Egg rolls, filled with seasoned ground chicken, freshly shredded cabbage, and just a bit of (surprise!) grated cheddar cheese.
When I saw Coolio make these on Celebrity Cook-Off, I knew I had to try them.
I just wasn’t feeling the love for deep-frying a whole lotta Soul Rolls – even tho’ I now have a wicked cool mini deep fryer. I’ll save that for fries and hush puppies.
Enter my new favorite, kinda-good-for-you, beer batter onion rings; good for you because they are breaded and then only browned in a bit of oil, then finished on a rack in the oven.
It worked for onion rings, would it work for soul rolls?
When I first tried making them, as a snack-y dinner for just Rich and I, we knew we had a winner that would be a huge hit at a party – and because the rolls are finished on a large tray in the oven, all that tedious filling and rolling and initial browning can be done a few hours ahead, with the final, finishing bake saved for when your guests have arrived and are ready for a nosh.
For the test batch, I had used ground turkey, this time, nice ground chicken was on sale at my local market, so I went that way, and all was good. I also cut back on the dipping sauces – only offering the pineapple barbecue this time – but no one seemed to mind.
Note: I doubled the amounts for Golnaz and Mehran’s party, yielding 40 rolls
•1 package egg roll wrappers
•1 pound ground turkey or chicken
• 1/2 tbsp (1-1/2 tsp) seasoned salt
•1/2 tbsp (1-1/2 tsp) ground black pepper
•1 tsp minced garlic – I used one large clove
•1 onion, chopped
•Canola oil, for frying
•2 or 3 cups green cabbage, shredded
•2 cups shredded jack or Cheddar (one 8-ounce bag)
Toss the onion and garlic with the seasoned salt and the black pepper. Add to a large, hot, lightly oiled pan with the ground turkey or chicken, and cook, stirring often, until the meat is completely cooked, and any liquid has been mostly cooked away.
Set aside to cool.
When ready to roll, set up the egg roll wrappers, cabbage, cooked meat mixture, and cheese in a line. A small bowl of water would be a good thing, too.
Lay a wrapper on the diagonal on a board, top with a bit of the cabbage, then the meat mixture, then some cheese.
Pull the bottom corner up and over the filling – tucking a bit and tightening up the filling. Fold the corners in over the center and finish rolling – dabbing a little bit of water on that top corner at the end so the dough will stick together.
Once all are rolled, we’re ready to brown.
Heat a tablespoon or so of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Take 2 or 3 of the rolls at a time and cook, just to brown, on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside on a rack over a baking pan.
Finish browning the remaining rolls, and either finish baking, or, if doing this really ahead, allow to cool and stash in the fridge until needed. I wouldn’t do these too far ahead – mebbe in the morning for and afternoon ‘do, or the afternoon for an evening one. I did cook the chicken, and shredded the cabbage and cheese the night before, stashing all in separate bags in the fridge until needed, so that made/makes the final prep work a lot easier.
When you are ready to serve: heat the oven to 400º and bake your rolls, on those racks in the pans, for 15 to 20 minutes, until nicely browned, crispy, and heated through.
Serve with your dipping sauce of choice.
I followed Coolio’s lead by making a dipping sauce with my barbecue sauce stirred with a bit of the syrup from a can of pineapple (you could also use the syrup from a can of peaches).
DIPPING SAUCE INGREDIENTS
•3/4 to 1 cup barbecue sauce
•3 tbsp syrup from a can of pineapple or peaches packed in syrup (save the fruit for another purpose – mebbe this kinda funky, but good, cranberry relish)
Combine the barbecue sauce with the fruit syrup and serve with the rolls.
And Oh! so tasty!