Cultural crossovers in food is fun to me. You know, when a common dish in one culture is transformed or twisted slightly to incorporate flavors of another culture? Take for example these Southwestern Eggrolls I made for my birthday fiesta... All the great flavors of Tex Mex cuisine served up with Chinese eggroll flair! These were a great appetizer for my Cinco de Mayo inspired menu so if you're looking for something to make to celebrate tomorrow, give these a try!
I think these being referred to as 'eggrolls' is a bit of a stretch. In fact, to me they're more like mini chimichangas. Whatever you're comfortable calling them, they are pretty easy to make and allow for some creativity too. These Southwestern Eggrolls involve making a colorful and tasty filling of diced chicken breast, spinach, black beans, sweet corn, garlic, bell peppers, green onion, jalapenos, seasonings and cheese. This filling is then rolled up into a flour tortilla, frozen to keep it's shape and then fried to a golden brown.
The creativity comes into play when you experiment with other filling ingredients you might prefer. Add as much or as little as you'd like of the ingredients listed... or feel free to throw in something else. Do you like it spicier? Add some more hot peppers! Are you a mushroom lover? Add those in too! To me, whatever you feel like filling it with is all up to you. This recipe serves as a great base to start but don't be afraid to experiment... that's part of the fun in cooking. Just note that these eggrolls are best made a day before so they have time to freeze up before frying. Orale mis amigos!
recipe adapted from AllRecipes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1/3 cup frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 tablespoons diced jalapeno peppers
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
5 (6 inch) flour tortillas
1 quart oil for deep frying
Rub 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over chicken breast. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook chicken approximately 5 minutes per side, until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in green onion and red pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until tender.
Dice chicken and mix into the pan with onion and red pepper. Mix in corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until well blended and tender. Remove from heat and stir in Monterey Jack cheese so that it melts.
Wrap tortillas with a clean, lightly moist cloth. Microwave on high approximately 1 minute, or until hot and pliable.
Spoon even amounts of the mixture into each tortilla. Fold ends of tortillas, then roll tightly around mixture. Secure with toothpicks. Arrange in a medium dish, cover with plastic, and place in the freezer. Freeze at least 4 hours.
In a large, deep skillet, heat oil for deep frying to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Deep fry frozen, stuffed tortillas 10 minutes each, or until dark golden brown. Drain on paper towels before serving.
*To keep warm, placed browned eggrolls on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.