Thursday, December 4, 2014

Turkey Egg Rolls with Cranberry Chili Dipping Sauce

Most of you have recipes that only come out at the holidays.  Maybe because they are more involved and time consuming, or maybe because you just want to keep them special.  If you made The Most Amazing Crab Dip every month of the year, it just wouldn't have the same significance as it does at Christmas.  Same in my family.  Around the turn of the century (how fun to say that - I sound like I should be wearing petticoats or something) my mom started making egg rolls.  Like, really really good egg rolls.  She probably clipped the recipe out of the newspaper and thought she'd give them a whirl.  Remember clipping recipes out of newspapers?  Does anyone still do that?  The first year she made them for us at Christmas, we were freaking out they were so good.  Better than many Chinese restaurants in fact.  I would tease my mom and say she must have been a Chinese grandma in a former life.  She just smiled at me.  "Oh, Renee" she would say.  

What makes these egg rolls so good is their simplicity.  The ingredients are fresh and straightforward.  No need to wander down the spice aisle or look for any strange herb.  Cabbage.  Garlic.  Carrots.  Bean sprouts are as wacky as the ingredient list gets.  Look for egg roll wrappers in the produce department of any large supermarket.  Mom always used ground beef in her filling, but for these I swapped in ground turkey, just to be a little different.  And festive.  Same great taste, mind blown every time I bite into one.  Preparation is simple.  Just brush the edges of an egg roll wrapper with milk.  Put a couple of heaping tablespoons of filling in the centre, fold edges in and roll up tightly.  Keep wrapped under a slightly damp towel under ready to deep fry, and that's it.  See the recipe for more useful tips and tricks. 

Now I know how some of you feel about deep frying.  It scares the bejeezus out of you, doesn't it?  The thing with deep frying is to pay close attention to the task at hand.  Don't talk to your sister on the phone.  Don't wash the dishes.  And for sure don't brush the cat.  Use the proper pot - something deep and wide, with at least 3 inches of oil.  Get the oil to the proper temp.  Use long tongs.  And just pay attention.  The egg rolls only take about 5 minutes per batch.  This recipe makes loads, because 1) They are highly addictive and 2) They freeze really well.  I have a few lingering in the freezer right now, and just that thought alone warms my heart.  Just thaw before reheating, and good as new.  Served with the cranberry chili dipping sauce, I can tell you already that these will be the hit of your holiday party.  When asked what inspired you, just say you were channeling your inner Chinese grandma.     

This is a sponsored post by The Turkey Farmers of Canada.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Turkey Egg Rolls with Cranberry Chili Dipping Sauce

2 tbsp olive oil
525 grams ground turkey
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup carrot, shredded
340 grams bean sprouts
1 tsp each salt and pepper plus more to taste
2 packages egg roll wrappers (found in the produce department)
¼ cup milk
canola oil for deep frying - about 1.5 L

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat.  Add turkey and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper and brown for about 5 minutes, breaking meat up with the back of a wooden spoon.  Stir in the cabbage, carrots and bean sprouts.  Cook for another 5 minutes over medium high heat.  Adjust seasonings.  Let cool completely before proceeding with assembling egg rolls.  Mixture can be made up to 2 days ahead.  

Brush the edges of the egg roll wrapper with milk.  Place 2 tbsp of filling in centre of wrapper.  Fold sides over edge of filling.  Roll up tightly starting with the side closest to you.  Fold completely over filling roll and seal edge.  Keep finished rolls under damp towel until ready to deep fry.  

In a deep pot, pour in about 3 inches of canola oil.  The amount of oil required will depend on the size of your pot.  Be sure it is deep though.  You want the oil to cover the egg roll when dropped in.  Heat oil very carefully over medium high heat to about 375 F or 190 C.  Carefully slide in about 5-6 egg rolls one at a time, but don’t overcrowd as this will bring down oil temperature.  Using long tongs, carefully move the egg rolls around, flipping them over if need be so evenly browned.  This should take about 5 minutes.  Be very careful when deep frying.  Drain on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.  Proceed with the rest of the egg rolls.  Let oil cool down completely before discarding.  Makes about 40 egg rolls.


Be sure to wrap the egg rolls tightly, as this will prevent splatters when frying.
Do not stack egg rolls before or after frying.
Egg rolls freeze great!  Just wrap cooked egg rolls in aluminum foil and place inside resealable plastic bag.  Freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator before warming in oven. 10 minutes at 300*F should do it. 

Cranberry Chili Dipping Sauce

2 cups fresh cranberries
¾ cup water
½ cup cane sugar
zest of 1 orange
generous pinch of chili flakes
2 tsp grated ginger
¼ tsp salt

Place all ingredients in medium sauce pan.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 10 minutes, stirring often.  Let cool before serving with spring rolls.  Makes about 2 cups.  

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