I try to cook healthy as often as possible – which means the general rule is NO FRYING!!! But then again, the devil in me comes out every now and then and I am tempted to eat some crunchy fried foods and that is when I resort to making egg rolls. Some weeks ago I had posted my recipe for the Indonesian Egg Rolls (Lumpia Goreng) but this time around I took the egg roll wrapper to a different part of the world – Tex-Mex style egg rolls. Yes, I know this is no traditional recipe and there is no Mexican food that resembles an egg roll but it is something like a crispy taco – it’s just packaged in a different wrapper! It makes for a great snack or a party appetizer. You can make the filling ahead of time and stuff the rolls (you can prepare them a day ahead and refrigerate them) and then you just need to quickly fry the egg rolls when your guests start arriving. For a vegetarian version of these, substitute chicken with canned beans (black or pinto)
Ingredients for the Egg Roll
1. 1 cup of grated white sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
2. One packet of store bought egg roll wrappers
3. An ear of sweet corn
4. ½ sweet red bell pepper
5. One Jalapeno pepper
6. ¼ red onion
7. ½ lb of boneless chicken
8. ½ packet of McCormick Taco spice mix (or any other brand will do)
9. 1 cup of cooked Amarillo rice (I used rice leftover from the previous day’s taco dinner)
10. 1/3 cup of fresh chopped cilantro leaves
11. Two tablespoons of olive oil
12. 3 cups of oil for frying (I use Canola oil or Corn oil)
Ingredients for the Creamy Avocado Dipping Sauce
13. One ripe Avocado
14. 1/3 cup of low fat sour cream
15. 2-3 tablespoons of lemon/lime juice
16. 1 teaspoon of sugar
17. 1 clove of garlic
18. 1 teaspoon of sugar
19. ½ teaspoon salt
20. One spring onion
1. Dice the ¼ onion in small pieces.
2. Also chop the chicken pieces into small bite sized pieces using a sharp knife.
3. De-vein and de-seed the Jalapeno pepper and chop the flesh of it into small pieces.
4. Chop the red bell pepper into small pieces and also cut the corn kernels off the cob.
5. Heat a medium sized sauce pan and add the olive oil to it.
6. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions to it and cook it on medium heat for 2-3 minutes while stirring regularly.
7. Add the chicken pieces to the hot pan and also half the Taco seasoning packet.
8. Let the chicken cook evenly on all sides (usually takes 3-4 minutes) and keep stirring it constantly to avoid over cooking or burning the chicken on any side.
10. Then add the cooked Amarillo/yellow rice to the pan and stir thoroughly for another minute or so and then remove the pan from the heat and let the contents cool down to room temperature
11. Add ¾ of the chopped cilantro leaves to the pan (keep the other ¼ for the dipping sauce) and mix again.
12. When the filling has cooled down to room temperature, add the grated cheese to it and stir gently again. Be careful not to add the cheese to the filling when it is still hot because that melts the cheese too early.
13. To fill the egg rolls, lay down one sheet of the egg roll wrapper on a large cutting board and place two heaping tablespoons of the filling close to the longer side (length) of the wrapper.
14. Fold the other two sides of the wrapper over the filling to seal the sides and prevent the filling from busting out during the frying process.
15. Then roll the wrapper along the width of it and seal the end of it using a tiny bit of cold water along the edge. Press the edge tightly against the other side of the wrapper to seal the filling in.
16. Continue rolling all the egg rolls and set them aside.
17. Heat the frying oil in a deep pan (the oil should not be more than half the depth of the pan – because the oil expands during the frying process and could either jump out of the pan and cause a fire or burn the cook’s hands – so do be careful not to fill the pan too much).
18. Fry only 3-4 egg rolls at a time in the hot oil. Using a pair of tongs, roll them in the oil so that they crisp up on each side). They usually take 2-3 minutes in the hot oil.
19. Take the fried egg rolls out of the frying pan and place them over a dry paper towel to drain any excess oil. If the oil for frying is hot enough, the egg rolls do not absorb too much oil. Frying in oil that is not hot enough causes the foods to absorb more oil!
20. Repeat the process of frying till all the egg rolls are cooked.
21. To make the sauce, peel the avocado and using a spoon, scoop out its flesh and put it in a small food processor. Add remaining chopped cilantro leaves, lemon juice, one clove of garlic, one spring onion, sour cream, sugar, and salt and blend the contents to a paste. Taste for savory, tart and sweet balance and adjust the ingredients to your liking.
22. Serve the egg rolls while they are still piping hot with the dipping sauce on the side.