Posts tagged summer
Crab and Corn Wontons with Tomato Butter Sauce
Crab and Corn Wontons with Tomato Butter Sauce - Eat Cho Food

So… everyone knows that Fall doesn’t OFFICIALLY start until the autumnal equinox, right? Right!? Everyone on the internet is jumping way too fast into buckets of pumpkins and apples. When we very well have a solid two and half weeks of summer left! And for the rest of us in the Bay Area, Summer is staying much longer than that. Or maybe we don’t care and sipping on pumpkin spice lattes, burning a pecan pie candle, and watching Hocus Pocus on repeat until Halloween provides some much needed comfort in these weird times. If that’s what you need, then I say “YOU DO YOU”!

You know what gives me comfort though? DUMPLINGS. Especially very summery dumplings like these Crab and Corn Wontons. OMG, don’t even get me started on that tomato butter sauce… I would drink an entire bowl of that stuff if I didn’t want to live long. Before I dive into these wontons, I just wanted to state for the record that Reuben and I are trying to be carb free for the month of September and it’s REALLY HARD. I’m especially hangry right now because I haven’t had breakfast yet and I so desperately wish we had some bread to toast up! Yesterday I made a cauliflower fried rice and it tastes good but fake rice just doesn’t cut it for me. Anyways, pray for me and send me your favorite carb free meals! I’ll just be investing in cauliflower this month.

Crab and Corn Wontons with Tomato Butter Sauce - Eat Cho Food
Crab and Corn Wontons with Tomato Butter Sauce - Eat Cho Food
Crab and Corn Wontons with Tomato Butter Sauce - Eat Cho Food

Summery Crab and Corn Wontons

Some people might read crab and immediately think it’s too fancy. Yes, crab meat can be a little pricey sometimes but you definitely don’t need to spend hours cooking fresh crab and plucking the meat out off the scary legs. My mom would always buy canned crab meat for her famous cheesey crab stuffed mushrooms, which inspired this wonton recipe from last year! The canned stuff actually tastes super good and saves you hours of your life that could be better spent eating dumplings. I bought 2 6oz cans from whole foods for about $6 each! Not bad honestly!

Once you get your hands on some canned crab meat you’re pretty much half way there to a super summery and flavor packed filling. All you do is add some fresh summer corn, scallions, and some simple seasonings and sauces. I tried this recipe with both charred and raw corn. When you have sweet in season corn it almost tastes better raw off the cob. I couldn’t stop snacking on it when I was cutting it up! The sweetness of the corns complements the natural salty brininess of the crab. Since everything in the filling is technically already cooked you can sneak in a quick bite before wrapper. So good!

Crab and Corn Wontons with Tomato Butter Sauce - Eat Cho Food
Crab and Corn Wontons with Tomato Butter Sauce - Eat Cho Food
Crab and Corn Wontons with Tomato Butter Sauce - Eat Cho Food

How to Wrap a Wonton

Wrapping a wonton is actually pretty easy. It’s definitely a lot easier to watch someone wrap one than it is to write it out, but I will try! If you want to see some videos, I have some wrapping wontons videos saved on my Instagram story highlights!

Step 1 : Set up your station

Prepare a bowl of cornstarch and water, which will act as your glue for the wrappers. Set aside a baking tray to place formed dumplings. Position your filling and wrappers in a convenient spot on your work surface and get wrapping!

Step 2 : Place a wrapper in your non-dominant hand so that it looks like a diamond. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of your dumpling. Dab your finger in the cornstarch water and then trace 2 adjacent edges of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over to form a triangle. Pinch the edges closed so they are tightly sealed.

Step 4 : Dab a little more cornstarch water on the folded corners and then fold the corners towards each other so they overlap and pinch to seal. The wonton is supposed to look like a nun’s cap, but I see little boats sometimes. Place formed wonton on a lined baking tray and repeat with remaining wrappers.

At this point you can freeze them solid on a baking sheet for future dumpling emergencies or you can boil them in some hot water and enjoy with your favorite sauce!

Crab and Corn Wontons with Tomato Butter Sauce - Eat Cho Food
Crab and Corn Wontons with Tomato Butter Sauce - Eat Cho Food

Easy Tomato Butter Sauce

This sauce is beyond easy to made. At first I wanted to made a miso brown butter sauce but I thought everything would look too pale and the heirloom tomatoes I bought from the farmers market were calling to me!

You start by melting some butter in a skillet. Then throw in the chopped up tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Let everything simmer for 5 minutes. You’ll start to see the tomatoes break down. After 5 minutes smash the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. Now the sauce will have a jam like consistency. Add in some water to loosen up the sauce a bit. Season again and let it all simmer for 5 more minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Place some tomato butter sauce in a bowl, plop some dumplings on top, and enjoy!

Crab and Corn Wontons with Tomato Butter Sauce - Eat Cho Food

Crab and Corn Wontons

serves 4

materials:

40 wonton wrappers
12 oz crab meat (about 2 cans of crab meat)
2 ears of fresh corn
3 green onion stalks - chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp sriracha

2 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water

steps:

  1. To make the wonton filling, drain any excess liquid from the crab meat. Add crab into a medium mixing bowl. Cut the kernels off 2 ears of corn and add corn into the bowl with the crabs. Add in chopped green onions, salt, white pepper, cornstarch, oyster sauce, and sriracha. Mix to combine.

  2. Mix together 2 tbsp cornstarch and 2 tbsp water in a small bowl. This is the glue for the wonton wrappers. Take one wonton wrapper and place a teaspoon of filling in the center. Dab your finger in the cornstarch water and then trace 2 adjacent edges of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over to form a triangle. Pinch the edges closed so they are tightly sealed. Dab a little more cornstarch water on the folded corners and then fold the corners towards each other so they overlap and pinch to seal. Place formed wonton on a lined baking tray and repeat with remaining wrappers.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place a few wontons in the pot at a time and boil for 3-4 minutes or until they float to the top. Scoop out the wontons with a fine mesh sieve or spider. Place in bowls and serve with tomato butter sauce, soy sauce, or chili oil.


Tomato Butter Sauce

tomato butter sauce:

1 stick of unsalted butter
2 medium tomatoes - diced
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 1/2 cup water

steps:

  1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down. Smash the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula until smooth. Add water and continue to simmer for 5 more minutes until thick and smooth.

A Summer Picnic | Apricot and Jasmine Crepe Cake
Apricot Jasmine Crepe Cake - Eat Cho Food

Hi, friend! How did your August start off? We spent the whole weekend lounging on the couch and going on long nature walks with our temporary dog, Hanky! It was blissful and full of cuddles! Except for when a scooter or skateboarded whizzed by and Hanky would go temporarily insane. I’m trying to recover from puppy withdrawal and overcome the sadness I feel when I realize she isn’t on the couch to snuggle with me anymore. Gosh, I miss her already. We will always have the memories from this weekend though : ) Ugh, I’m being dramatic.

Thankfully, it was super beautiful and fairly sunny all weekend for our long walks. It’s been characteristically chilly in our neighborhood lately, which makes me just want to roll up in a blanket and stay inside. But that’s not how you’re supposed to do summer, I guess… There’s only 1 1/2 months of Summer left and I’m going to make it a priority to spend as much time outside as possible! As long as Karl the Fog plays nice and doesn’t ruin my plans.

I see more weekday lunch breaks in the park and weekend picnics with Reuben! I love eating outside. If I could eat outside for every meal, I would! So when Bonne Maman ask me if I could plan the ultimate summer picnic using Bonne Maman INTENSE Fruit Spreads, I thought I was dreaming! I was born to pack cute picnics! To be honest, not every picnic needs to be quite so fancy, but I’m going to go through my picnic essentials and must do’s for a wonderful sunny meal in the park!

Apricot Jasmine Crepe Cake - Eat Cho Food
Apricot Jasmine Crepe Cake - Eat Cho Food
Apricot Jasmine Crepe Cake - Eat Cho Food

The Ultimate Summer Picnic Menu

When planning a summer picnic menu, I like to make sure I pack these 3 components for a well-rounded picnic.

  1. Carbs to Munch On - could be bread and cheese, crackers and salami, or milk bread and butter!

  2. Something Savory - just something salty and filling so you feel like you actually ate something and not grazed all afternoon like a goat.

  3. A Special Sweet Treat - berries and fruit are great, but having a designated dessert makes everything feel so much more special.

Then you should also think about hydration. Brings some water so you don’t feel so crappy after a few sips of wine.

I invited a few of my girlfriends over to the neighborhood park and had ourselves a lovely little picnic!

this was our menu!

Homemade Milk Bread with Bonne Maman INTENSE Blueberry Fruit Spread

Spicy Tofu Lettuce Cups with all the Fixings

Apricot and Jasmine Crepe Cake with Bonne Maman INTENSE Apricot Fruit Spread

Seasonal Fruit

Bonne Maman Summer Picnic - Eat Cho Food
Bonne Maman Summer Picnic - Eat Cho Food

Milk Bread

Milk bread was my carb of choice because I’m on a milk bread kick and find myself almost making it on a weekly basis now. It’s a fun alternative to a classic baguette. Plus it’s so soft you don’t need to pack a bread knife! The soft and fluffy milk bread goes perfectly well with a side of butter, condensed milk, Bonne Maman’s INTENSE Blueberry Spread! I’ve been a huge fan of Bonne Maman for years and didn’t think their preserves could get any better… until I tried the Bonne Maman INTENSE Fruit Spreads! They are made with more fruit and 39% less sugar than regular preserves! You can definitely taste the difference too. You know me, I’m not a huge fan of sugary sweet things, so I was pleasantly surprised that their preserves just taste like incredibly fresh and ripe fruit!

You can find a recipe for my homemade milk bread here. Just omit the sambal and cheese, divide the dough into 9 buns, and place in a 9”x13” baking tray lined with parchment. Bake for 28-34 minutes.

You can make this bread the day before to spread out your prep, or even prepare the dough the night before and bake it in the morning!

Spicy Tofu Lettuce Cups

Next we have the spicy tofu lettuce cups. I’m not really sharing a real recipe for this one because it’s almost too simple to make. All you do is take 1 block of firm tofu. Wrap it in paper towels to absorb liquid for at least 15 minutes. Cut the tofu into 1/2” slices. I also cut the slices into triangles… just because. Throw the tofu in a ziplock bag or shallow rimmed dish and add in some soy sauce, Sriracha, sesame oil, pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. Let that tofu marinate for 30 minutes.

After the tofu has marinated, heat a skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add a single layer of tofu and sear the tofu on both sides for a few minutes each, until the edges are crispy.

Serve the tofu in lettuce cups with pickled veggies, fried onions, and cucumbers!

I would make this the day of your picnic and just package all the individual components in separate containers so your guests can assemble the cups themselves.

Bonne Maman Summer Picnic - Eat Cho Food
Bonne Maman Summer Picnic - Eat Cho Food
Bonne Maman Summer Picnic - Eat Cho Food

Apricot and Jasmine Crepe Cake

Alright. Now time for the highlight of this picnic! The crepe cake! I love making crepe cakes because they look impressive but are actually quite easy to make! You don’t have to bake even cake layers and assemble them with mounds of unnecessary buttercream. YES!

Before we get to the crepe part of this crepe cake, let’s work on the Jasmine Whipped Cream. Yeah, you heard me. JASMINE WHIPPED CREAM. Again, it sounds fancy, but it only requires 2 extra steps than if you were going to make regular whipped cream. All you do is take 1 jasmine tea bag and simmer it with some heavy whipping cream in a small sauce pan for a few minutes to infuse the cream with jasmine flavor. Take the cream off the heat and place the cream and the tea bag in a container to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hour or overnight. When you’re ready to assemble your cake, just whip it up until it’s light and fluffy!

The crepes can also be made in advance! You want your batter to be thin so that it can easily swirl in your pan to create a thin crispy edged crepe. I use an 8” nonstick pan without any oil or butter to cook the crepes and it works like a charm! Place the crepes on a baking tray and allow to completely cool before assembling.

To assemble the cake, place a crepe on a plate and apply a thin layer of whipped cream. Place another crepe on top and apply 1 tbsp of Bonne Maman INTENSE Apricot Fruit Spread. Repeat the alternating layers until you’ve used all your crepes! Top with whipped cream and a few slices of fresh apricots!

I love being able to see all 20-something layers in a crepe cake. Better yet, I love getting all the layers on my fork! The whipped cream is HEAVEN. It’s just barely sweet, creamy, and beautifully scented and flavored with floral jasmine tea. Then the crepes are thin and delicate - a little eggy and chewy, which works so well with the soft whipped cream! If it’s an incredibly hot day out, keep the cake in a cooler until you’re ready to eat. If it’s just a regular sunny day or if you have a shady spot, the cake will be just fine sitting out with you.

Bonne Maman Summer Picnic - Eat Cho Food
Bonne Maman Summer Picnic - Eat Cho Food
Bonne Maman Summer Picnic - Eat Cho Food

In addition to the food, you will also need to pack some other key essentials!

Summer Picnic Checklist

  • Picnic Blanket - for obvious reasons.

  • Cutting boards - you’ll be thankful for the flat surfaces!

  • Bottles of water - hydration!

  • A small knife - wrapped in a kitchen towel so it’s safe to carry around.

  • Little jars - for all your extra fixings like butter, crunchy lettuce cup toppings, and pickles!

  • Plastic glasses - I love our plastic glasses because you don’t have to worry about breaking them when your in transit or actively picnic-ing.

  • Small plates

  • Utensils from home + a ziplock baggie - I like to use the utensils from home so I don’t have to buy more deposable plastic and just throw them in a baggie to take home at wash.

  • Trash bags - you always forget about this one!

  • Sunscreen - gotta be prepared!

  • Napkins - just in case you drop some fruit spread on your white shirt…

Bonne Maman Summer Picnic - Eat Cho Food
Bonne Maman Summer Picnic - Eat Cho Food
Bonne Maman Summer Picnic - Eat Cho Food

I know it may seem a little labor intensive, but that’s why we’re calling this the “Ultimate Summer Picnic” and not “just your regular sunny day picnic.” NOTHING wrong with the latter picnic, but if you’re going to put all that effort into putting real pants on and leaving the house then I think you can make a nice a spread of food for the occasion! Maybe you can split up the efforts with all your pals? Don’t just be the fruit or wine person. I believe in you and you can do so much more!

Bonne Maman Summer Picnic - Eat Cho Food
Bonne Maman Summer Picnic - Eat Cho Food

Apricot and Jasmine Crepe Cake

makes 1 6” crepe cake


crepes:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 eggs
2 cups of milk
2 tbsp oil
1/3 cup water

Bonne Maman INTENSE Apricot Fruit Spread
apricot slices

whipped cream:
1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 jasmine tea bag
2 tbsp powdered sugar

Whipped Cream:

  1. Make the jasmine whipped cream first. Place cream and jasmine tea bag in a small saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn’t boil over. Remove the cream from the pan and place in a container with the tea bag. Place in the fridge to chill for 2 hour or overnight.

  2. Discard the tea bag. Pour cream and sugar into a large bowl. Whip with an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Place in the fridge to chill until ready to assemble.

Crepe Cake:

  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Mix together eggs, milk, oil and water in another bowl. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until there are no more lumps. Let the batter rest in the fridge for an hour.

  2. Heat an 8" nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Pour in a little less than 1/4 cup of batter and swirl to cover the whole pan. Allow to cook for 15-20 seconds, until the edges get slightly brown and crisp. Flip and cook for another 15 seconds. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a baking sheet or wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter. You should get around 23-25 crepes.

  3. Allow all the crepes to completely cool before assembling. Place one crepe on a platter. Layer on 2 tbsp of whipped cream. Place on another crepe and layer on a tablespoon of fruit spread. Repeat crepe layers with alternating fillings of whipped cream and compote. Top the cake with one last layer of whipped cream and some apricot slices.

Thanks, Bonne Maman, for sponsoring this post!

Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food

The very first popsicle I ever made was in the early 90s, when I was a walking bowl cut on a stick. Here is the exact recipe I followed...

  1. Pour 1 can of Sunkist Orange Soda into a ice cube tray.

  2. Cover the ice cube tray with plastic wrap and stick a toothpick into each ice cube.

  3. Freeze until solid.

  4. Enjoy while watching Pokemon with your brother.

Gosh, I loved those orange soda popsicles. I was always an orange soda kid. Grape soda was and still is disgusting. I’m not sure if I saw a kid on public access tv make them or if it was a pre-Eat Cho Food original creation. Childhood summers were so blissfully simple. My brother and I would spend our summer days at the restaurant when we were little, watching TV, flying kites in the back parking lot with my grandpa, making play dough characters, and roller blading in the dining room if there weren’t any customers around. When we got a little older we were able to stay home by ourselves. We still watched a lot of TV, made snacks, played with our backyard neighborhood friends, and made up silly game to entertain ourselves. Oh and we consumed lots of popsicles, Rita’s Ice, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, and Apple Cart soft serve! I’m going home again in August and I’m sooooo looking forward to it actually feeling like summer and eating all the ice cream.

In the meantime SF it is a consistent 65 degrees, which is that weird in between weather where it’s chilly enough to enjoy a bowl of noodle soup but also warm enough to have a popsicle in the afternoon. It’s sort of like my current outfit of shorts and a pullover sweater. I didn’t say I was a fashion blogger…

ANYWAYS. I like knowing that I have these frozen treats waiting for me in the freezer just in case a 100+ degree day pops back up again! Similar to my orange soda popsicles, these Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles are incredibly easy to make. I trust that my 6 year old self would have been able to make these! I just might have needed the help from a trusted adult to open the can of lychees.

Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food

If you want to use fresh lychees you could totally do that. But the beauty of using canned lychee is that you already have a delicious lychee simple syrup waiting for you and you didn’t have to do anything except buy it! It’s a little too sugary sweet on it’s own for my own taste, so I dilute the syrup with a little bit of water. The popsicle molds are filled wth lychee and raspberries and if you’re using a standard popsicle mold, the fruit should stay in place due to friction. Pour the syrup mixture over the fruit, stick some popsicle sticks in and let them freeze for a few hours until they're solid. I love the color and appearance of the popsicles once they are frozen solid. The raspberry juice bleeds just a little to give the popsicles a light blush color. You could use any berry you have on hand instead of raspberries, but what I love about the combination of raspberries and lychees is that the berries are tart and bright to balance the simply sweet flavor of the lychee.

Don’t be fooled by the addition of lychee in the recipe. These popsicles are so simple and take almost no time to make. That way you have more time to go play outside, fly kites, or watch Pokemon with your sibling!


Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles

makes 10 popsicles

materials:

1 20oz can of lychees in syrup
4 oz raspberries
1 cup water

popsicle sticks

steps:

  1. Remove lychees from the syrup and set aside.

  2. Pour remaining lychee syrup into a large measuring cup. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of syrup. Add 1 cup of water to the syrup and give it a quick mix. Set aside.

  3. Add a few lychees and raspberries into your popsicle molds. Cut lychees and berries in half if needed. Fill each mold with the lychee syrup mixture. Add popsicle sticks and freeze until solid.

  4. Once solid, run the popsicle mold under hot water for a few seconds to help release. Enjoy!