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Party food: Southwestern Egg Rolls

01/06/2013 07:21PM ● Published by Curt Guillory

Better than the pepper restaurant's, these Southwestern Egg Rolls will have fans of their own.

Sink your teeth into some crispy fried goodness.  These southwestern egg rolls are crunchy, spicy, a bit sweet, and creamy.  Your next party just isn't complete without them.

A better east meets west egg roll

I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of Chili’s food.  It’s all pretty safe, chain store stuff and for the most part doesn't interest me.  That being said there are a couple items that I do like, namely the Southwest Eggs Rolls and the Garlic-Lime Shrimp.

The original recipe I found for these egg rolls came from, but I couldn't help but to think that the recipe could be improved upon, and that it would be easy enough to make at home.  With the simple additions of fresh spinach, fresh lemon and lime juices, fresh cilantro, and some bold seasonings these egg rolls are elevated from chain store expectations to table cloth standards. 

Be sure to serve them at your next gathering and watch your guests beg for more.

Southwestern egg rolls are perfect party food

What really makes these egg rolls shine is that while they are fantastic right out of the fryer, they are equally good at room temperature.  No need to break out the chaffing dish for this one.  Simply fry them up, arrange on a suitable platter, serve them with the avocado-ranch dipping sauce and some good salsa, and all will be well. 

Because the wrapper is a tortilla the egg rolls never lose their crispness, even at room temperature.  Nice right?

This recipe makes 25-27 egg rolls.  Make the whole recipe and either freeze the filling, or you can freeze the assembled egg rolls.  What’s great about freezing the completed egg rolls is that you can fry them from frozen.  As a matter of fact, you should put them in the freezer for at least a couple of hours before frying.

Ingredients for egg rolls:

2lg.     Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)

Kosher salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, fajita seasoning

2tbsp Olive oil

1med.            White onion (chopped)

4-5cloves      Garlic (chopped)

1lg      Jalapeno (chopped)

10oz. Fresh baby spinach

1can   Black beans (rinsed)

10oz. Frozen corn (whole kernel)

1          Lemon (juiced)

1          Lime (juiced)

¼C       Fresh cilantro (chopped)

8oz.    Monterrey jack cheese (shredded)

25-30 Flour tortillas

1egg   Beaten (with 2tbsp water)

Ingredients for avocado-ranch dipping sauce:

1          Avocado (skinned, seeded, and mashed)

½C      Sour cream

½C      Mayonnaise

¼C       Buttermilk

½         Lemon (juiced)

½         Lime (juiced)

All-purpose seasoning to taste


Combine all of the ingredients for the avocado-ranch dipping sauce in a suitable bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.

Preheat gas or barbecue grill, or sauté pan.

Season the chicken breast with salt and spices on both sides.

Tip: Split the chicken breasts length ways and season all four sides.  Not only will they cook much faster, but you can introduce twice the amount of flavor.

Grill or sauté the chicken until just done, and remove to a plate to cool.

Put the oil in a 5-7qt. dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Once the oil is hot and shimmering, sauté the onions and jalapenos until soft.

Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the spinach and cook until completely wilted.

Dice the chicken breasts into small cubes.

Add the chicken, beans, corn, and cook until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently.

Remove from the heat and add the cheese, lemon, and lime juice.

Stir until completely incorporated.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Allow on completely cool.

Tip: Transfer the filling to a cookie sheet or sheet pan.  It will cool in no time.

Place the tortillas in a damp cloth and microwave for 1-1½ minutes so that they are soft and pliable.

Fill each tortilla with 1-1½tbsp filling and fold into a traditional eggroll using the egg and water mixture to seal.

Once filled and rolled place on a sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 2-4 hours.

Fry at 375º until golden brown.

Remove to a paper towel lined pan and serve.

Make plenty of these as they will be the go to food at your next party.

Stay hungry.

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