Per a couple of reader requests from a post I wrote last week, I’m going to share a couple of my favorite appetizer recipes with y’all. When it comes to entertaining and hors d'oeurves , I want to make ones that will pack a lot of flavor without a lot of fuss or preparation. Ideally it's best if they are something I can prep ahead of time, so that I need not worry about assembling appetizers as guests arrive. Both these Wonton Cups, and the Deviled Eggs with Bacon that I will post later, are two super simple, super tasty appetizers that have become a couple of my favorite go-to recipes.
All of the components for these Wonton Cups take only a few minutes each to make, and can all be prepared in advance. The appetizers themselves can be assembled about 45 minutes before you plan on serving them, as they may get slightly soggy if left to sit for too long. But once you serve these, trust me when I tell you that they won't sit for long.
These little buddies are totally addictive. They're light, fresh, and crispy all in one perfect little bite. The combination of flavors is amazing; spicy shrimp salad mixes with cool and creamy guacamole inside a perfectly crisp wonton cup.
The cups for these one-bite wonders are easier to make than you might think. First, you’ll have to buy some wonton wrappers. Most well stocked grocery stores nowadays carry them; I found mine in the refrigerated section next to the tofu.
The wrappers get baked inside the cups of mini muffin tins to create tiny crispy vessels for these tasty treats. In order to make them fit in the cups a little better it’s nice to trim the edges of the wrappers. I took about a ½ inch off two sides to make them approximately 3-inch squares. If you’re worried about the trimmings going to waste, you can fry them in hot oil until golden brown and use them as a crispy topping for a Chinese Chicken Salad, or Stir Fry.
The mini muffin tins are first sprayed with a little bit of oil so the wrappers don’t stick. Then each wrapper is gently pressed into the bottom and against the sides of the muffin cups.
Here's a closer look:
When the muffin tin is full, the wrappers get another light spray of oil, and a sprinkling of salt. Bake them for 7-9 minutes until they look a little something like this:
The cups can be cooled inside the tins and stored at room temperature for 3-4 days. So go ahead and get them out of the way.
Next up is the shrimp salad. Typically I’m not a huge fan of those tiny little salad shrimp, but they’re the perfect size for this recipe; and they score bonus points for generally being less expensive than their larger counterparts.
This salad is so simple to put together that it’s a bit ridiculous. Mix the shrimp with some chopped green onions, lime juice, cilantro and a little sriracha sauce and whammo! Deliciousness. Unfamiliar with sriracha? Here’s a half empty bottle to help you get acquainted:
I’m a bit obsessed with the stuff. Go easy on it though if you're not a fan of spicy, because it can pack quite a kick when it wants to.
The bottom portion of these appetizers is a dollop of what I’m calling guacamole, because I wasn’t sure if “Avocado Mash” had the same ring to it. Ripe, buttery, avocados are mashed with a bit of lime juice and cilantro until smooth.
When ready to assemble, place a spoonful of guacamole in the bottom of one wonton cup, top with a spoonful of shrimp salad, and feel free to garnish with whatever your heart fancies. I had some black sesame seeds laying around so I went with those, along with a dot here and there of sriracha. Some additional green onions and cilantro would be good as well. Just make sure to make plenty of these, because they'll all be gone before you know it.
Wonton Cups with Shrimp Salad and Guacamole
Adapted very loosely from Gourmet
Makes approximately 28
28 square wonton wrappers
1 lb cooked salad shrimp (or any other cooked shrimp, chopped small)
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
4 green onions, sliced thinly
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tsp sriracha sauce
2 tsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp lime juice
For the wonton cups: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Trim the wonton wrappers into approximately 3-inch squares. Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray. Put one wonton into the muffin tin, pressing it gently into bottom and side to form a cup. Repeat with remaining wrappers. Once muffin tin is full, spray the wonton wrappers with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 7-9 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in muffin tin.
For the shrimp salad: Toss shrimp in a bowl with the cilantro, green onions, lime juice, lime zest, and sriracha. Season to taste with salt, adding additional sriracha sauce if desired.
For the guacamole: Mash avocados in a bowl until smooth. Mix in cilantro and lime juice.
To assemble: Place some of the guacamole in the bottom of wonton cup, top with shrimp salad. Garnish with sesame seeds, and sriracha sauce (optional).