september challenge: meal sharing

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Today, I beg my best friend to be the first IHB "food" blog post since I'm a pathetic soul in the kitchen. Cece Mendoza is an incredibly talented baker and cook (she joined me in the wedding registry process), so please join me in welcoming her.
Since I'm not crafty, it came as a shock when IHB invited me to be a guest blogger. Luckily for all of us, she asked me to cook and make something I have never made before, and chronicle the process here. Well, it didn’t take long to figure out what that was going to be. I thought it would be perfect to attempt the avocado eggrolls that we both love from The Cheesecake Factory (which we enjoy to wash down with a couple of cocktails). After some Internet searching, I found a good recipe at Recipe Secrets.

For the most part, the eggrolls are pretty easy to make; however, there are a few unusual ingredients in the recipe but there's no reason to become intimidated and give up. My advice is to visit your local super market and ask for help in finding what you need. This particular recipe calls for tamarind. What the heck is tamarind? Answer: tamarind is the fruit of a tall tree that grows in Asia and North Africa. Its pods are about five inches long and contain seeds and a pulp that become extremely sour when dried. Ultimately, it’s a central ingredient in Worcestershire sauce.

Here are some helpful tips before making this dish:
  • Make your dipping sauce first.
  • This recipe only makes 4 egg rolls, so if you are sharing with someone (like IHB), double, triple, quadruple the recipe.
  • Use large avocados.
  • If you decide to fry the egg rolls, make sure that your oil stays at a constant heat of 375 degrees (my first one got very crispy, really fast). I used a cooking thermometer. You can also bake them for a healthier option (400 degrees).
Dipping Sauce Ingredients
  • 3-4 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamarind pulp
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 pinch powdered saffron
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews
  • 2/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
Dipping Sauce
Stir together vinegars, tamarind, honey, and saffron in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 1 minute. Stir until tamarind is dissolved.
In a blender, puree tamarind mixture, cashews, cilantro, garlic, onions, sugar, pepper, and cumin. Pour mixture into a bowl and stir in oil. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Egg Rolls
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, & diced
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 egg roll wraps
  • 1 egg, beaten
Gently stir together avocado, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and salt. Distribute filling evenly onto center of each egg roll wrapper.

Position a wrapper so that a corner is pointing toward you; fold the bottom corner up, 1/4 of the way over the filling. Brush remaining corners and edges of the wrapper with egg, roll up from side to side, fold top corner over all and press to seal.

Repeat with remaining wrappers. Continue by deep-frying the egg rolls in 375 degree oil for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Slice egg rolls diagonally across middle and serve with prepared dipping sauce.

I'm sure you are going to have some leftover egg roll wrappers. Try making some of the following: 
  • Raviolis
  • Chicken egg rolls
  • Won-tons
  • Egg noodles 
You can use leftover dipping sauce you can put some over some salmon as a glaze and bake.

Cece Mendoza

1 comment:

  1. YAY, Cece!!! I can't wait to try this recipe. I'm curious what kind of wine flight you recommend with these delicious egg rolls?