Whether it's the traditional Italian feast of seven fishes on Christmas Eve or an Alaska seafood extravaganza, folks love to enjoy seafood during the holidays. It's not uncommon to see anything from caviar to pickled herring to bagels and lox adorning tables this time of year. It's a time to pull out all the stops and enjoy some of our most favorite and highly prized ingredients. At our house, our oldest son always requests king crab legs, so I was sure to make a stop at Snug Harbor Seafoods to pick some up, a splurge that only happens about once a year.
Another popular item we see in Alaska around the holidays is halibut. Just in time for your holiday festivities and Christmas seafood feasts, I bring you this phenomenal halibut and cream cheese wonton appetizer with a kick. Think Alaska halibut meets crab rangoon meets jalapeño poppers.
These wontons are absolutely yummy. I got the inspiration for this recipe from my friends Marcy and Deb, who served these up at a progressive dinner party for my wife's hockey team. These wontons got rave reviews and were one of the highlights of the night. Several months have gone by and I still haven't forgotten about them, so I was eager to try to replicate them at home. It's difficult to stop eating them once you've tried one.
Spicy halibut and cream cheese wontons
Makes about 18
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 ounces halibut, cooked
1 large jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
vegetable oil for frying
For serving: Thai sweet chili sauce
To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese, halibut, and jalapeño. Mix on low-medium speed until combined, about 60 seconds. Season the mixture with salt to taste.
To assemble the wontons, place a shallow bowl of water on your work surface. Take one wonton wrapper, dip the tip of your finger into the bowl and wet two edges of the wonton wrapper. Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of the halibut filling into the middle of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over into a triangle and seal the edges securely. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 325-350 degrees. Add the wontons to the hot oil, working in batches, and fry 1-2 minutes until golden and crispy. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining wontons.
Serve promptly with Thai sweet chili sauce.
Maya Wilson lives in Kenai and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com. Have a food question or recipe request? Email email@example.com and your inquiry may appear in a future column.