Saltfish Egg Roll Appetizers

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So a week has gone by and I know I said I wasn’t going to post this egg roll recipe, but husband and daughter convinced me that the world would be a much better place if I did. Basically, they said that everyone needs to try a saltfish egg roll because it is so delicious. Crispy on the outside and jam-packed with a flavorful Asian inspired saltfish filling these egg rolls can even be prepared ahead of time, frozen and then simply reheated. Let’s get this party started.

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The filling is super easy to prepare because it all gets buzzed up in the food processor. Then all you do is wrap and roll……..

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….and fry until golden brown and crispy

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Serve with your favorite dipping sauces and dig in. Delicious and party perfect.

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To prepare saltfish: soak it in cold water in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours changing the water 3 times.

Saltfish Egg Roll Appetizers

8 ounces Buena Ventura Salted Pollock Filets, prepared

3 cloves garlic

2 cups shredded napa cabbage

¼ cup shredded carrot

1 green onion, chopped

1 teaspoon grated ginger

3 tablespoons sweet Asian chile sauce

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

12 egg roll wrappers

vegetable oil for shallow frying

Cook fish in a pan of boiling water for about 2 minutes or until the fish flakes. Using a slotted spoon transfer fish to a cold water bath to stop the cooking. When fish is cool transfer to paper towels; pat dry. In a food processor, with processor running, drop garlic through feed tube to mince. Stop machine and add cabbage, carrot, green onion, ginger, chile sauce, cilantro, salt and pepper; pulse until blended. Add fish to food processor; pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and well combined. Working with 1 egg roll wrapper at a time, lay wrapper down on work surface with a point facing you. Using your finger, rub the edges of the wrapper with water. Place scant 1/3rd cup of filling across lower middle of wrapper. Bring bottom edge of wrapper tightly over filling and fold in sides. Continue rolling to opposite point, pressing to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, add egg rolls to skillet and fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until evenly golden brown on all sides. Transfer to a rack. Serve while hot with your favorite dipping sauces. Makes 12 egg rolls. Note: fully cooked egg rolls can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for a month and then reheated in a 350F oven when needed

611Store locations include: Cousins, H-Mart, Jetro, Price Chopper, Price Rite

For more information and recipes check out these social media links:

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And here is a tip for those of you who also love gyoza or Asian dumplings. Replace the egg roll wrappers with wonton skins, pan-fry and then add some water, cover and steam. Another delicious appetizer. The saltfish filling is so versatile.

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The saltfish filling can also be used to make Asian pan-fried & steamed dumplings

 

 

 

Han & Spring Chicken Stew

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As one who grieves the loss of a child I find my vocabulary limited in describing just how I feel on a day-to-day basis. Often described, as a rollercoaster of emotion or waves of ups and downs, grief seems to be somewhat of a mixed bag of sadness and hope. While I get the ebb and flow analogy it is something so much more.

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Will at his favorite store, Cabelas

In conversation with my friend Sonya who was born and raised in Korea I learned of the word “Han”. Han is an important and beautiful part of the Korean culture. Difficult to translate into English here are my thoughts. Han is an integral part of our being something so deep inside that it shapes and defines who we are. It is born of injustice. Like an evolutionary process it takes the best of hopeful and positive and the worst of sorrow and negative and weaves it into our DNA.

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We all love our children. Most likely we love our children more than we love ourselves, but you don’t REALLY know how much you love them until they are gone. That is Han emerging. It’s my Han telling me how grateful I am for having him for 23 years and it’s my Han telling me how deep my sorrow goes that he is gone. That interwoven hope and sadness is an integral part of my being every single day. It is intense. It is extreme. It’s a dull lingering ache in the soul that can’t be controlled. Han is the word for one who has lost a child. For those who have lost a child I think you understand and for those who have not I hope you never will.

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Like Han, Korean flavors go deep, too. Lately, I have been studying authentic Korean cuisine with two young ladies. Teaching cooking lessons with them has been a real joy as both are open to exploring new and sometimes scary things like sweet potato noodles, bell flower root and soused briny shrimp. We are stepping out of our comfort zone.

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the shrimp eyes are a bit creepy

The first dish we made is a Spring Chicken Stew based on a recipe in Noh Chin-hwa’s book Healthful Korean Cooking.The stew is easy to prepare, but very complex in flavor. Thankfully, when I opened the scary jar of salted shrimp the aroma simply reminded me of the ocean. My students liked it, too. The shrimp marinade lends the dish an incredible depth of saltiness without being at all fishy. The peppers, aromatics and sesame add layers of fresh and nutty flavor for a most pleasant beginning to the spring season.

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Oriental markets are main stream these days and I am happy to have several nearby. These same ingredients are most likely available on-line, too. As far as fresh produce goes feel free to use any peppers you prefer. Longhots are the perfect substitution for spicy Korean peppers.

Korean Spring Chicken Stew

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

¼ teaspoon salt

1 whole chicken

1/3 cup soused, salted shrimp

5 tablespoons chopped green onions

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1-tablespoon sesame oil

Black pepper

5 Korean red peppers, seeded, diced

5 Korean green peppers, seeded, diced

1 onion, diced

Grind sesame seeds and salt together. Cut chicken into pieces (2-inch pieces); mix with shrimp and seasoning and let stand 15 to 30 minutes. Fry chicken in sesame oil. Pour in ½ cup water; cover and simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through. Remove cover. Cut onion and peppers into ¼-inch squares. When liquid has evaporated add vegetables and stir-fry briefly.

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Super Bowl’s Best Appetizers

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Super Bowl parties are on the horizon. Planning one is never easier. Finger foods and dip recipes are in order. I bet you have the hot wings covered, so lets move into the end zone with some more winning ideas.

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Seriously, it’s not a party unless there is dip. Right? Here is my spicy new spin on the Middle Eastern chickpea puree known as hummus. It takes all of 5 minutes to make in the food processor and really tastes even better if made a day in advance. It can be served with the classic pita chips or if you want to get extra healthy and fancy serve it as a finger food stuffed into those cute little mini peppers. Using the harissa avocado mayo from one of my favorite brands, Chosen Foods, eliminates the need for several other ingredients like oil and spices.

Harissa Hummus

1 clove garlic

1 (15 oz.) can chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained, liquid reserved (aka: aquafaba)

¼ cup Chosen Foods Harissa avocado oil mayo

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons sesame tahini

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

With food processor fitted with metal blade and running, drop garlic through the feed tube. When garlic is finely chopped turn off machine. Add chick peas; process about 30 seconds or until coarsely chopped. Add remaining ingredients including 1 tablespoon of reserved aquafaba. Process mixture until smooth scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add additional aquafaba to thin mixture to desired dip consistency. Stored covered in refrigerator. 

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Since we all need balance on the field and on the table let’s go from super delicious healthy to super delicious decadence. Let’s face it. Decadence makes us happy. You need this in case your favorite team failed to make the play-offs, so dig in and enjoy yourself.

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Can you say Touchdown! These crispy chili beef spring rolls will have your friends coming over whether they like to watch football or not. Make a batch of your favorite chili. Enjoy some for dinner and set a cup or two aside to cool overnight in the fridge in preparation of these hand-held delights. I love this chili recipe from certified angus beef.

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Spring roll shells (NOT egg roll wrappers) are a must for a light crispy texture. Do you fear deep-frying? If so, the rolls can be shallow fried just by turning them to insure an even golden brown on all sides. Remember to roll them tightly and seal them well to keep all the beef chili goodness inside.

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Crispy Beef Chili Spring Rolls

Make at least 2 per person. For each spring roll you will need:

  • 1 spring roll shell
  • 1 tablespoon shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cold beef chili
  • vegetable or peanut oil for frying

Lay spring roll shell down on flat surface with a point towards you. Follow photo below for spooning cheese and chili on top. Fold point over filling and roll tightly sealing ends and sides with a bit of water. Heat oil to 350F. Fry until golden on all sides, about 2 minutes. Serve with your favorite salsa, sour cream, and guacamole for dipping. 

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See how super thin they are compared to egg roll wrappers?