Much like a painter who just starts to paint and creates a unique piece of art, a good cook can whip up something by just starting to cook. I tend to make the best meals when I look at what’s lying around in my cupboards and refrigerator and just go for it. This happens because I have good cooking intuition. For example, yesterday I was feeling very hungry and knew I had to eat before my Pilates class, but I wasn’t in the mood to cook. However, when I opened my refrigerator my eyes immediately went to a container of spinach and a slightly wilted Portabella mushroom. Then I opened my freezer and saw a bag of frozen precut wonton dough. Eureka! I found it. I had a green onions that were lying around. And a green garlic, which looks sort of like something between green onion and a leek. Now, some people may not possess this intuition and therefore are not a very good cooks. They may have to follow a recipe and still get mixed results. Intuition is key when cooking. Whether you are cooking on the fly like I do or if you are following a recipe good intuition will enhance the meal. The good thing for those that don’t have this trait is that they can learn and improve on it. There are very simple things to do to develop this skill in your cooking. If one learns simple cooking techniques, studies cooking shows and cook books, tries different foods, and pays attention to ingredient combinations their intuition skill will luckily grow by leaps and bounds.
Portabella mushroom wontons in spinach-garlic sauce
Wonton wraps (I used frozen wonton wraps which you can do it’s easier and less mess but here is how to make the dough from scratch):
- 1 egg
- ¾ teaspoons salt
- 2 cups flour
- 1/3 – ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Lightly beat egg with ¼ water.
- Put the flour into a bowl, in the center add the beaten egg and remaining water.
- Knead the dough to a smooth texture, until it moves away from the hand.
- Cover the dough and let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough out thinly on a floured surface and cut into 3.5 (roughly) squares.
- Dough can be frozen or kept for several days in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container.
Stuffing and sauce:
- 1 cup fresh or frozen spinach
- 1/2 cup sliced Portabella mushrooms (you can use any mushrooms or fungi that are available)
- 1/2 green garlic and 2 large cloves of regular
- 1/3 cup soy or almond milk
- 1 green onion with chives
- salt and pepper to taste
- a small amount of olive oil for frying
- Wash vegetables and mushrooms thoroughly.
- Slice up mushrooms and onions with chives.
- Heat up a frying pan with a little oil, add the mushrooms on it with chives and simmer covered for about 15 minutes, so they release all the flavors; add green parts of the garlic sliced into diagonal strips remaining half portion of cut into quarters white part of the garlic and fry until slightly brown.
- Toss spinach and other half of the green garlic into a small saucepan with soy milk, heat until spinach is wilted and blend it in a pot into a homogeneous semi-liquid sauce with hand blender; add salt to taste.
- Reduce to low heat and simmer until become consistency of sauce.
- Put a small amount of mushroom mixture into each square (if mushrooms too big cut with a knife); Seal each wonton in typical rosette shape.
- Bring water to a boil and boil wontons until they float to the surface; then drain.
- Plate wontons in a bowl with sauce and garnish with browned green garlic.
I really didn’t feel like cooking. I was in one of those moods where the thought of cooking seemed too much of burden. I was going to stop at a place and grab something on my way to Pilates. But once I saw the wonton wraps the creativity started to pour out. When things like that hit me I get really excited. It was delicious and with the frozen wonton wraps the dish only took me a total of 30 minutes. So, remember to do some good cooking you don’t need time, you don’t need a recipe, you don’t need tons of ingredients just some intuition and some creativity. Enjoy your meal.