Southwestern Egg Rolls

If you use the internet at all – or, more specifically, Pinterest – I guarantee you’ve seen at least half a dozen recipes for Southwestern egg rolls. They’re everywhere! They always intrigue me, as they totally remind me of college. Many an evening consisted of abandoned studying, and a trip to Chili’s for a few beers, an order of Southwestern egg rolls, and some chips and salsa. Those were the days, man.

Of course, I love all things cheesy, crispy, and/or dippable, so I was pretty excited to make these. I decided to throw them together on a lazy Saturday afternoon, when my husband and I were just lazing about the house… a full DVR + homemade bar snacks + your comfiest sweatpants = one hell of a great afternoon.

Southwestern Egg Rolls
Serves 2-3 as a meal, 4-6 as an appetizer

1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
chipotle chili powder
garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small can corn, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel, drained well
8 oz whipped cream cheese
4 oz cheddar cheese, grated
8 egg roll wrappers
vegetable oil
warm water

1.) Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan. Season your chicken by sprinkling it evenly with chipotle powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and saute until golden brown and cooked through (6-8 minutes per side, depending on thickness). Chop into a small dice (about 1/2″).

2.) Preheat your oven to 400°. In a large mixing bowl, combine the diced chicken, black beans, corn, Rotel, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese.

3.) Lay your egg roll wrappers out on a cutting board, with one of the corners pointing toward you. Place a large spoonful of the black bean and chicken mixture across the corner of the wrapper, about an inch and a half from the corner.

4.) First, wrap the corner closest to you over the black bean and chicken mixture. Then, fold in both sides of the wrapper, and continue rolling the egg roll away from you. Dip your finger into some warm water, and wet the far corner of the wrapper – this will allow it to stick to itself, as you fold the final corner over and seal the egg roll.

5.) Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper. Place the egg rolls seam-side down on the baking sheet, and spray them all with a good coating of vegetable oil (not enough so that they’re really wet, but enough so that they’re covered in a thin, even layer of oil).

6.) Bake for about 25 minutes, until the edges of the egg rolls are nicely browned and crispy. Make sure you flip the egg rolls halfway through the baking time, and brush the second side with a touch more oil before returning them to the oven. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! If you don’t flip them halfway through, the top side of the egg roll wrapper will not get as crispy as the bottom, and will have a kind of doughy, chewy, somewhat unappealing texture. Trust me.

(some of the cheese might leak out – no big deal)

7.) Serve warm with whatever condiments you’d like! We served ours with some sour cream, and fire-roasted tomato salsa.

I am a big fan of these egg rolls – they’re crispy, cheesy, hearty, and perfect for dipping! If you wanted to make them as an appetizer for a party, I’d recommend using wonton wrappers instead of egg rolls wrappers, so they’re smaller and more of a handheld size. Of course, you can change them up however you prefer – you could add some minced pickled jalapeños to the mix, or some minced chipotle peppers, or maybe add some finely diced red bell pepper or some cooked, well-drained spinach. The sky is the limit!

I think I’m going to start making EVERYTHING into egg rolls,
Tina

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