South West or Tex Mex Egg Rolls are featured appetizers at many well known restaurant chains. It’s one of my favorites at Chili’s and Cheesecake Factory where I order them all every time we choose to dine at one of them. I know they’re considered appetizers but most of the time I order them as my main course, that way I get a whole plate of them to myself!
I’ve actually seen them frozen and ready to fry at several grocery stores. They’re marketed as the “original” Chili’s or Cheesecake Factory Egg Rolls. They also carry a hefty price tag which I’m not willing to pay for something I still have to fry!
But I can definitely make these yummy crunchy rolls of Tex Mex goodness at home. It’s super easy! I usually make a big batch and freeze some for later, they freeze very well.
Now there are 2 versions of this Egg Roll, one uses actual Egg Roll wrapper usually found at any Asian Market, and the other rolls the filling in flour tortillas. The former makes for a delicate crispy egg roll as the wrapper is a thin pastry just like the egg rolls you’ll find at most Asian restaurants. The latter has a different look and crunch as the tortilla is a much thicker wrapper. Either way they’re delicious!
I use the frozen grilled chicken strips to make my egg rolls, but you can make your one cooked chicken to use in this recipe. This recipe makes a large pot, whatever I don’t roll into egg rolls I make into bowls by serving it over a bowl of Mexican Rice and Refried Beans.
To freeze roll the filling in egg roll wrapper or tortillas and place in freezer bags. Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
These egg rolls are delicious dipped in a Creamy Avocado Sauce or topped with Pico De Gallo. The recipe for the sauce is included at the bottom of the egg roll recipe.
South West Egg Rolls
1 Tsp. Olive Oil
1 Pkg. Frozen Grilled Chicken Strips, thawed and diced
1/2 Onion, diced
2 Tbs. Minced Garlic
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 Tomato, diced and patted dry with paper towel.
1 Can Black Beans, drained
1 Can Corn Kernels, drained
1 – 2 Tbs. Cumin, adjust to taste
1 – 2 Tbs. Chili Powder, adjust to taste
1 Tbs. Salt
1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar/Jack Cheese
1 Pkg. Frozen Egg Roll Wrappers or 8″ Flour Tortillas
Oil for frying
Heat Olive Oil in large pan.
Saute onions about 1 minute or until they start to turn translucent.
Add garlic and continue to saute.
Add peppers and cook until peppers start to get a bit soft.
Add Chicken, beans, and corn.
Add in Cumin, Chili Powder, and Salt. Mix until well combined.
Add Tomatoes and cook until any liquid in the pan starts to thicken.
Add Cilantro and cook until it starts to wilt.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese until it melts.
Set aside and prepare your wrappers.
Place a heaping tablespoon in the center of your wrapper and spread into a line across.
Roll the filling in the wrapper burrito style.
Heat about 2″ of oil in a frying pan or use a deep fryer if you have one.
Fry rolls in oil until golden brown.
Cut each roll in half diagonally and serve hot with Avocado Dipping Sauce.
Creamy Avocado Dipping Sauce
1 Cup Whipped Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro finely chopped
1 Ripe Avocado mashed
1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 Tsp. Chili Powder
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.
St. Louis–style ribs just might be the best kind of ribs. For the traditional style, use spareribs and ask your butcher to cut them “St. Louis style”. This simply means that the breastbone will be cut off and the ribs will be in a rectangular shape. To get REALLY traditional, you’ll want to smoke your ribs, but we opted to bake ours in the oven for convenience. Oven-baked ribs still get perfectly tender and will be falling right off the bone!
YIELDS: 6 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 0 HOURS 10 MINS
TOTAL TIME: 3 HOURS 35 MINS
3 lb. spareribs
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 tbsp. butter, cut into cubes
1 c. barbecue sauce
Preheat oven to 300° and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. If your ribs have a thin membrane over the bones on the backside, remove by carefully sliding a knife under the membrane and then peeling it away.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and seasonings. Rub mixture all over ribs until well coated.
Evenly distribute butter cubes over ribs, wrap tightly in foil, and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake until very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
Switch oven to broil, unwrap ribs, and brush all over with barbecue sauce. Place back on baking sheet and broil until sauce starts to caramelize, 5 minutes.
Patatas Bravas is a favorite Spanish Tapa. Tapas of course are small portions of Spanish food that’s usually served with cocktails at bars or as appetizers. Or several types of Tapas can be cobbled together to make a meal. I love Tapas! It’s a great way to sample different types of Spanish food in one sitting.
Patatas Bravas is one of my favorites. It’s a simple dish of fried or baked potato wedges or cubes in a spicy sauce. I always order it when we’re in Barcelona or any other Spanish town or city. But traveling may prove to be difficult this year and we won’t be going on our usual Med Cruise or other European vacations. That’s why I’ve been making some of our favorite foods at home. After all eating local foods is a big part of traveling!
Lately I’ve been on a Spanish food kick and Patatas Bravas has been on top of my to make list. Everyone in my house loves it that it’s now become a family favorite. I serve it as an appetizer and as a side dish, either way it’s delicious!
Most places serve it with a mayonnaise based Garlic Aioli, but I like it without. You can make a simple Aioli by mixing together mayo, garlic powder, and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh chopped chives.
6-8 Yukon Gold Potatoes – peeled and cut into wedges
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Tsp. Minced Garlic
2 Tbs. Smoked Paprika
2 Tsp. Chili Powder
2 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper flakes
Place potato wedges in a large pot and cover with water.
Bring water to boil and reduce heat.
Cook uncovered for about 8-10 minutes or until just tender. (you don’t want them too soft, they will fall apart)
Drain and pat potatoes dry with paper towel.
Place in bowl.
Toss potatoes in Olive Oil and Garlic until evenly coated.
In a small bowl combine the rest of the spices and sprinkle over potatoes.
Toss potatoes in spice mix until evenly coated.
Place potatoes on a baking sheet, spread out in a single layer.
Bake in pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until crispy. Stir potatoes about half way thru baking time.
As many of you know I absolutely love Mexican food and am always on the lookout for restaurants that serve authentic Mexican cuisine. That’s not easy to find where I live in Hawaii. Although a few places have popped up that meet our family’s expectations most of the time I end up making our favorite Mexican dishes at home.
A family favorite is Carne Asada, typical for a family of carnivores I guess. In restaurants it’s sometimes used as the filling for burritos and enchiladas, or a topping for nachos; and it mostly appears on the mean as steak.
Since it’s a favorite of ours I always make it and use it to fill tacos, burritos, and my all time favorites Chimichangas and Flautas which are really just fried versions of burritos and taquitos.
I use flank or skirt steak to make my Carne Asada, and in a pinch flap meat works well too. Those cuts of meat aren’t the most tender but marinating it overnight makes it not only tender but tasty as well. I usually make a big batch of Carne Asada and freeze some to use later. I pan fry the meat and freeze half. It heats up really well.
You can also grill the Flank Steak instead of pan frying it, but to grill it don’t cut up the meat before marination. Marinate the whole slab, grill it, then cut it up to fill your tacos, burritos, or whatever.
So here’s the recipe!
2 Tbs. Soy Sauce
3 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 Tbs. Minced Garlic
1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro roughly chopped
2 Tsp. Chili Powder
1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1 Tsp. Ground Oregano
2 Lbs. Flank or Skirt Steak – cut into 1/2″ strips or if you are grilling don’t cut it up marinate the whole slab
Mix all the ingredients except the meat in a bowl.
Place meat in a large ziplock bag and pour marinade over it.
Close bag and knead the meat to distribute the marinade evenly.
When you’re ready to cook it heat 1 Tbs. Olive Oil in skillet.
Place the meat into hot oil and pan fry to desired doneness.
Discard the marinade.
When meat is cooked use it to make nachos or fill your tortillas, taco shells or bowls, depending on what you are making.
Serve with garnishes such as pico de gallo, sour cream, shredded cheese, guacamole, fresh diced tomatos, lettuce, salsa, etc.
Tomato sauce, red bell pepper, and the perfect combo of spices elevate ordinary white rice to a restaurant-worthy side. (It pair perfectly with our chicken fajitas!) Don’t skip toasting the rice! It adds a ton of flavor.
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 c. long grain white rice
2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 c. tomato sauce
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and pepper and cook until softened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, tomato puree, lemon juice, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, and cumin. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
2. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until all liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove lid and fluff rice with a fork. Top with cilantro and serve immediately.