Friday, March 23, 2012

Book Seventy-Nine: Techniques of Healthy Cooking

by The Culinary Institute of America

                                                                                     Wonton Soup

I'm surprised I even got dinner on the table. I did not start this until two o'clock in the afternoon, which my daughter kindly told me I better get started. Taking pictures as you cook adds considerable amount of time before you get your finished product on the table. We finally sat down to eat at seven o'clock.

I definitely did not have it together for this evening. I forgot to defrost the egg whites (YAY! I used up all the egg whites from a previous recipe - my mother-in-law would be so proud that I did not toss them) and forgot to cook the chicken for the filling. Speaking of the filling, I was not a big fan of the wontons. I did forget to add the tofu; which I don't think would have any impact on flavor. Maybe too much ginger or maybe I was just too tired to enjoy them. This recipe made a ton of wontons. I'll freeze the extras and maybe I'll like them more when I haven't spent five hours in the kitchen preparing dinner.

I never heard the term oignon brûlé. I took a guess that it was close to a burnt onion! So I cut it in half and grilled it on a grill pan. Oh the aroma! Next time I would chop it up after grilling. I added it whole - well two halves.

The recipe states to cook the wontons in simmering water then add to the hot broth. I figure this is to keep the consommé clear should the wontons break or leak while cooking.

This certainly is a time consuming recipe but was enjoyable at the same time. I'm glad I made the consommé instead of using purchased stock. The broth turned out flavorful and beautiful. I rated this recipe a three for it was fun and fairly simple; I just did not care for the flavor of the wontons. I will have to ask my sister-in-law for her recipe that she makes every year at Christmas.

Success meter (1-3): 3

This book is geared more towards restauratuers than the home cook.

Oignon Brûlé (?)

Sachet d'Espices
(thyme, bay leaf, peppercorn, parsley stem)

Looks good already!

Had to change pots after adding broth - no room!

It amazes me that this cloudy concoction turns
into a beautiful clear amber broth. 

The solids form a "raft".
This is when you stop stirring and let simmer.

How beautiful is this?

This method to remove fat did not work for me.
It only seemed to soak up the broth.


The filling.

Finally got the hang of it after a few!


Wonton Soup
Serves 10

Chicken Wontons:

7 oz. soft tofu
14 oz. cooked chicken
2 oz. minced ginger
3 ½ oz. minced garlic
3 ½ oz. hoisin sauce
2 oz. chopped scallions
1 Tbl. tamari
20 wonton wrappers

2 qt. basic consommé (recipe follows)


2 ½ oz. julienned bok choy
2 ½ oz. black mushrooms
2 ½ oz. julienned leek
2 ½ oz. julienned carrot
¼ oz. chervil plûches

1.       Combine all the wonton ingredients except the wonton wrappers. Mash the ingredients together with a fork.
2.       Place a small amount of the filling in the center of each wrapper. Brush the edges of the wrappers with water and fold the wrappers into triangles. Press to release any trapped air and to seal the edges. Twist and press the 2 triangle points together to form wontons.
3.       Cook the wontons in simmering water until the rise to the surface and the wonton wrappers are tender and cooked through. Drain and reserve.
4.       Heat the consommé and the wontons (by batch or by portion) just before serving.
5.       For each portion: Arrange ¼ oz. of the vegetable garnish and 2 wontons into a warm bowl. Cover with ¾ cup hot consommé.

Basic Consommé
Makes 1 gallon

Clarification Mixture:

1 oignon brûlé
3 lb. ground lean chicken meat
8 oz. sliced onion
4 oz. sliced celery
4 oz. sliced carrots
12 oz. tomato concassé
8 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 Sachet d’Epices  (3 to 4 chopped parsley stems, ½ tsp. dried thyme leaves, a bay leaf, and 3 to 4 black peppercorns.)

5 qt. chicken stock, cold

1.       Combine the clarification mixture in a stockpot. Add the cold stock to the mixture and blend well. Slowly bring the consommé to a simmer, stirring frequently until the clarification begins to form a mass, or raft. Once the raft forms, break a small hole in the raft to help you monitor the cooking speed. Baste the raft occasionally with the stock. Simmer gently until the stock is clear and flavorful, about 45 minutes. (I let it continue to simmer while I prepped the wontons.)
2.       Drain the consommé through a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Do not disturb the raft if possible. Degrease the consommé by skimming the surface with food-quality paper or cool and remove the solidified fat layer.


The smaller the vegetables are cut, the more flavor they release into the stock. The vegetables may be ground with the meat.

The choice of meat should complement the flavor of the stock. For example, use ground beef with beef stock.

Techniques of Healthy Cooking/CIA


  1. Ooh, this wonton soup looks delicious!

  2. This soup looks delicious and that wonton stuff I had never heard about must be great!!!

    1. I normally love wontons, however I did not care for this filling so much. I will for sure try again with a different filling. They are fun to make.


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