but I wanted to take it to the next level without having to stuff little rangoons for an hour.

The solution: homemade wonton chips. Slice premade wonton wrappers into four quarters and fry them in a tiny bit of oil until they reach the desired crispiness. This takes less than 60 seconds, so you'll have to stand over the oil and fry a few at a time until you're done.

Wonton chips. I don't overly love the fried wonton strips at Chinese restaurants, but these were perfect for this snack.

A lovely pile of goodness, with photos courtesy of one of my friends I fed this to.

Bacon. Rangoon. Dip. Hells yes. Super-salty, high-fat diet nightmare. But if you whip this up for a holiday party, I would almost guarantee that someone will be scraping the last little bits out of the bowl. It's that freakishly addictive. Four 20-something women destroyed this.

I used reduced-fat cream cheese to ease my conscience and low-sodium soy sauce, but you don't have to. And again, let me know how this works with real bacon if that's your thing. If you're vegan, you could try this with vegan cream cheese, maybe?

Bacon Rangoon Dip With Wonton Chips
(serves 8 as an appetizer)

Bacon Rangoon Dip
8 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup imitation bacon bits
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt

1. Soak bacon bits in soy sauce for two minutes to rehydrate.
2. Add cream cheese and garlic salt.
3. Microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between heatings, until smooth and creamy.

Wonton Chips
1/2 package wonton wrappers
1 cup canola oil

1. Slice wonton wrappers into 1-inch squares.
2. Heat oil in a small pan on medium-high until a drop of water would sizz.e
3. Fry 3 or 4 wontons at a time until browned, about 30 seconds. Flip halfway through.
4. Transfer fried wontons to a plate covered with a paper towel to drain excess oil.

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