What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Hot and Soup Soup and Egg Roll Recipe

For someone that loves to cook as much as we do, it is a great joy to go to the
market and find an ingredient that you have never seen fresh before. We are so lucky to have Whole Foods Markets so close by. I found fresh wood ear mushrooms which I have only ever seen, so I had to buy them. They were $9.99 a pound, which is a lot but they are so light weight that getting a few cups of them weighed so little they only cost a few dollars. So I also picked up some fresh shitake mushrooms and some of their made-on-the-premises sausage and knew I was going home to make hot and sour soup and egg rolls. For my homemade egg rolls, I take loose sausage that is spicy hot and crumble it and sauté it with minced onion, garlic and ginger. More traditionalists would make it with ground pork or shrimp, but I like it with the spices in a hot country sausage. I add shredded cabbage and whatever else I have around. Just kidding in a way, but not really. I might add shredded carrot. I always add mung bean sprouts. Because I was making hot and sour soup and had partial jars of bamboo shoots and water chestnuts, I added some of them too as well as some of the shitake mushrooms that I didn't need for the soup. I season with some soy sauce. Then I roll them and deep fry and they are ready to go. I get a question every now and then about how to roll egg rolls so I have put together a little picture so you can see, if you haven't tried it before. The real trick is to try to roll it tight so there isn't any air it is (to puff up when you fry) and to make sure you seal it with water when you roll it to keep it from leaking. It is much better to have smaller ones than big ones that leak when fried.

It was great because I had egg roll skins enough left over to make those little fried crunchies that they always serve you with soup in Chinese restaurants. Did you know that's what they are? I just cut the egg roll wrappers or won ton skins with scissors into pieces about 1/4" x 1" and deep fry them. I like to salt them a little right out of the fryer. Not the lowest fat dinner, but you control the ingredients and the temperature of the oil so they aren't greasy. They are fresh and yummy.

As far as the soup, the recipe I devised with the fresh mushrooms is in our recipes of the week this week. Swank Catering Recipes I had stir fried pork with green beans earlier in the week so I had enough pork left over to shred up for the soup but it would have been just as good without it. I made enough to have several meals out of them. The hot and sour soup was some of the best I have made.

I hope you'll try the soup and the egg rolls and make them to your taste. It is really not at all as complicated as it sounds and they are very good. You can make a ton of egg rolls, partially fry them, cool freeze and freeze them and have them to cook on the spur of the moment.

Eat well, sleep well, laugh a lot and give us a try!



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