Sunday, March 14, 2010
My Venture into Unconventional Eggrolls
My friend Denise got me hooked on Chili's Southwestern Eggrolls many years ago. They are SO good! I have to admit, these taste a LOT like the real thing (with a couple of twists of my own).
The ONLY reason I fixed them this week is because I'm experimenting with a completely separate recipe that requires frying. Because I rarely fry anything, I hate to throw out the oil after using it only once or twice. So, since I had the oil for the other recipe, I thought I would go ahead and share my recipe for Southwestern Eggrolls.
When I was a vegetarian, I fixed these often but baked them in the oven. I left the chicken out, of course, and bumped up the veggies. This is a GREAT way to get your kids to eat their vegetables…and there are a lot of them in this recipe! Vegetables, that is…not kids. Feel free to play around with the filling as you see fit. Try using cheddar instead of pepper jack. Try adding a little salsa. Try chorizo instead of chicken. Do whatever you want. This is more of a method than a recipe.
Before any of you ask, I've never tried reproducing Chili's Avocado Dipping Sauce. It's wonderful but I've never taken the time to replicate that recipe because I prefer to dip these in spicy ranch dressing instead. Yes, I know. I need help.
I fully planned to cut one of them open and taken a picture so you can see the inside. With the black beans and spinach, they look a little sinister but I don't mind. Unfortunately, the batteries in my camera gave out in the middle of taking pictures. I think I said something like "Gosh, darn it! These stupid rechargeable batteries give out at the most inconvenient dang times! " That's kind of paraphrased. Let's put it this way, if I were on TV, I probably would have been bleeped. Anyway, the eggrolls were getting cold and I was hungry so I ate 'em! Then the guilt set in… Oy. I should not be eating fried foods.
I hope you guys try this recipe. They're tasty! Next week, I'm doing a give-away!!! You're going to love the prize. Enjoy – and happy eggrolling!
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1 TBSP oil
1 1/2 bunches scallions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
Pinch of cayenne (optional)
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 of a cooked chicken breast, roughly chopped
3 TBSP heated frozen spinach, drained
1 small handful of fresh cilantro
1/4 c water (or more, if needed)
1 tsp kosher salt (1/2 tsp table salt)
Black pepper to taste
2 TBSP frozen corn
2 TBSP red bell pepper
2 c pepper jack cheese, freshly grated
8 7" flour tortillas
Oil for frying
Heat a skillet over medium heat with one tablespoon of oil. When hot, add the scallions and minced garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the scallions are soft. Add the cumin, chili powder, and cayenne (if using) and stir to combine. Cook one minute longer then scrape the mixture into a food processor.
To the scallion mixture in the food processor, add the drained and rinsed black beans, chicken breast, spinach, water, salt, and some pepper. Pulse a few times until the mixture is roughly chopped. Set aside.
Wipe out the skillet you cooked the scallions in, add a little more oil, and set the pan over medium heat. Cook the corn and red bell pepper for a couple of minutes then dump in the bean mixture from the food processor. Stir to combine and taste for seasoning. The mixture should be thick but if it seems rather dry, add another tablespoon or two of water. I usually end up adding more cumin and chili powder (and sometimes a little more salt) because I like my filling to have a rather robust flavor. Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes. After the mixture has cooled, add the pepper jack cheese and stir to combine.
Warm the tortillas per the package instructions. Spoon the filling into a 1/3 measuring cup and gently pack the filling. Dump the filling onto a warm tortilla and mold the filling slightly into an oblong shape. Fold in the sides and roll it up as if you were rolling a burrito. Insert a toothpick to keep the eggroll closed. Repeat until you have used up all of the filling.
Begin heating about 3" of oil (peanut oil works great) in a deep sauce pan. Begin preheating the oven to 200F. Insert a wire rack into a sheet pan and set aside.
Once the oil reaches 350F, add 2 or 3 eggrolls (depending on the size of your pan) and fry for about 5 minutes – turning often. The eggrolls are done when the outside is brown and crispy. Transfer the eggrolls to the rack in the sheet pan and place in the oven to keep warm while you are frying the rest of the eggrolls. When finished, serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Feel free to bake them. Check out my Oven-Baked Chimichangas for instructions on baking.
Posted by Cooking Ventures at 5:20 PM