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.
If you’ve never had good old fashioned Banana Pudding then you are seriously missing out! This creamy dessert is so popular that there’s even a 2 day festival in hour of it. I kid you not; there’s a National Banana Pudding Festival the first week of October in Centerville, Tennessee!
It’s generally associated with the Southern part of the United States but it’s popular in all parts of the country. It’s not really known exactly how the dessert became a Southern Icon but it’s been a Southern specialty since the 1940’s if not longer.
Old Fashioned Banana Pudding is pretty similar to the English Trifle in that it’s layers of creamy custard, fruit, and a soft spongy cookie which can be topped if desired with a dollop of whipped cream, or in some homes meringue.
This iconic dessert was further popularized by the Nabisco company when it published the recipe on the box of every Nabisco brand Nilla Wafers, which of course is featured as Wone of the key ingredients.
So back to the beginning, if you’ve never had good Old Fashioned Banana Pudding you’re missing out. So to rectify that here’s a recipe for this yummy dessert. And no instant Banana Pudding from a box doesn’t count!
Old Fashioned Banana Pudding
1 Tbs. Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Tsp. Salt
4 Cups Whole Milk
4 Egg Yolks
1 Tsp. Vanilla
4-5 Ripe Bananas
1 Box Vanilla Wafers (the Nabisco brand are called Nilla Wafers)
Whisk flour, sugar, salt, milk, egg yolks, and vanilla in a saucepan.
Cook on medium heat about 15 – 20 minutes or until thick. Keep stirring mixture as it cooks so it won’t scorch and stick to the pan.
Remove from heat.
Layer vanilla wafers in the bottom of a dish or bowl.
Add a layer of banana slices, one on each wager works well.
Pour 1/2 of pudding over the layers.
Repeat a layer of wafers and bananas on top of the pudding layer.
Pour the other half of the pudding over that new layer.
Top with crushed wafers if desired.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
I recently found myself with several over ripe bananas and leftover Buttermilk. I know over ripe bananas usually mean a batch or two of Banana Bread, but I still had a few loaves in the freezer. Besides I wasn’t in the mood for Banana Bread.
I was however in the mood for cake! So why not bake some banana cupcakes? Then I remember that a local bakery sold this yummy banana cake with Chantilly Icing. I think Chantilly icing must a a local Hawaii favorite because the recipe isn’t too easy to come by.
You might be wondering what Chantilly Icing is. Well it’s sort of hard to describe, it’s sweet, creamy, and buttery; kind of but not quite like the frosting on a German Chocolate cake.
In Hawaii Chantilly icing is used on Chantilly Cake which is very similar to a German Chocolate Cake but with macadamia nuts instead of coconut flakes. It’s also used to top Liliha Bakery’s Coco Puffs, those delectable chocolate cream filled puffs. It’s also used on Banana Cake!
So to make these really yummy Banana Cupcakes with Chantilly Icing I used 2 different recipes. The Banana Cake recipe and a recipe for that delicious Chantilly Frosting. The frosting I made was more than enough to ice the cupcakes. I refrigerated the leftover frosting and used them on a chocolate cake a few days later.
3/4 Cup Butter, softened to room temperature
2 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1/2 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
2 Very Ripe Bananas, mashed
2 Tsp. Lemon Juice
3 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
Preheat Oven to 325 degrees
Line Cupcake tins with cupcake wrappers
Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time.
Beat in vanilla and cinnamon.
Add lemon juice to mashed bananas and stir until smooth.
Add to butter mixture.
Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together.
Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture.
Pour batter into cupcake wraps about 3/4 full.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool.
Frost when completely cooled.
1 2/3 Cup Butter
1 1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk
1 1/2 Cup Baker’s or Caster Sugar
2 Tsp. Vannilla
2 Egg Yolks
2 Tbs. Corn Starch
Melt Butter in saucepan over medium low heat.
Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Whisk in milk, sugar, and vanilla.
Then whisk in eggs and yolks one at a time.
Cook on medium hear until it comes to s low boil. Whisking is it intermittently.
Once it boils cook for another 2 minutes continuing to whisk intermittently.
Remove from heat then quickly sift in cornstarch while whisking. Whisk cornstarch quickly and hard to prevent it from lumping.
Pour into a shallow bowl and cool to room temp.
Cover and refrigerate about 3 hours or until it’s in a spreadable consistency.
Frost cooled cupcakes.
My husband always talks about how his mother used to pickle green tomatoes when he was growing up in the Middle East. He said pickled green tomatoes are delicious.
I’m sure they. It’s also a great way to use the loads of tomatoes we grown in our backyard. So here’s how we pickle green tomatoes. First off you’ll want to make sure you pick them while they’re green. It doesn’t really matter what type of tomato, we use cherry tomatoes as well as the large varieties, just as long as they’re still green and not ripe.
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Pickled Green Tomatoes
Mason Jars with Lids – I use the 64 oz. jars but you can use any size you like
Large Stock Pot – I use my Le Creuset 20 Qt. Stock Pot
Tongs or Jar Lifters
Green Tomatoes – cut cherry tomatoes in half, large tomatoes can be cut in half or quarters
2 Large Jalapeno Peppers cut in half (optional)
4 Small hot peppers whole (optional)
1 Lemon – quartered
2 Cups White Vinegar
2 Cups Water
1/4 Cup Salt
Wash and dry Green tomatoes and peppers – set aside.
Wash jars and lids with soap and water.
Boil a large pot of water.
Submerge jars and lids in boiling water for 5 minutes.
Remove jars and lids from water and drain.
Place jars upside down on paper towels and let dry.
When jars are dry place them right side up on baking sheet.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Place jars in oven for 10 minutes. (Not lids).
Turn off oven but leave jars inside.
Boil water, vinegar, and salt in pot and boil until salt dissolves. Turn off heat.
Remove jar or jars from oven and arrange tomatoes, peppers, and lemon inside quickly. Jars and water mixture must both be hot.
Pour liquid over tomatoes.
Cover with plastic wrap and let cool down.
When they have cooled down put lids on and store in a cool dark place for about 6 weeks for tomatoes to pickle.
Once you’ve opened the jar store in the fridge. I will keep for about 2 months.
Use them however you use pickles.