06/29/2010 06:07 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Wonton Skins to the Rescue, Leftovers Beware

Wonton skins are truly a random, unwanted leftover's best friend. I discovered using them for making ravioli a few months ago, and it really opened up a world of possibility, giving a second life to the odds and ends in my fridge. With all the testing for the book, there has been a constant array of leftovers in stacked plastic containers. I usually welcome these bits and pieces. But lately, that stray cup of risotto, half-eaten bean dip, or macaroni and cheese has just been sitting in Tupperware containers until time has taken its toll, and the leftover is pronounced dead. Which, for me, usually means the dish has changed color.

After both of our big photo shoots for the book, which featured around 15 dishes each, I tried to pawn off the food on friends by having big buffet parties. I called them smorgasbords and hoped my guests wouldn't mind that the spread featured spaghetti and meatballs side by side with chicken tagine and creamy enchiladas. But still, no matter how enthusiastic the eaters, there was always a cup or so of each dish leftover.

Recently, I had a few friends over on a Sunday, just few enough that these leftovers of leftovers could become a main component of the meal. I looked in my fridge and saw the same stray cup of risotto, the three cubes of beef stew, and the large container of pea puree from some of my favorite crostini. I decided that I would save the peas.

Out came the frozen wonton skins, which have been sitting in my freezer since January. And miraculously, there were just few enough for me to deplete my stash completely. It felt good to finally use up the whole pack. But with only a tablespoon of filling placed within the sheets, I still had about a cup of pea puree leftover. So it goes.

I stuck the container in the freezer, where it will probably sit for another year.

--Phoebe Lapine of Big Girls, Small Kitchen


Sweet Pea Ravioli with Scallion Cream Sauce

Makes 4 servings

24 wonton wrappers
1 cup sweet pea puree
2 tablespoons butter
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

On a work surface, arrange 12 of the wonton wrappers. Place a tablespoon of pea puree in the center of each sheet. Brush the sides of the wrapper with water. Cover each with the remaining wrappers and seal the sides with your fingers, making sure there are no air pockets in the center. Set aside.