Saturday, December 11, 2010

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls with Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce

This is the time of year I start into a panic.

This is the time of year to start breaking out your ULTIMATE appetizers, aka "finger foods."

Although, let's be honest--in the South, most of the time it ends up being "fanger foods." Don't believe me? Ask the residents of Finger, Tennessee; they'll set you straight on the pronunciation of their hometown.

Love you, Finger residents!

ANYWAY, for whatever reason during the holidays, my brain goes totally blank and I stare off into the distance while I plead with my brain to think of a recipe I'll deem acceptable.

I am a weird bird. I'm keep a strict "two-week-no-outfit-repeat" policy, and the same hold true for my recipes; I don't make things for social events that I've cooked in recent memory. What usually happens when I rack my brain for recipes is that I realize that I made sausage balls for the tailgate a couple of weeks ago, and I made pimento cheese spread for the Christmas party last week. I don't want to bring a fruit or veggie tray because I'm stubborn. And if an idea for an appetizer pops into my head, I get excited!


But then I realize that the person who inspired that dish will probably be there, and they will probably bring their version of that dish.And showing up with the same dish is like showing up to a party with the same dress on. People start comparing. And things can get ugly, and I shun confrontation.

Things like that don't end well for me.

And since my comfort food is filled with flavors of the southwest, I impose that upon other people. And if they don't like it, I just figure there's more food...for me!

What can I say? I'm a giver!

And so, without further ado, I give you...Southwestern "egg rolls."

They're warm, crispy, smoky, and delicious. 

And they're filling...yes, indeed. 

I bet if you even repeat this recipe as early as the Super Bowl, nobody would hate you.

You could even stick some spinach in these, and some people might kiss you.

You could pick up some "real" egg roll wrappers and fry these puppies...and give your cardiologist some Christmas cheer.

I'm just here to give you options!

These are scrumptious--and the sauce is the perfect, cool complement.

Just sayin'.

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls (makes approx. 10 rolls)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded (about 2 breasts or 3 thighs)
  • ¾ cup corn kernels
  • ¾ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
  • 10 fajita-sized flour tortillas (about 6 inches in diameter)

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

In a saucepan on medium heat, allow the oil to heat and saute the onions for about five minutes, or until translucent. Add the chicken, corn, black beans, jalapeno, salt, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne (if using); stir until heated and fragrant, about five minutes. Add cilantro, then take the mixture off the heat. Add the cheese; stir until melted.

Place the tortillas on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave them on high for approximately one minute, or until soft and pliable. Place one tortilla on a flat surface, and pour two tablespoons of the mixture into the center of the tortilla. Carefully fold the right and left edges of the tortilla until the folds touch the mixture, and roll the tortilla, tucking the edges under. Place each “eggroll” into a greased pan. With a basting brush, spread a thin layer of canola oil on each tortilla, adding chili powder to the top to add a splash of color.

Pop the rolls into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the tortillas are golden and crispy. Serve warm with cool cilantro dipping sauce.
Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce (makes about 2 cups)

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 cup tomatillo salsa
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (about ½ of a lime)
  • ⅓ cup fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend ingredients until smooth, and serve cold. Can be used to dip southwestern egg rolls, chips, vegetables, or to top off your favorite spicy dishes, like tacos or enchiladas.

Cilantro is life.

Share these, kids. Or keep them to yourself. I don't really care; just make them soon!

Adapted from All Recipes.

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