Crispy Egg Rolls #FoodieReads
Updated: Sep 9
I was inspired to make these after reading Last Circle of Love by Lorna Landvik.
On the Page
This was a really fun, quick read. Imagine a church recipe book that is more about steamy romance than stodgy casseroles! That's what five members of the All Souls Lutheran church are cooking up with the newly installed Mallory 'Pastor Pete' Peterson. Though many in the congregation think the project is scandalous, Charlene, Marlys, Bunny, Velda, and Edie attack the project with gusto.
A is for Aphrodisiacs, like Artichokes.
"'And who made this artichoke dip?' asked Bunny. Marlys raised her hand. 'One minced clove of garlic,' she said, 'two small jars of drained artichokes, cup of mayo, cup of parmesan cheese. Mix it all together and bake about forty-five minutes at 350.' 'We definitely have to include this recipe,' said Bunny, spooning the dip on a crescent of french bread, 'if we ever do a regular cookbook.' 'Or we could include it in our irregular one,' said Velda."
There were, still, recipes that seemed more commonplace in a church fundraising cookbook. "Marge Johnson outdid herself with her 'Everything but the Kitchen Sink' entry, in which she baked, in a 350-degree oven, kielbasa sausage, Tater Tots, canned carrots, creamed corn, and her secret ingredient (pickle relish). Its literal crowning glory was a sweet/savory medley of crushed animal crackers and chili-flavored corn chips."
Or the "Hot Dish Jamboree, whose theme was 'Let’s Get Creative!' It was usually a big moneymaker, what with the all-around appeal of a Pyrex dish stuffed and bubbling with the soul-satisfying pairings of ground beef and rice, or tuna fish and noodles, or SPAM and potatoes bound together with sour cream or processed cheese or condensed cream-of-mushroom soup."
As the women offer their recipes, the reader gets a look inside these women's relationships with their husbands. The characters felt real and relatable. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
I was inspired into the kitchen after reading about their New Year's Eve party. "When everyone was done snacking on homemade egg rolls, artichoke dip, and Swedish meatballs, as well as Jerdes’s grocery store turkey-and-cheese roll-ups and antipasto plate, they retired to the seating area by the fireplace, drinking champagne and joking about days gone by, when a New Year’s Eve party meant staying awake until at least midnight." I don't often make homemade egg rolls, so this was a treat.
makes 8 but is easily scaled to make more
3/4 cup thinly sliced red peppers
3/4 cup julienned carrots
3/4 cup corn kernels (canned is fine, just drain them well)
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
3/4 cup meat (I used leftover braised pork, but shredded chicken would be great, too), optional if you want to make this vegan just leave it out or substitute tofu
8 egg roll wrappers
Also needed: water for sealing the rolls, oil for frying, dipping sauce (I used a spicy mustard, but these would be great with a sweet chile sauce as well)
Place your wrapper on a clean workspace with one point facing towards you so that it's a diamond shape versus a square.
Place a scant tablespoon of each ingredient - red peppers, carrots, corn, celery, cabbage, and meat (if using) - in the center of your egg roll wrapper.
Pull the corner closest to you up and over the filling. Fold in the edges. Then firmly roll the wrapper into a tight cylinder.
Rub the edge with water and finish the roll. Place the rolls seam-side down while you finish the remaining egg rolls. When you are finished rolling, pour oil in a heavy pot until the bottom is covered by about 1" of oil. Bring the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Carefully lower the rolls into the pot and cook until they are nicely browned, approximately 6 minutes total. Turn the rolls during cooking with tongs to cook evenly.
Drain on paper towels, then serve with dipping sauce of your choice.
I chose to serve mine with a spicy mustard, but these would be great with a sweet chile sauce as well.