Friday, April 22, 2011
Southwestern Eggrolls and Green Chile Dipping Sauce
In my hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri, there is this awesome restaurant called Perkins. It's a chain restaurant, but they don't seem to have them out here.
Well one of my favorite things about Perkins (besides the fact that they are open 24 hours! woo hoo!) is an appetizer called "Mini Chimis"... Let me just tell you how amazing these things are... They are crispy and flaky on the outside (I think they are rolled in tortillas), and stuffed with veggies and deliciousness on the inside... Basically a southwest style egg roll. Like Chili's version, but WAY better.
But Chili's southwest eggrolls are a good second.
That was, until I made these last night...
Sorry Chili's. I still <3 you though. No worries.
Ok so I basically knew what ingredients to put in these little guys from eating them a million times, but I compared a few other recipes online to see if I was on the right track, and after reading other people's recipes making them various ways, I decided to use egg rolls wrappers instead of tortillas. That was a good choice! The rest I just kind of went with. I wanted to make a big batch so rather than measure out portions of a can here or there, I just made it so that I would use up what I was working with. It worked out well.
Oh and the dipping sauce... You know the sauce I am talking about. That creamy, delicious, cool green dipping sauce with just a hint of spice...
I got the idea of using cream cheese and green chiles from a recipe online, but the addition of sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice sends it over the top. It was so good I licked it straight off my fork. In fact, I think I am going to whip up another batch of these just so I can eat more of this sauce!
Did I mention that these are easy peasy? They weren't as quick as I would have liked, but I kind of dawdled along and chatted with my friend while making them, so it could have just been me.
Who am I kidding? It was definitely me. A quick efficient cook could bust these babies out in 30 minutes.
Chicken breast (I used a 1.5 lb package of boneless skinless chicken breast strips, but I will tell you know you won't need them all unless you decide to make a huge batch and freeze some like I had intended... But you know what, you probably want to make a double batch anyway because they puppies won't stay on the table for long!!)
1 red bell pepper, diced
a handful chopped green onion
some minced garlic
1 can drained black beans
1 cup (ish) frozen yellow corn
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed (you can totally use fresh, but I didn't have it... so there)
1/2 can chopped green chilies
1 cup monterey jack or colby jack cheese (or even pepper jack if you want a kick to your egg rolls)
Egg roll wrappers (or if you have an aversion to egg roll wrappers, use flour tortillas... it's your choice. I won't judge you.)
Oil for frying/cooking
Sprinkle the chicken breast(s) with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I used white pepper because I am slightly obsessed... But use what you have.
Heat skillet with a few tablespoons olive oil. Cook the chicken until no longer pink and cooked through.
Remove the chicken and set aside. Let rest for about five minutes and then shred or dice into small pieces.
Add the red pepper and green onions to the skillet and cook until soft. Then stir in the beans, corn, spinach, spices, and green chilies. Add the diced chicken.
Cook for about 3-4 minutes. You want to make sure that everything has come together. Mine kind of thickened and the "juice" became more incorporated into the rest of the mixture so it wasn't so runny.
Put a little water into a bowl. Lay out your egg roll wrappers one at a time and place a couple spoonfuls of the mixture about an inch from one edge. Take care to leave space on the edges to roll the wrap. Tuck in the edges and roll up tightly, wetting the edges with your fingers.
Once they are all wrapped up you can either freeze them to fry later, or pop into the fryer and fry until crispy and golden brown.
While they are frying, make this sauce. Don't try and size it up from the ingredients... You have no clue. Trust me. It's simply delicious and compliments the southwestern eggrolls perfectly... But you can always just add a tablespoon or so of chili powder to some ranch for a good dipping sauce...
And I guess that would be perfectly acceptable...
But we don't want to settle at perfectly acceptable. Do we?
We want excellence.
Which is why you are going to proceed with this next recipe.
Green Chili Dipping Sauce
1 8 oz block cream cheese (soften or pop in the microwave at 10 second intervals until soft enough to mash)
1 cup salsa verde
a small handful chopped cilantro
a couple dollops of sour cream... about 1/4 cup perhaps?
a few squirts lime juice
the rest of the can of chilies (you knew I wasn't going to put that to waste, huh?)
Combine all of these items in a blender, food processor, or if you are like me: your amazing Magic Bullet Blender... Man I love that thing!!!! Process until smooth and creamy. Then season with things like cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste. It didn't take much for me.... It was ridiculously good.