Friday, August 2, 2013

Egg Rolls!

Hey everyone! You know what's sad? I was originally going to do a 4th of July post a few weeks ago, and it's been sitting in my drafts for so long that I don't even remember all the details I was going to include. :-/ I do remember that it was a great time in Madison, as always! I made a long weekend out of it and get to spend all sorts of time with L. We had pool time, movie time, bar time, all sorts of time. It was great. I wish we could do that every day. Ha! (Movie time involved seeing "The Heat," which, if you haven't seen it, I would highly recommend it. I laughed my ass off to the point of tears in one scene!) Anyway, we closed out the weekend by helping L's sister T make A LOT of egg rolls. I'm talking a lot. She often makes large batches on her own and it takes her a long time, so we figured it'd be fun to help her. I had never done it before, or even seen the process for that matter, so it was pretty neat! By the time I got the hang of filling the wrappers and rolling them up nice, I think mine looked better than L's. ;) I took a bunch of pictures, so clearly I was pretty excited. I also got the recipe from L's sister, though it just includes ingredients, not the full instructions. I'll do my best to summarize in case you are interested in making them too. (I would highly recommend it. They are AWESOME!) Before that, I'll include a few random pics from over the 4th, and then we'll get right into the food. Yum. I'm hungry just thinking about them! Good thing I have a few frozen ones left in my freezer. :)

 Flowers L got me as a surprise! :)
 Dressed in colorful gear to head out to the pool!
 At the pool, where we spent almost the entire day on the 4th! (And no, we're not naked;).
 Random selection of Chinese food for dinner, yum!
 That weekend, we went to a bar called Hody. They made a wicked bloody! I had two;).
 Okay... I know this sandwich doesn't look that special in the picture, but it was fan-freaking-tastic. Seriously one of the best sandwiches I've ever had! The flavors just meshed so well together. I've legitimately been thinking about it ever since and think we might have to make a return trip soon, ha! If you want to check it out on their menu, it is the Hody Signature Club. Mmmm!
 T got a hold of my camera! ;)
 Such a fun day! Bar, pool, dinner, and a Walking Dead marathon. The best!

And now, we move on to the egg roll photos from the end of the weekend!
 Here is the mixture for only half of the egg rolls we made! Now you see what I mean when I say we made a lot?! I will include the ingredients and such below!

  Here's what it looks like when you first begin! You place some of the mixture in the middle of one of the wrappers, and then, as you can see below, you start folding it up. (View these next few photos if the directions below are hard to follow.)
 L in the process of rolling up some egg rolls! (Notice how he's folding in the outside corners.)
Now you fold up the bottom flap and begin rolling! Notice the little bit of egg yolk at the tip of the top flap. You'll see the reason for that in the directions.
Some of the rolls wrapped up and waiting to be fried. Making progress!
  Making even more progress!:)
  Now let's deep fry those suckers!;)
 Above and below: Keep on frying. (This part took awhile since she can only do 10 at a time in the fryer!)
 Some of the finished egg rolls along with delicious rice!
 They just keep multiplying!!!!!!!!;)

Don't they look freaking fantastic?! Yep, yep, they do. And they were/are. I have an even greater appreciation for egg rolls now that I know what the process entails. Every step was 'easy,' but it was all just very time consuming considering how many we made. I can't believe T actually makes this many on her own sometimes! That girl rocks. Anyway, because you're dying to know, I'll share with you what little insider info I have. Again, directions weren't included, so I'll do my best to articulate it in simple terms! :)

  • Rice noodles: 2 packages vermicelli noodles (preferably the ones in the pink package)
  • 3 lbs. pork meat (ground)
  • 5 eggs (plus 3-4 extra eggs for sealing the egg rolls; these won't go in the mixture)
  • Carrots, shredded
  • Green onion, chopped thin
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 75 egg roll wrappers
As you can see by the last 'ingredient,' this batch is to make 75 egg rolls. That's most likely A LOT for you if you're just making them on your own. For your reference, the wrappers come in packages of 25. You'd likely want to make all 25 at once because the wrappers can dry out and get hard, which makes rolling them pretty impossible. So, the smallest I would go is 25, and to do that, you could just divide everything by 3.

DIRECTIONS (Don't judge me, I'm making them up.)

Cook the vermicelli noodles according to directions. I will admit, I was not there for this part, and I've never cooked them, so I'm not sure how that goes. According to some sites I looked at, the noodles for egg rolls will be cooked through in just a couple minutes. Easy peasy.

Combine pork meat, eggs, carrots, green onion, salt, pepper, and garlic in a large container (i.e., a foil pan). Add vermicelli noodles. Mix all ingredients with hands until they are well combined. While it will be tempting because of the delicious smell, do NOT eat any of the mixture at this point since the pork isn't cooked.

Open the package(s) of egg roll wrappers. Only open one package at a time. The wrappers will all be stuck together, so you need to carefully peel each wrapper apart. As you pull them apart, you can lay them out on a plate. You can stack them on top of each other. Just be careful when you grab each wrapper to start rolling so you don't rip them.

Crack the 3-4 eggs that you didn't add to the mixture. Place just the egg yolks in the bowl. Discard the rest.

Lay out one egg roll wrapper on a plate. The wrapper should look like a diamond with one corner pointed directly at you. Place a large scoop of the meat mixture onto the middle of the wrapper. Be careful not to use too much mixture. (See the above picture for an idea of an appropriate amount.)

Fold the two outside corners towards each other, so the points of the corners rest in the middle of the meat mixture. It will resemble the sides of an envelope. From there, fold up the bottom flap, keeping the sides tucked in. (This part was tricky for me at first. You have to keep all the folds together so the mixture stays put, but you want to make sure to be gentle so you don't tear the wrapper.)

Once the sides are folded in and the bottom flap is brought up to the middle, you will essentially start rolling everything upwards to make the egg 'roll.' As you start to roll it, sometimes the flaps will try to unfold or the mixture will try to slip out. It's okay to get your hands dirty and re-work it. Before you get the wrapper fully rolled, dip your finger in the bowl of egg yolks and spread a little of the yolk on the top flap of the wrapper. This will help ensure the wrapper stays sealed, which is crucial for deep frying!

Once you have some of the egg rolls wrapped, you can deep fry them! I don't have a deep fryer, and I wouldn't be as familiar with how to do this in a pan of oil. The deep fryer we used could fit about 10 of the egg rolls in at one time. They stayed in the fryer for about 10 minutes until they were a crisp, golden brown. After they are fried, you can remove them and place them in a foil pan lined with paper towel.

Let the fried egg rolls cool. Once cooled, you can place them in ziploc bags in whatever quantity you choose. (We put 4 per ziploc bag.) Unless you plan to use the egg rolls in the next few days, you should freeze them until you are ready to cook them.

If you freeze them and want to cook them at a later date, pull them out of the freezer when you want to make them. (No need to take them out in advance.) Put your oven on broil. When the oven is ready, please the egg rolls on a pan lined with foil and broil them for somewhere around 15 minutes. Be sure to turn them over once during that process. Use your judgment on oven time. You will probably hear a faint sizzle when they're about ready. Broiling is key here. If you simply bake them, they will get soggy. Broiling helps ensure the crisp outer texture, which is super important!

Okay, that's it! I don't know that I did the most effective job explaining this, at least as it relates to filling and rolling the wrappers, but I hope this helped. It sounds like a lot of work, but it's really not, and it is SO worth it! Let me know if you give it a shot. If so, I hope you love them! Feel free to let me know if you have questions. Enjoy! :)


Casey Smith said...

Looks like you had an amazing holiday!! ANDDDD now I'm hungry;)

Renee said...

It sure was a great time. I love, Love, LOVE long weekends. And the weather was perfect too! I'm with ya, I get hungry every time I look at this post! ;)

Courtney Smith said...

these look D-licious!