Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southwestern "eggrolls"

I'm sure everyone encounters the same issue I do once a week-- What in the world am I going to make for dinner every night? Most of the time, I can look through my Cooking Light, Health, or Martha Stewart and figure out something for at least 5 days of a week. But there are times when I am absolutely stumped. What do I do when I completely lack inspiration? I ask my husband.

So this week, I had no idea what to make again. Typically, when I ask for Scott's input, I get something, well, normal, like hamburgers. This time in particular, though, I get "Chili's Southwestern eggrolls."

Excuse me??

So I searched the internet (how in the world did anyone ever cook anything without the internet?) to find a reasonable recipe. I found one recipe that contained about 40 (not exaggerating) ingredients, and I just couldn't go there. I ended up combining several recipes I found to make something simple and tasty with the southwestern flair.

Obviously, deep fried eggrolls are not on my diet. So, I made Scott 5 rolls, and then used the rest of the filling as a topping for some grilled chicken. I served it with sour cream, but next time, I will make an avocado ranch dip (because it just feels right. And no, I don't have a recipe... I'll make one up later). A salad would be an amazing accompaniment.

The amounts of ingredients are a ballpark figure. If you really like corn, but don't so much like red bell pepper, put more corn. If you don't want the filling quite as spicy, cut down on the jalapeno. It's all flexible.

Southwestern Chicken Topping
This recipe makes 6 small eggrolls and leaves enough filling to cover one large chicken breast.
  • 2 chicken breasts (one will go into the filling/topping, the other will be topped)
  • 1 Tbsp oil, or a long press on the cooking spray nozzle
  • 4 Tbsp minced red bell pepper
  • 4 Tbsp minced green onion
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernals
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 4 Tbsp frozen spinach, thawed & drained
  • 2 Tbsp diced canned (pickled) jalapenos
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • large pinch of salt
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4-1 cup Monterey Jack/Pepper Jack cheese
  • (optional) eggroll wrappers
1. Salt & pepper chicken breasts. grill until done, 4-6 minutes per side. Set aside. When cool enough to handle, dice one breast. You can go ahead and plate the other.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil (or long spritz of cooking spray) in a medium skillet over medium heat.
3. Saute bell pepper and green onions until tender, about 4 minutes.
4. Add cooked, diced chicken back to skillet. Add corn, beans, spinach, jalapenos, cumin, chili powder, salt & cayenne to skillet. Cook about 4 minutes, until all elements are hot. Stir well to ensure all elements are evently distributed (watch carefully the spinach... it tends to clump)
5. Remove skillet from heat and add cheese. Stir well until melted.

**at this point, you can use completely as a topping on the chicken breast. For eggrolls, continue.

6. Heat 1-2 inches of oil in a sauce pan, or use a deep fryer if you have one. I don't. Oil should be about 350°, or crackling when you flick water from your fingers into the oil.
7. While oil is heating, wrap filling into eggroll wrappers. I use the "envelope" method... meaning this: A. lay eggroll wrapper in a diamond shape in front of you. Add a nice log of filling in the very middle (4-5 Tbsp of filling). Fold bottom point up over filling. Fold in both sides over folded bottom point, sealing both sides with a little water on the edges. Fold top point down over roll, again sealing with a little water.
8. Drop eggrolls, in batches if necessary, into oil and fry each side for 2-3 minutes, until well browned. Be sure to flip them over or the bottom side will burn.

Alternative to deep frying: You could easily pan fry these in less oil. Also, I know of many people who bake rolls. Preheat the oven to 350°, spray both sides of the rolls with cooking spray. Cook until top is browned, then flip over to brown the other side. I will be honest and say I have no idea how long this should take.

Serve with sour cream, or avocado ranch dip (if you get a recipe for this before I make one sometime in the future, please share!).

Carb options
First and foremost, by choosing to make fried eggrolls, you'll have a carb for your meal. Secondly, some sort of Spanish or Mexican rice could be good with this, but I don't think it would be necessary. My husband is a carb-o-holic and he didn't seem to want anything besides the rolls.

1 comment:

Scott Salsman said...

Carboholic? Me?! Well...