Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Black Bean and Chicken Egg Rolls

This is, apparently, the only pose I can imagine for the egg rolls -I used it last week too. 
A week ago I made Red Cabbage Egg Rolls, and I had about half* the wrappers left over, so here's what happened with that. These are much like some Southwestern Egg Rolls we've had in chain restaurants, but made of food and baked.

I used chicken, but this, like so many other things, would do just fine without it and with additional veg.  I used red cabbage, black beans, a bell pepper and onion, but I've done it with greens inside too.   I started the chicken by seasoning it like it was going to be fajitas or tacos or something - cayenne, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, cumin and paprika, and threw it in the oven at 350 while I did everything else.

I'm a firm believer that you don't need oil for this kind of baking - maybe if you're using metal, but then just line it with parchment or foil. 
I got my veg cooking in a bit of oil - aiming for somewhere between crunchy and mushy. 

And I added some seasoning - I used aleppo peppers, but cayenne would be fine, and frozen cilantro, but if you have fresh, by all means go ahead and do that.

When the chicken was done I shredded it with two forks - the same way as in the tortilla soup and the pulled bbq chicken.  The bbq chicken post has pictures of this.   I added the chicken and the black beans to the veg, and a little bit of sauce.

I think if you used some fresh tomato, you wouldn't need any sauce.  The goal here is moist throughout, but nothing wet.  You could use salsa or a dab of sour cream or even a dab of tomato sauce.  I had some green salsa so I went with that.  I'm talking about like two tablespoons for the entire dish.  Add it, stir, see if it's moist enough without being drippy at all, add more if needed.

I don't love this as a salsa, it's fairly thin and runny, but the flavor is great. 
And maybe give it a sprinklin of hot sauce to taste.

The only hot sauce I buy.
Mix that all together and let cool (refrigerator is ok) until it's at least not hot - you're looking for room temp or cooler.

Once cooled, add cheese.  I used cheddar here.  About 1/2 cup loosely packed shreds.

Mix that in.  Then make egg rolls.  We did this just like last week with the red cabbage egg rolls.  

Point the wrapper at yourself, and moisten the farthest edges with some water.

Sous Chef Brian's ET finger.
 Add two tablespoons of filling, pretty much across the center, but closer to you.  Fold the bottom up over the filling and press down a bit. 

You can see the wet edges, which I feel like I've been having a hard time conveying. 

Fold the sides up over the filling and press them down a bit. 

Roll from the bottom up to the point. 

Arrange on a baking sheet with a silicone mat, or foil or parchment or whatever you like to do.  And spritz with oil. 

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy.  

Same egg roll pose as above.

We had 9 egg rolls and far too much filling, so the rest will make burritos for lunch.  9 egg rolls is three meals or 4 snacks. 

I said early in this blog that I'd tell you when things didn't work out too.  The egg rolls were great - slightly spicy and smoky inside, good veg quanity, nice and crispy, etc, but there was gonna be a sauce. 

I should say right now, I don't have any onion powder in the house, which is extremely limiting.  I could add seasonings to some veganaise (I don't have any real mayo on hand) and call it a dipping sauce and be happy.  I don't have any sour cream.  I don't have buttermilk with which to make ranch.  I don't have an avocado.  I actually went shopping this weekend, but I was with a friend and we were going to cook dinner at her house (a rocking, if spicy, potato leek soup happened) and we were in a hurry and I could give you a long list of the things I should have bought but didn't.  Either way, I was ill-equipped to make a sauce.

But I had something creamy-ish.  Hinting at a future post here, but I'm working on a vegan vodka sauce and I've been making - deep breath - nut cream.  I'd like to take a minute to snicker like a 14 year old.  Nut cream.  You make it like nut milk, only thicker.  Nut cream.  Ok, so I had some cashew cream (that sounds much less funny) and I added cilantro and some vinegar to make it more like sour cream and some other spices and NOTHING GOOD HAPPENED, and I added some lemon and some more spices and IT GOT EVEN LESS GOOD.   It tasted like spoiled yogurt, but it didn't look half as pretty.  So Sous Chef Brian went out and bought some ranch dressing that was not made of food. Cool and chemical-ly. 

You can plan ahead.  You can have sauce ingredients on hand.  This would be nice with something cool like an avocado ranch sauce.  Or sour cream with some cilantro and onion powder.  

I'm not posting a recipe for the egg rolls - it's just too flexible - cooked veg, maybe some black beans, maybe some seasoned and shredded chicken, whatever else you feel like adding and cheese rolled up in an egg roll wrapper. Yours will be different from mine, and still awesome. 

Got a fun idea for something to stuff inside an egg roll wrapper?  Had any success using nut milks/creams in the past?  Have a great ranch dressing recipe to share?  Leave a note in the comments.

*how many wrappers did I have left over? 9.  And why is that? Because I can't count, and last time I posted that I had enough filling to make 10 egg rolls, when in fact, I had made 11.  20 - 11 is 9.  Got one right!


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