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the haas machine: Chicken & Vegetable Egg Rolls

Monday, March 18, 2013

Chicken & Vegetable Egg Rolls

I really love cooking with my husband & I feel really blessed to have a guy in my life who enjoys cooking with me, for me, & even without me. It's one of the things that really helped us bond when we were dating & has  aided us in continuing to invest in each other now that we've been married for a little over 3.5 years.

You really learn stuff about people when you're in the kitchen together. Sometimes it's pretty, but sometimes it's really not. We get into most of our disagreements in the kitchen, but we almost always have some of our best conversations in there, too. Somebody needs to get smart & design a house where the kitchen is more of a focal point (I'm talking comfy chairs, fireplaces, hot tubs...)

In the beginning of our dating relationship, I learned that John is an absolute by-the-book cooker/baker. He levels things, he uses measuring cups, & he never, ever eyeballs ingredients when putting them in a recipe (the exceptions would be when there's an ingredient he doesn't like, when a recipe calls for margarine, or when he's making anything that involves oil).

Me on the other hand, well, let's just say I could use some help in this department. I'm getting better about using the right ingredients & the correct amounts (& consequently I think my cooking is improving!) But I'm kinda lazy & I absolutely will (almost always) refuse to go get some ingredient I need if we don't have it because I don't want to leave my project unattended. I'll just try to sub something & it sometimes turns out.

I'll never forget the first tiramisu that we made together. John was horrified (but oh so gentle with me because we had just started dating!) at my techniques. "Did you put in enough vanilla?" "How many eggs have you used?" "Were those peaks stiff enough?" It makes me laugh now, because our styles haven't changed much, although I will say that we are meeting more towards the middle (for the record, this tiramisu didn't turn out & I'm pretty sure I and something to do with it).
As much as we are growing, we still take bold chances sometimes. Our latest adventure was with these egg rolls. OK, they're called egg rolls for a reason, right? Well guess who didn't have enough eggs (we needed one egg)? Did I call my neighbor to get an egg? Did I walk the 4 blocks to buy some? No. We made them without eggs & they actually turned out. We were both a little nervous that they would become "unglued" as they were frying, but it all worked out. They were crispy & delicious & I'm thinking that we need to change the name to "chicken & veg rolls" because of the lack of egg.

John & I have learned to give each other a little bit of space in the kitchen & respect each other's styles. He's realized that baked goods don't need to be coated in white sugar to be tasty & I've learned that yes, sometimes, they do. I think we owe it to ourselves to try that tiramisu again sometime soon, what do you think?

Chicken & Vegetable Egg Rolls
4 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded or finely diced
1 head Napa cabbage, finely shredded
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup potato, peeled & shredded
soy sauce, about 2 tablespoons, or to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 package egg roll wrappers
vegetable oil for frying
1 egg, beaten & mixed with 1 tablespoon water (egg is optional, but encouraged)

Mix cut veggies in a large bowl. Heat a large skillet & drizzle with olive oil. Stir fry the veggies in two batches, adding the soy sauce & pepper just as the cabbage starts to wilt. Cook veggies until just underdone, as they will cook more when you fry the egg rolls. Place cooked veggies in large bowl & mix in the chicken. Let the mixture cool slightly before rolling. 

Lay out a wrapper, brush egg mixture on two adjacent edges, spoon as much as you can fit (3-4 tablespoons) into a wrapper, & roll according to package instructions (if you don't have an egg, you can just wet the corners with a bit of water).

Heat the vegetable oil, about 1-1 1/2 inches deep, in a frying pan.  Fry the egg rolls 4-5 at a time, turning as they get to a golden brown color. Remove to paper towels, or a wire rack to drain & cool. I've also heard that you can bake egg rolls, too, but John is anti-baking when the other option is deep frying. Surprise, surprise.

Recipe adapted from Food Pusher

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At March 18, 2013 at 8:02 AM , Blogger Shannon Anderson said...

Ha! Sounds like us! This weekend I made the rigatoni you posted and forgot to by goat cheese so I substituted spinach and Joel was so confused. He's used to my willy-nilly ways now and I'm getting used to his precision. Another thing we had to get used to was process style. I'm a "clean as you cook" gal and he's a "leave it a disaster zone until you're done" kind of guy. One night I came home to almost all the cupboards open and not an inch of counter space to be had, but dinner was ready! :)

At March 18, 2013 at 8:34 AM , Anonymous Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen said...

Haha, I can totally hear John saying those things! The egg rolls were delicious by the way! I only wish I had been hungrier.

At March 20, 2013 at 2:22 PM , Blogger Gillian @ thehaasmachine said...

It must be the engineers in them! John is a messy cook, too, but I just can't work like that!


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