And the colors of red and green continue…
Issues I tell ya.
SO, you know what I still continue to find incredibly uncomfortable after two+ years? Telling people about what it is I do. It’s like “Oh hey, I write a food blog and I spend all day cooking. Yes, all day.” It’s the weirdest most awkward thing.
What is even worse is when my mom tells people…in front of me. It’s typical mom stuff that all teenagers dread. Only thing is, I am no longer a teen (WHAT?? how is this possible?) and it still gets me every time. But really, my mom is the worst of the worst. I mean, she’s the best, but she is also the best at talking about her kids, and oh my gosh, I am so embarrassed about it. My little brother, he loves it. Me? Not so much. I don’t care how much success I have (or don’t have…she tends to exaggerate things) I am just not into people talking me up or talking about me period. PLUS, you just get these blank stairs like. “huh, you write a food blog? And that’s all you do? Can we trade places?”.
Maybe someday I will come up with a none awkward way to inform people of what I do, but at my current age of twenty-one my shyness and insecurities still shine through.
So basically, I am an awkward mess when talking about um, me. Fun, right?
The only reason I bring this all up is because Asher had a new friend over the other day and the kids dad got the low down from my mom. Uncomfortable. My cheeks were redder than Santa’s coat. You see, I am still a kid at heart in some ways.
Also, you’ll know I am feeling nervous/embarrassed immediately. I have cheeks that flush at a moment’s notice. It’s quite a talent actually.
And now that we have all realized what a basket case I am, let me tell you about some egg rolls with sweet chile pomegranate sauce – before I completely lose you all!
If you have never made homemade egg rolls, now is the time to do so. There is something about December that makes me think Chinese food and I have this feeling I am not alone. Again, I have no idea why I have this feeling, but I do. It seems that I like to make egg rolls in December. I did it last year and I am pretty sure I did it the year before too. This year though, I put my own spin on them. Typical me, I can’t let anything be.
Please do not get freaked out that I put brussels sprouts in these instead of cabbage. See, brussels sprouts are really just mini cabbages, but with more flavor. Flavor I personally cannot get enough of. So good.
I kind of added a ton of mushrooms too because lately I’ve been addicted to those as well. I guess these are good things to be addicted to. Health food.
AND you can either fry or bake these. I fried them because I am turning into a frier (SCARY). Don’t know why, but I am into it lately. BUT baked are just as delicious. AND you can also use leftover turkey for these instead of the chicken. Just toss the cooked turkey with the marinade ingredients and cook in a skillet until caramelized. I actually did this on Thanksgiving. Worked awesome!
You can’t make these though without the sauce. The sauce is so good. You really do need it, you do, you do. It’s spicy, but the sweetness of the pomegranates balances all the spiciness. Oh, and the pomegranates. These are actually a SERIOUS addiction. I still have more recipes coming your way involving pomegranates. Don’t get sick of them. Please, please, please.
And ok, aren’t these the perfect holiday appetizer/snack/dinner? I love the colors and the flavors keep you coming back for more. Pretty sure this is another recipe I will be making when the family arrives for Christmas…which is in T-minus ten (I need to Christmas shop! Santa shouldn’t be the only one with elves. Really!)
Thinking these will be the perfect “late-night everyone’s maybe had a few drinks (except me because I am so lame and still haven’t even used my new ID at the liquor store yet), let’s talk all night and eat up all the egg rolls with extra dipping sauce” kind of recipe. Yup, perfect for that. I can already see my cousins Abby + Maggie smiling and getting excited.
It’s gonna be good.
Oh, and if I could keep your attention for hours, I’d tell you this ridiculous story about the day I made these, but maybe I will save that for tomorrow.
Chinese Chicken and Brussels Sprouts Egg Rolls with Sweet Chile Pomegranate Sauce.
- 6 tablespoons sesame oil divided
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cubed (or another 8 oz mushrooms)
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce divided
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce divided (optional)
- 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce divided
- 1/4-1/2 Chinese five spice
- 2 cloves garlic minced or grated, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 4 green onions chopped
- 1 pound brussels sprouts shredded
- 2 carrots cut into matchsticks
- 8 ounces button mushrooms sliced
- 24-30 egg roll wrappers
- 1 egg beaten
Sweet Chile Pomegranate Sauce
- 1/2 cup sweet thai chili sauce
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- pomegranate arils
To make the filling, combine 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce (if using), 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce and the Chinese five spice powder. Add 1 clove of minced garlic, the ginger, 2 green onions, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a Ziploc bag or bowl. Shake well to combine. Place the chicken in the bag, press out the excess air, and seal. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 hours.
Heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken + marinade (being careful of splattering) to the pan and cook until the chicken is cooked throughout and lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon sesame oil to the pan. Add the shredded brussels sprouts, carrots and mushrooms. Add the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, fish sauce and remaining teaspoon of hoisin sauce. Stir to toss the vegetables. Cook over high heat for about 8-10 minutes. Toss in the remaining garlic and green onions and cook for 1 more minute. Stir the chicken into the veggies.
To wrap the egg rolls, lay an egg roll wrapper out on your work surface with one corner pointing toward you. Add a tablespoon or two of the filling to the center of the wrapper. Fold the corner closest to you up over the filling. Roll slightly away from you then fold in the two outside corners, and continue rolling the wrapper tightly away from you. Securely close the egg roll by lightly brushing the inside top corner of the wrapper with the beaten egg. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
To fry the egg rolls, heat about 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees F. Fry a few egg rolls at a time in the hot oil but without overcrowding, about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a large plate lined with paper towels to help drain the excess grease. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
To bake the egg roles, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray tops of egg rolls with cooking spray. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Sweet Chile Pomegranate Sauce
In a small to medium size pot, combine the sweet thai chile sauce, soy sauce, pomegranate juice, brown sugar, rice vinegar and ginger. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5-8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reduced slightly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool 10 minutes, stir in the pomegranate arils. Serve with warm egg rolls.
In the meantime, you should totally make these.