Southwestern Egg Rolls

Here’s something to go with the Cilantro Lime Rice recipe I posted yesterday…Southwestern Egg Rolls with Creamy Avocado Sauce!

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A small cheer rises when my family finds out that we’re having this for dinner.  Among the cheers is my husband’s request that this time, could I please double the recipe?

As the kids have gotten older, their appetites have increased and palates matured. Many of the meals I make that used to have enough leftovers for another meal, now have none, or perhaps leave just a serving or two.

Everyone loves this meal so much, they want to insure there are leftovers to enjoy the next day.

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I grew up on egg rolls.  My dad made the best I’ve ever had (to this day) and my brothers and sisters and I have carried on that tradition.

He always made them for every holiday and we would sit around the table with four to six rolling stations set up as we rolled what seemed like hundreds of egg rolls while he took care of cooking them. We’d take breaks throughout the process and munch on those delicious rolls as they came out hot from the fryer.

Those nights our kitchen was filled with family, all working together while my dad coached us through the process.  As the egg rolls came his way for cooking, we’d hear his criticisms on how tight or loose we’d rolled them.

Some were too full, some not full enough.  Some too fat or too thin.  We all worked toward perfection.  I don’t know if any of us ever actually reached it, but my dad never booted us off our stations to roll them himself, so I think he just enjoyed his role as egg roll master.

His recipe is closely guarded by my family and not one I’ll ever be able to share on this blog, but years of rolling egg rolls have given me lots of practice that I like to leverage for other recipes.

My dad’s were of the Asian variety and deep fried. I made some with my family this New Year’s and they always bring back fond memories of him.  Today we’re working with southwestern flavors in a vegetarian recipe, and baking instead of frying.

If my dad were here to try them, he’d probably say they could use some meat and he’d like them better if they were fried :)

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I always set up a rolling station for myself, just like when I was a kid.  I lay out a sheet of foil (I also used wax paper to cut the glare for the pictures, but I wouldn’t normally.)

I have my bowl of water and a brush. (With my dad’s, we use an egg wash, but water works just fine here.)  Then, just scoop out about 1/4 cup of filling on the bottom half of the wrapper.

Brush the top edges with some water, then bring the bottom corner up and over the filling, tucking and tightening as you go.

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Then, partially roll the wrapper, pressing down the ends.  I use the whole rolling process to push and shape the filling inside.  Use your fingers to push the filling towards the center if any tries to escape from the sides.

Brush a bit of water on the ends you’ve just flattened, then fold them up on top of the roll and finish rolling to seal the egg roll.

My daughter helped roll these up and she’s well on her way to proficiency.  My dad would say that these have too many corners which comes from folding the sides in too early, but he would be beaming inside with pride, loving that she’s carrying on a tradition.

As long as your egg roll filling is sealed within the wrapper, it doesn’t matter how it looks, especially with baked egg rolls. (You have to be more vigilant with rolling fried egg rolls, you wouldn’t want them rolled too loose for the fryer.)  Each time you make them, you’ll get more practice rolling them.

Place the egg rolls on a sheet sprayed with cooking spray, then spray the top of the egg rolls lightly to help the wrapper crisp in the oven.  Because they aren’t deep fried, the wrappers will not have the same look as those that take the oil plunge, but this is a lighter recipe and we don’t mind the different texture at all.

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Now we must talk about the avocado sauce.  It’s so good you’re going to want to drink it…almost.  I wish I had taken more photos of the sauce, but trust me when I tell you that it’s an amazing dip for these egg rolls, so don’t skip it.

It’s easy to make, just throw all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix until smooth.  The sauce has sour cream in it; my husband doesn’t like sour cream, but he loves this sauce.  It’s creamy and avocado-y and sometimes I think the kids love the sauce more than the egg rolls.

So there you have it. Southwestern Egg Rolls, Creamy Avocado Sauce and Cilantro Lime Rice.  I usually steam up some veggies for the side and have one lightened up but delicious dinner.

The egg rolls and sauce also make a great appetizer, but once you’ve eaten one or two, you begin to venture out of appetizer portion land.

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So we’ll call just call it dinner and ask for thirds…with sauce, please!

 

Southwestern Egg Rolls with Avocado Sauce

Ingredients

For the eggrolls:

  • 2 cups frozen corn thawed
  • 15 ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 9 ounce package frozen spinach thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
  • 7 ounce can diced green chilis drained
  • 4 green onions finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers

For the avocado sauce:

  • 6 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 6 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon fresh lime juice or lemon juice
  • 1/2 green onion chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 avocado peeled and pitted
  • Cilantro Lime Rice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl mix, together corn, beans, spinach, cheese, chilis, onions and spices.
  3. Get your work area ready to assemble the egg rolls. Spread out a sheet of foil and fill a small bowl of water. Get a brush to use with the water. If you don't have a brush, you can use the back of a spoon to moisten the wraps. (The pics show waxed paper on top of the foil. I only did this to reduce the glare for photography.)
  4. Wet a paper towel and squeeze out excess moisture. Use this to cover egg roll wrappers to keep them from drying out. You could also use a slightly damp dish towel. If you can roll quickly, you may not need to do this, but the wrappers will dry out if left out uncovered for an extended period of time.
  5. Place a wrapper in front of you with points facing north/south. Brush the top left and right edges lightly with water using your brush or the back of a spoon.
  6. Spoon or scoop a small amount of filling in the bottom third of the wrapper. I use about 1/4 cup of filling for each egg roll.
  7. Bring the bottom corner of the wrapper up and over the filling, using it to pull back on the filling as if you are tightening the roll. Use your fingers to tuck in any stray filling that may be escaping the sides.
  8. Roll egg roll partially, then flatten sides of the wrapper against the filling. Brush flattened sides with water and wrap them up on top of the egg roll. Finish rolling until egg roll is fully wrapped.
  9. Place wrapped egg rolls on prepared sheets. Spray very lightly with cooking spray.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes, flipping them once during baking.
  11. While they bake, make the sauce.
  12. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processer (I use a mini Cuisinart for this.) Use as a dip for egg rolls. Serve with Cilantro Lime Rice.

Recipe Notes

* I only use a scant 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne to just give a hint of heat. If you like things spicy, use 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne in your egg roll mixture. You could also spice things up by adding some chopped jalapeno or hot sauce to the avocado sauce.

*You can find egg roll wrappers in the refrigerated section of the produce department.

Eggroll and Avocado Sauce Recipe from Cake and Allie

Cilantro Lime Rice from The Merchant Baker

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