As I was enjoying our monthly luncheon at LongHorn Steakhouse, my good friend, Jennifer, dropped a remark on how she loves making homemade southwest egg rolls similar to those served at a popular chain restaurant.
I was in the midst of shoveling a spoonful of shrimp and lobster chowder in my mouth when I paused and asked, “Are they easy to make?”
Yes, she said, and she told me how.
Which I promptly forgot by the time I got home.
Later, because I recalled some of the ingredients — black beans, red peppers, taco seasoning mix — I went online to see if I could locate the recipe.
Lo and behold, I found the darn thing, or something like it, on thehungryhousewife.com.
Southwestern Egg Rolls
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 teaspoons taco seasoning, divided
1 cup fresh corn
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can (about 2 ounces) chopped green chilies
2 tablespoons chopped red pepper
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
Peanut or vegetable oil
Fill a large pot with about 3 inches oil. Heat oil to 375 degrees.
Season chicken with 2 teaspoons taco seasoning.
Heat olive oil in a skillet and add the chicken. Cook until no longer pink. Remove and set aside to cool.
In the same skillet, add the corn, black beans, red pepper and chilies. Season with remaining 2 teaspoons taco seasoning. Cook over medium-low heat for about five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Finely chop the cooled chicken. Stir the chicken into the cooled vegetable mixture. Add the cheese and mix everything together.
Take 1 wonton wrapper and place it in front of you so it looks like a diamond. Dip your finger in water and run it around the edges of the wrapper. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons chicken mixture in the middle of the wonton. Take the bottom tip and fold it over the mixture and tuck it around the mixture. Fold both sides in so it resembles an envelope. Roll flap around and seal with more water. Store seam side down until ready to fry.
Carefully drop three or four wontons, seam side down, into the hot oil. Fry for about three to four minutes or until golden brown.
Makes about 14 egg rolls.
Note: You can individually wrap any un-fried egg rolls and freeze to enjoy later. If you prefer to bake rather than fry them, spray each egg roll with a little butter spray and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, flipping them at least once during baking.
Here’s another wonton egg roll recipe, but this one calls for hot sausage instead of chicken.
I found this on tasteofhome.com.
Southwestern Egg Rolls
1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (11 ounces) Mexicorn, drained
1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 package (8 1/2 ounces) ready-to-serve Spanish rice
18 egg roll wrappers
Oil for frying
Sour cream and guacamole, optional
In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat six to eight minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Stir in beans, Mexicorn, tomatoes and rice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, five minutes, stirring occasionally.
With one corner of an egg roll facing you, place 1/3 cup filling just below center of wrapper. (Cover remaining wrappers with a damp paper towel until ready to use.) Fold bottom corner over filling; moisten remaining wrapper edges with water. Fold side corners toward center over filling. Roll up tightly, pressing at tip to seal. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
In an electric skillet, heat 1 inch oil to 375 degrees. Fry egg rolls, two at a time, one to two minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally. Drain on paper towels. If desired, serve with sour cream and guacamole.
Makes 18 egg rolls.
Do you like your egg rolls a tad spicy? Then try this cheeseburger version from saucy-spatula.com.
Cheeseburger Egg Rolls
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons sriracha sauce, or more to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 small- to medium-size red onions, diced
24 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
About 50 wonton wrappers
Dice the red onion and mince the garlic, then set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, breaking down any big pieces with a spatula. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until brown; drain. Add the soy sauce, sriracha, salt and pepper. Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl and allow to cool.
Discard any drippings from the pan. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil to the pan and saute the onion and garlic for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Mix the onion, garlic and ground beef mixture together and continue to let cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the shredded cheddar cheese to the mix and stir to combine.
Place a wrapper, edges moistened, with a corner pointing up. Use a small spoon or tablespoon to scoop the beef mixture onto the wrapper. Take the left corner of the wrapper and fold it into the middle. Take the right corner and fold it into the middle. Tuck in the sides on the bottom half, then fold up. Tuck in the sides on the top half while rolling up the wrapper to finish.
Using a small saucepan over medium heat, add about 2 inches oil (just enough for the egg rolls to float and not sitting on the bottom of the pan). Fry egg rolls until golden. Place on paper towels to cool.
Makes about 45 servings.
With a bit more effort, you can whip up a batch of shrimp egg rolls, like these from Food Network.
Shrimp Egg Rolls
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-inch grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 scallions, sliced thinly
1 carrot, cut into 1-inch julienne strips
1 small red pepper, cut into 1-inch julienne strips
1 cup Napa cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons sesame oil
20 wonton wrappers, covered loosely with a damp paper towel to prevent drying
10 shrimp, cooked and minced
In a wok or skillet, stir-fry the ginger and garlic in 2 tablespoons oil until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add scallions, carrots and red pepper and stir-fry over high heat for two minutes.
In a bowl, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce and sugar. Add the cabbage and garlic mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft. Add sesame oil. Cool for at least 15 minutes and strain. Fold in the minced shrimp.
Fill and roll the wrappers using 1 tablespoon filling for each roll. Working with one wonton wrapper at a time, place the wrapper with one corner of the diamond closest to you. Place 1 teaspoon filling in the center of the wrapper. Roll the corner closest to you over the filling. Brush the top corner with water. Fold in the sides of the wonton and continue rolling the egg roll up until it is closed. Press to seal, set aside and continue with the remaining ingredients.
In a skillet set over moderately high heat, heat the remaining oil and saute the egg rolls until golden brown on all sides, using tongs to turn them. Serve when cool enough to eat.
You can make dessert using leftover wonton wrappers if you have a can of pie filling sitting in the pantry.
Easy Apple Pie Wontons
1 can (21 ounces) apple pie filling
Lay one wonton wrapper on work surface so it looks like a diamond. Place 1 tablespoon apple pie filling in center. Moisten edges of wrapper on two sides closest to you. Fold wrapper in half, forming a triangle. Press to seal edges tightly. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet to a depth of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. When hot, fry wontons a few at a time. Brown on both sides and remove to paper toweling to drain. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
Makes eight to 10 servings.
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