Egg Rolling On

In my old kitchen, you could make Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and a hot dog fairly painlessly, if you didn't mind a collander maybe falling on your head or cutting your hand on a pizza slicer while you searched for a wooden spoon in the one drawer in the joint. Anything beyond that was sort of a "cook at your own risk" situation.

Needless to say, I've enjoyed very much cooking in our new kitchen. It's not large by any stretch of the imagination, but compared to where I came from, it's fit for Eric Ripert. As we unpacked boxes and fitted our kitchen I exclaimed to my sister that "THERE ARE STILL SOME EMPTY SPACES!" and she demanded that I go out immediately and fill them up with all the unitaskers I'd been denying myself for years.

Good thing I didn't though, because it seems that my stuff multiplied in the boxes, and now the new kitchen is full to the gills, and I scratch my head every day and wonder how on earth all of this was EVER in that other kitchen. It makes me think of the fishes and the loaves, and what didn't look like much is POW, a whole bunch. When did that happen?

Still, I have like a billion times more counterspace than I had before and the added benefit of being able to cook in the kitchen without being completely cut off from the rest of the house, and so I'm still counting it all a gigantic win.

My friends, in the past, have tolerated my asking them to come over and cook with me in my kitchen, but it was always sad, painful, full of "excuse me's" and "get the hell out of my way's", and sometimes ended with tears or knives sticking out of appendages. So I was ever-so-happy to move and be able to invite them to cook in a space that might not be dangerous to their health.

The first big "cook at Megan's" event, then, happened recently. Adam and Lindsey came over on a Friday because on a Thursday, I sent an email that said "COME OVER TOMORROW NIGHT. WE ARE GETTING OUR EGG ROLL ON."

Little did they know that, really, they were getting their egg roll on, and I was planning to snap a few photos, drink a few martinis, and chase the baby out of the kitchen 1000 times. Not necessarily in that order.

Adam and Lindsey rock out the egg roll action

Adam and Lindsey rock out the egg roll action by meganstuke

So egg roll they did. And, behold, there was room. There was room for cooking and chopping and rolling and frying and a toddler ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I wept as I watched.

Lindsey used to date a Chinese guy, and that guy's dad happened to own a restaurant, and Lindsey happened to work there. So that makes Lindsey almost Chinese, and girl can make an egg roll. She can roll like 200 in nine minutes flat.

So Lindsey made mostly-traditional style egg rolls, and Adam? He made guacamole egg rolls. That's right, you heard me. He filled wonton wrappers with guacamole, and then fried it. For crying out loud.

He also made a fancy "hand roll" style, for those of you who do not so much appreciate fried things. Whomever you may be. Bless your hearts.

To start the hand roll, Adam made cute little boats with which to prop them up. He shaved long ribbons of cucumber with a vegetable peeler, shaped them into rounds, and filled them with chopped red cabbage and julienned carrots

Then he mixed up your basic delicious guacamole, which I would eat every day if they would let me. Wait, who are they? I'm eating it every day now. Resolved.

Adam's Guacamole
10 avocados
1 small red onion
3 T minced carrot
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C red wine vinegar
a large handful of cilantro, stemmed and finely chopped
juice of 2 limes
generous squirt of sriracha
2 T kosher salt
cracked black pepper

To make the handrolls, he took the eggroll wrapper, folded it in half, and folded it in half again. And then he opened it up like a pointy hat, and placed it over a ball of aluminum foil. Bake at 300 for 12 minutes, and voila, a beautiful guacamole receptacle.

And then fill, and garnish. And then eat. And eat, and I won't judge you if you cry.

But, if you are like me, you can't say no to good old fashioned deep frying. So we rolled some up the old fashioned way, along with Lindsey's "traditional" egg rolls.

Lindsey's Egg Rolls That Got Her Husband To Marry Her

1lb ground pork
1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded
4 carrots, shredded
1 can bean sprouts, drained
4-5 TBSP black pepper
salt, to taste
2-3 TBSP Sriracha, depending on spice you like
4 TBSP smooth peanut butter
1 tsp hoisin sauce
egg roll wrappers
egg wash

Brown pork. Add in cabbage, carrots, salt and pepper. Cook until veggies are translucent, and then drain in collander. Trust me. You need to drain it. Then put back into pot and add bean sprouts, sriracha, hoisin and peanut butter. Stir to combine.

People, I cannot impress upon you how good this is. It may have ruined me on frozen egg rolls (once one of my all-time favorite treats) forever. I can't decide if this is a good or a bad thing.

To properly roll an egg roll, one has to be mindful of air. Air, in egg rolls, is the enemy. Because when you're frying, you want that business to be snug so it doesn't fall apart in its hot oil bath.

To begin, get yourself a pile of wonton wrappers. Place them "diamond shaped" in front of you, with a point toward you.

Place about two tablespoons of filling (whether it be pork and cabbage or guacamole) about 2/3 of the way down, and then pull the point up and away from you, over the filling. Pull the filling toward you and tight as you roll away, halfway up the wrapper. Then press the sides down to seal everything in.

Next, pull the sides up and seal them with an egg wash.

Then roll it over one more time to finish.

And, you are ready to fry,

We used canola oil, but peanut oil is advised. That said, I'm totally fine with canola.

Put enough oil in a high sided frying or saute pan half full with oil, and bring it to 350 degrees.

Then plop in your egg rolls, careful not to crowd.

Lindsey also made her extra-special sweet and sour sauce, and I kid you not, I've never had better.

Lindsey's Sweet And Sour Delight

3/4 c pineapple juice
1/4 cup vinegar (we used apple cider)
4 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sriracha
4 or 5 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp corn starch

Combine all ingredients and cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Eat. Nom.

Here's looking at you, Friday night.

And you, too.

Maybe it means I'm old, but I'd rather stand around my kitchen with two friends and make a mess (and eat) on a Friday night these days than do just about anything else. And I'm sure the young people of Lawrence right now are thanking the Baby Jesus that a few more old people have gotten the heck out of the line at the bar. Win, win.


linswri 11 years, 10 months ago

This was So. Much. Fun! And delicious. I'm glad we did it. Great post!

patseawell 11 years, 10 months ago

WOW! Do those look delicious. Lindsey, do you make road trips to Lenexa? Thanks, Megan....what a presentation.

DaniB 11 years, 10 months ago

I am sooooo hungry after reading this! All of it looks incredible!

chocolata37 11 years, 10 months ago

Looks yummy and fun. BTW, your photos are looking great in the new kitchen :)

Megan Green Stuke 11 years, 10 months ago

They's better for sure, chocolata. The finished product ones were a little tougher because it had gotten dark out by then... ;)

amyglester 11 years, 10 months ago

I'm interested in the cucumber ribbon boats. Did you pick the whole thing up and eat it straight? With the dipping sauce? All in one bite?

linswri 11 years, 10 months ago

Amy, I didn't eat a ribbon boat because I was more focused on the fried fatty goodness, but they are more of a "use a fork" sort of boat.

Megan Green Stuke 11 years, 10 months ago

Amy, I considered them more of a garnish - they were just for presentation/fancy. That is how Adam rolls. :)

Megan Green Stuke 11 years, 10 months ago

Or are you interested in the hand roll inside the boat? In that case, I'd say a fork is in order, unless you are willing to live with a little mess.

Lydia Diebolt 11 years, 10 months ago

I can't wait to try out the guac hand rolls! Mmmm... Good things happen in Megan's kitchen!

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