Egg Rolls with Red Pepper Sauce
Serving: 8 egg rolls
Assembling the evening’s specials one day, I knew that I wanted to use chicken, tasso, and collards in some items. As the sous chef arrived for work, I tossed it out for ideas. He quickly suggested an egg roll. After a few adjustments and a lot of egg rolls, it became one of our most popular starters and has been a favorite for all these years
For the Egg Roll:
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- 2 cups julienned yellow onions
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, fat removed and cut into thin strips
- 1 cup packed cooked, chopped collard green, well drained
- 8 egg roll wrappers
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch for sealing
- 2 teaspoons cold water
- 1 cup cornstarch for dusting
- 12 cups peanut oil or canola oil for frying
For the Red Pepper Sauce:
Makes 3 ½ cups
Along with the Spicy Mustard and Peach Chutney, this makes the perfect accompaniment for our Down South Egg Rolls.
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon light olive oil
- ½ cup roughly chopped yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon roughly chopped garlic
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups red pepper flesh from 3 large roasted red peppers, chopped, or 3 (4-ounce) jars pimientos, drained and chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil salt to taste
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
For the Spicy Mustard:
Makes 1 ½ cup
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil
- ½ cup roughly chopped yellow onion
- ½ cup roughly chopped unpeeled gingerroot
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 chopped jalapeño pepper
- ½ lemon
- ½ orange
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1 cup Colmans dry mustard
- 6 ounces cold water
For the Peach Chutney:
Makes 1 ½ cups
- 2 cups peeled fresh frozen peaches
- ½ cup minced yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon peeled and finely minced ginger
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Egg Roll Directions:
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions, garlic, chicken and tasso. Sauté, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Squeeze all of the juice from the collard greens and add them to the frying pan.
- Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to heat the collards and meld all the flavors. Spread the mixture out onto a pan and let them cool. Then squeeze out as much moisture as you can. The drier, the better.
- Lay the egg roll wrappers on a clean, dry surface dusted lightly with cornstarch, setting them up in a diamond pattern.
- Portion ¾ cup of the filling on the center of each wrapper.
- Place the cornstarch in a small bowl and slowly add the cold water, stirring until you have a smooth paste that is free of lumps. Lightly brush the edges of each egg roll wrapper with the mixture of cornstarch and water.
- Fold the bottom quarter of the diamond up toward the top. Fold the two sides inward to form an envelope. Bring the top corner over toward you. Gently press the edges to seal the rolls. Lightly dust the egg rolls with cornstarch to keep them dry.
- Put peanut or canola oil in a deep fryer or deep frying pan. If you are using something smaller, use only enough oil to fill it about three-quarters of the way up the sides.
- Gradually heat the oil to 340 degrees by starting to heat it up over medium-heat and slowly increasing the heat to medium-high. (Never put oil in any frying container and turn the heat on high! Increase gradually.)
- Put only 4 egg rolls in the hot oil at one time. Too many egg rolls in the oil will bring down the temperature of the oil. Try to keep the temperature as close to 340 degrees as possible.
- Fry the egg rolls, turning frequently, until they all are golden brown and crispy. Initially you should try to keep the egg rolls submerged. As they brown they will float to the top. If the oil is too hot the egg roll skins will brown before the egg roll becomes warm throughout.
- Remove the egg rolls from the oil and place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
- Serve at once with Red Pepper sauce, Spicy Mustard, and Peach Chutney. For 8 egg rolls you will need 1 ½ cups of each accompaniment.
Egg roll wrappers: These pasta-like sheets become crispy and bubbly when fried. They can be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores.
Red Pepper Sauce Directions
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium-heat.
- Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Reduce the heat and make a roux by adding the flour and stirring until well combined.
- Continue to cook over low-heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not let the onions or flour color.
- Turn up the heat to medium and, stirring vigorously, add 1 ¼ cup chicken broth. Continue stirring vigorously until the broth thickens and is smooth. Gradually add the remaining chicken broth, red pepper strips or pimiento and basil, stirring constantly until the broth thickens into a sauce.
- Bring the sauce to a low boil then simmer over medium-heat for 10 minutes to cook out the starchy flavor of the flour. Skim off any skin that may come to the top and discard.
- Remove the sauce from the stove and let it cool, stirring until smooth, season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.
- Use at once or place in storage container, let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate. Red pepper sauce will keep for a week in the refrigerator.
Spicy Mustard Directions:
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat to just below the smoking point.
- Add the onion, ginger, garlic, and jalapeño. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Cut the lemon and orange into quarters and squeeze the juice over the vegetables.
- Rough chop the rinds and add them.
- Add the soy sauce. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Strain and press out the juices. Discard the solids and reserve the juice.
- While this is cooking, place the dry mustard in a small mixing bowl and slowly add the water, stirring until you have a smooth paste that is free of lumps. Let this mixture sit for 10 minutes, and then stir into the soy sauce mixture.
- Use at once or cool at room temperature, place in storage container, cover, and refrigerate. Spicy mustard will keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Peach Chutney Directions:
- Place all of the ingredients in a heavy- bottomed saucepan over medium heat and stir well to combine.
- Reduce the heat and cook slowly over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until chutney begins to thicken slightly and is syrupy.
- Use at once or place the mixture in a storage container, let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate. Peach chutney will keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
If using fresh peaches, select fairly firm ones that are just beginning to ripen and display a peach flavor. Fully ripened fruit will break down in the cooking process.