Thursday, April 7, 2016

Southwestern Spring Rolls

  Borrowed image, but this is it, including Kim's Cilantro Lime Sauce.

So we were down in the states and found something new... a variant of a food we always loved. Spring rolls. Except this time it wasn't in a Chinese or Vietnamese restaurant. And after the first bite, I was determined to recreate the best of the flavor. Kim and I got to work. We did some trial and error - don't even bother with tortillas, it just comes out heavy. Mind you, the measurements are subjective... adjust to your own taste.

You'll need:

3 skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
2 cups cheese (we use a mix of pepper jack, mozzarella, cheddar, and smoked gouda)
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small bag of frozen corn, preferably roasted corn.
1/2 chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tbsp, chili powder
1 1/2 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp. chipotle pepper powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. cayenne (if so desired)
2 tbsp, Cholula or other hot sauce
1-2 pkgs. large wonton wrappers or 4 small ones (depending on the size roll you want)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
oil
Keep a liter of chicken broth or stock on hand.

Heat a large deep pan with approximately 3 tbsp. of oil till just shy of smoking. Put cornstarch in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken in it, shake off excess, and place into the pan. Cook until lightly browned and juices run clear; approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pan and once hot, toss in peppers, onions, and saute at med-low heat for a few minutes. Add spinach, beans, corn, and cilantro.

While cooking, cut chicken into small cubes and add to mix in pan. Add remaining seasoning and a couple of splashes of chicken broth. Adjust seasonings to your taste. Once broth cooks out, remove from heat and add cheese. Stir the cheese in till it's melted in.

Example of the proper rolling technique. (Borrowed) 

Take a wonton wrapper and lay filling along diagonally along any corner. (Hint: wonton wrappers dry out quickly . to avoid that, simply cover them with a slightly damp paper towel.)  Wrap the corner over the filling; press to ensure no air stays in wrapper. Roll wrapper tightly. When you're about halfway through rolling it, fold the two ends in and roll it the rest of the way. Brush a little water on the remaining corner to seal the end. Repeat this until you are out of filling, laying them all on a cookie sheet (put parchment paper down on cookie sheet - keeps them from sticking.) At this point you can freeze some or cook them all.

Rolled and ready to go!

Using a deep fryer or pot with about 2" of heated oil, ease the spring rolls into the oil and cook until light brown and crisp. Do it in small batches of 4-5 to maintain oil temperature, otherwise you'll have greasy spring rolls. Place on a separate paper towel covered pan to drain and keep warm in the oven at 225°.

Cooking up nice!


First ones out... and man, were they good!
Serve with your choice of dipping sauce, But I recommend Kim's Cilantro Lime Sauce. Great for game day or any day!






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