Friday, November 2, 2012

Football Party & Homemade Egg Rolls

Are you ready for some football?  One Sundays from October through February you will usually find a crowd at my house around the TV yelling and cheering (mostly for the Dallas Cowboys).  We all wear jerseys and there is usually a Nerf football getting passed around.  During commercials the big guys get down on the floor with the little guys and run some plays.  I float back and forth between the kitchen and the game and doing all my normal things to get ready for the upcoming week.  I love this time.  Often there are little conversations about the greater things in life but there is just this feeling of togetherness.  The guys also love this time because I love to spend Sundays baking and using up whatever leftovers are in the fridge to create new things.  Its usually the only day of the week I am actually home all day so I can make those recipes that I avoid the rest of the week because they take extra time to bake or put together.  Always good smells wafting out of the kitchen and lots of yells from the living room asking what I am making now.  :)
I usually start by putting out an easy spread of munchies that everyone can help themselves to throughout the day.  Here I've got Chex Mix, some little meringue cookies, chips and dip, pickles and some warmed french bread with an olive oil dipping mix from my local farm market.
I also had some green tomato salsa from the farm market with nacho chips.  These football dishes, plates and napkins I find at the dollar store or on clearance throughout the year and friends and family who know of our Sunday routine have started gifting them to me when they find neat ones too.  They add a lot to the fun.

One of the "most requested" recipes I make for Sunday football is my homemade egg rolls.  They seem intimidating but actually are very easy - they just take time.  They are also pretty inexpensive to make for a crowd.  I sometimes make big batches and freeze the extras to send with my hubby to deer camp.  They reheat well on a baking sheet in the oven.

To make about 20 egg rolls , you will need one package of egg roll wrappers, one medium to large head of cabbage, one large yellow onion and one roll of ground sausage.  So at my grocery all of that would add up to about $10 - pretty good deal I think.  Any ground meat works well but we prefer to use hot ground sausage as it gives these a special little kick.  They won't be too spicy for the kids though because the cabbage will balance the heat of the sausage.

First you need to make the filling.  I sometimes do this the night before because it really needs time to cool before you roll or the wrappers start to gum and tear from the steam.  Start with a large skillet on high heat and brown your sausage - make sure to break it into smaller pieces often - you want it very crumbly so just small bits appear throughout your filling.  While the meat is browning, I take the head of cabbage and slice it in thin strips and then chop into short pieces as well.  This keeps it from being stringy and all coming out of the egg roll at once when you take a bite.  Once the meat is browned (you want that nice dark brown crispy appearance for the best flavor) start adding your cabbage and onion as you chop it.  Do not cover your skillet - you want the steam to be released as it cooks so it doesn't get soggy - there should be no need to drain.  Stir every couple of minutes making sure to scrape the bottom.  Add salt and pepper to season your cabbage.  Dice the onion into very small pieces and add that too.  Cook until the cabbage and onion are cooked soft and starting to brown a bit and there is no access liquid left in the skillet.  Remove from the heat and cool uncovered.
When your filling is cooled, lay an egg roll wrapper on your cutting board with one corner toward you.  Take a large spoon and make a little line of filling across the egg roll wrapper from one point to the next horizontal to your body.  You want about 4 tablespoons of filling or so.  Take the point near you and fold it over the filling.  Dip your finger in a small cup of warm water and wet the three remaining sides of the wrapper.  Then fold the two ends in to the middle.  Roll the egg roll away from you until the farthest corner is sealed.  You want all the edges sealed up as good as you can, otherwise when you fry them, oil will seep into the open spots and when it touches the moisture of the cabbage it will cause a lot of popping oil and you will have to drain more oil out when you remove them from the pan.  As long as the filling is cool, you can roll all these at once and then fry in batches.  And don't worry about whether they are rolled tight and full like a restaurant egg roll - the more you make these the easier the rolling will get but they always taste great.
If you have a deep fryer than you probably know what to do here.  If not, take a deep skillet or stock pot and heat about 1 1/2 - 2 inches of canola oil to about 350 degrees over medium heat.  Fry your egg rolls in batches of 5-6 at a time, flipping when they are dark golden.  You may want to do a test batch and see how dark your family likes them - mine prefer them a little on the darker side.  When they are done, place in a colander to fully drain for a couple of minutes while you start the next batch, then place on a platter covered with a good layer of paper towel.  These will be very hot on the inside so let them cool for 3-4 minutes before you give the "come and get it" call to the family.  I like to offer hot sauce, soy sauce, and sour cream for dipping when serving - the kids like the sour cream because it cools the inside and the spice of the sausage.  You can make these ahead and just fry until they are lighter golden in color.  Keep them in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer for up to several months.  Then on the day you are serving, heat them in the oven on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees or re-fry until they are darker golden.

Once you make these they will be a popular request so be prepared!


Erin said...

New GFC and Pinterest follower from Friday Chaos blog hop. Great egg roll recipe, I will have to try that.
Erin said...

Newest follower here! I found you through the weekend link up! Cute blog, I can’t wait to read more!

cgammeter said...

Hi April: I'm a new GFC friend. I would love if you stop by and be mine, too.
Connie @

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for stopping by and following!

Unknown said...

we love egg rolls but have never attempted to make our own. With the holidays coming up, I think it is the perfect time to give it a go. Thanks for sharing on Tout It Tuesday! Hope to see you next week.