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.
Special equipment: 4 to 6 cups hickory or apple wood chips, soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, drained
Pop the tab off the beer can. Using a church key style can opener, make a few more holes in the top of the can. Pour out half the beer into the soaking water of the wood chips. Set the can of beer aside.
Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center. If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and preheat the grill to high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium.
Remove the packet of giblets from the body cavity of the chicken and set aside for another use. Remove and discard the fat just inside the body and neck cavities. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water, drain, and blot dry inside and out with paper towels. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the rub inside the body and neck cavities of the chicken. Rub the bird all over on the outside with 2 teaspoons of the rub. If you have the patience, you can put some of the rub under the skin being careful not to tear it.
Spoon the remaining 2 teaspoons of rub through the holes into the beer in the can. Don’t worry if it foams up, this is normal. Insert the beer can into the body cavity of the chicken and spread out the legs to form a sort of tripod. Tuck the wing tips behind the chicken’s back.
When ready to cook, if using a charcoal grill, toss all the wood chips on the coals. Stand the chicken up in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the chicken until the skin is a dark golden brown and very crisp and the meat is cooked to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. If using a charcoal grill, you’ll need to add 12 fresh coals per side after 1 hour.
Using tongs, carefully transfer the chicken in its upright position on the beer can to a platter and present it to your guests. Let rest 5 minutes, and then carefully remove the chicken from the beer can. Take care not to spill the hot beer and burn yourself. Quarter or carve the chicken and serve with Cola Barbecue Sauce.
Basic Barbecue Rub:
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to blend together. Store the rub in an airtight jar away from heat or light and it will keep for at least 6 months.
Cola Barbecue Sauce:
Combine all the ingredients in a heavy non-reactive saucepan and gradually bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat slightly to obtain a gentle simmer. Simmer the sauce until reduced by 1/4, about 6 to 8 minutes. Use right away or transfer to a large jar, cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate. The sauce will keep for several months.
You can also barbecue a chicken on a can of cola, lemon-lime soda, or root beer.
Asian restaurants specializing in Korean Fried Chicken seem to be popular these days. Bonchon Chicken, a franchise from South Korea has opened over 100 restaurants around the country.
So what is Korean Fried Chicken and how does it differ from other fried chicken? Korean Fried Chicken or KFC as it’s known to some is chicken that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. But what sets it apart is that sticky sweet and spicy sauce it’s dipped in. It really is delicious!
If one were to travel to South Korea you’d find many fast food joints dedicated to this dish; each one touting their own special sauce. But traveling to South Korea, or just about anywhere right now, doesn’t seem to be a realistic option for many of us. So as I’ve been sharing some of my favorite foods from all over the world. In short bringing home the flavors and memories of my travels. Today I’ll share a recipe for Korean Fried Chicken, my family says it tastes just like the real stuff!
This recipe takes a bit more effort to make and probably a trip to the Asian Market for a couple of the ingredients, but believe me it’s well worth the effort. In an absolute pinch if you can’t find Goochujang Paste, the Korean Chili Paste, you can substitute Sriracha chili sauce or a Thai Chili Paste, it will be close but not the same.
The recipe is divided in 4 stages; the marinade, the coating, the sauce, and the garnish. You can make the sauce ahead of time and reheat just before serving. To maintain the crispiness chicken should be served as soon as it’s fried, it looses the crispness as it cools. I prefer to use boneless skinless chicken thighs, but boneless skinless breasts can be used as well.
Korean Fried Chicken
6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs cut into bite size chunks
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. White Pepper
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 1/2 Cup flour
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp. Chili Flakes
Oil for frying
2 Tbs. Gochujang Paste
2 Tbs. Honey
4 Tbs. Brown Sugar
4 Tbs. Soy Sauce
1 Tbs. Minced Garlic
2 Tsp. Minced Giner
1 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
1 Tbs. Sesame Oil
1/4 Cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbs. White Sesame Seeds
1 Tbs. Black Sesame Seeds
1/2 Small onion thinly sliced
Mix Marinade ingredients together and pour into a Ziplock bag.
Add chicken and coat with the marinade.
Place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 1 hour.
Heat a large pan of vegetable oil, make sure you have about 2 inches of oil in the pan.
Mix the coating in a bowl.
Lift pieces of chicken from the marinade and let the excess drip off.
Drop into the hot oil until it’s cooked. Coating should be deep golden brown and if you cut a piece of chicken in half the meat should not be pink.
Drain cooked pieces of chicken on paper towels and keep warm until all the chicken has been fried and the sauce is done.
Place all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan and stir.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
Place cooked chicken into a large bowl, pour sauce over it and gently tossed until all chicken pieces are coated with sauce.
Move to serving dish and garnish with cilantro, onions, and sesame seeds.
We love these skewers for many reasons: they’re FULL of flavor, they’re hearty, and most of all, they provide the PERFECT bite. Sausage + shrimp = a match made in Cajun heaven. It’s like Jamalaya on a stick! If you dig this, you gotta add cajun butter pasta to your list—another sure-fire winner.
Made it? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!
YIELDS: 6 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 0 HOURS 15 MINS
TOTAL TIME: 0 HOURS 35 MINS
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined 4 andouille sausages, sliced into 1/2″ thick rounds 1/4 c. melted butter 1 tbsp. lemon zest Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons) 1 tbsp. freshly chopped thyme 1 tsp. smoked paprika 1 tsp. garlic powder 1/4 tsp. cayenne Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
1. Soak wooden skewers in water for 15 minutes. When ready to cook, drain and dry skewers.
2. Thread top of shrimp, then sausage, then tail of shrimp onto skewers. Repeat until all shrimp and sausage is used.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, and spices. Season with salt and pepper, then brush all over skewers.
4. Heat grill or grill pan to medium. Add skewers and cook until shrimp is opaque and sausage is warmed through, about 3 minutes per side. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Looking for something fun and simple to make for lunch this summer? Something the kids and adults will love? How about these Ham & Cheese Sliders?
These Ham & Cheese Sliders are super easy to make and they’re great for lunch, snacks, and even potlucks. We serve them during pool parties, the kids and adults love them. Best of all they’re very easy to make and can be prepped ahead of time. Just pop them in the oven about half an hour before serving. They’re great hot or cold.
Here’s what you need to make them! I’m sure your family will love them as much as mine does. The kids usually fight over the left overs!
By the way you can use ham or if you prefer turkey or turkey ham. I use King’s Bakery Hawaiian Sweet Rolls but if you can’t find them any kind of sweet dinner rolls will work. I also use the ham and cheese I have sliced at the deli, I like the slices a bit thicker; but you can use the packed have you find at your grocer’s refrigerated case like Oscar Mayer or whatever brand you prefer. I use Munster Cheese because it melts well and has a mild flavor everyone enjoys, but you can use whatever cheese you like.