Duck wontons, lamb lollipops with mint pesto, and Mayport shrimp tacos by Jamey Evoniuk, Executive Chef of The Candy Apple Café & Cocktails and Chef's Garden Catering
1 cup chopped onions, caramelized
8 ounces pre-cooked duck meat, pulled
¼ cup balsamic syrup
8 tablespoons whole unsalted butter
2 wonton skins, cut into 20 small squares
2 tablespoons Boursin cheese
1 Granny Smith apple, julienned
1. In a skillet, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry the wonton squares until they are crisp and golden brown. Remove the wontons from the oil and drain on a paper towel.
2. Set a separate skillet to low heat. Simmer the duck meat, onions and balsamic syrup for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and fold in the butter.
3. Mix the Boursin cheese with chopped chives. Fill a pastry-piping bag with the mixture.
4. Pipe a small dollop of Boursin mixture on top of each wonton square. Top with a half-ounce of the duck, onion and balsamic mixture, then top with julienned apple and serve.
Makes 20 wontons
To make larger portions for appetizers, cut the wonton skins into 10 large squares. Then cut each square in half on the diagonal to create two triangles. Fry the wontons, then top each triangle with the Boursin, a full ounce of duck meat mixture, and apples. Stack one complete triangle on top of another. Repeat 10 times.
Makes 10 wontons
Lamb Lollipops with Mint Pesto
Lamb Lollipop Ingredients:
1 pound ground lamb meat
1 rib celery, small dice
½ red bell pepper, small dice
1 onion, small dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
½ tablespoon fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
Mint Pesto Ingredients:
1 cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
Juice of one lemon
2 ounces parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients for the lamb lollipops together by hand. Form the mixture into one-ounce meatballs and flatten slightly to make an oval shape. Skewer meatballs and arrange evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for five to seven minutes, or until the juices run clear.
3. While the meatballs cook, place all of the mint pesto ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor. Pulse to combine, adding olive oil slowly and adjusting salt and pepper to taste.
4. Remove meatballs from oven and pierce each meatball with a long skewer stick (or "lollipop handle"). Arrange meatballs on a serving tray and top with a dollop of pesto. Serve immediately.
Makes 20 "lollipops"
Mayport Shrimp Tacos with Sriracha Aioli and Napa Cabbage
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 cup mayonnaise
1 pound Mayport shrimp, butterflied and blackened
2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
1 bunch chives, whole
10 small soft taco shells
1. Mix Sriracha and mayonnaise together in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Blanch the chives in a pot of boiling water. Rinse immediately with cold water, and set aside.
3. Top each soft taco shell with two shrimp, a dollop of Sriracha aioli, and a small portion of cabbage. Wrap the sides of the taco up, and use the blanched chive to tie the taco.
Makes 10 tacos