Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday Appetizers

Last weekend, Steve and I spent Christmas Day at his parents' house with the rest of the family. There were 17 of us, which meant lots of hungry people! I was in charge of the appetizers and enjoyed planning what we were going to bring.

In addition to the Brown Sugar Smokies I posted about last year, one of the items on my list was Southwestern Egg Rolls with Cilantro Cream Sauce. These have received enthusiastic thumbs-up reviews from my panel of guinea pigs (ahem, I mean taste testers), so I thought I'd share the recipes in case you need to make hors d'oeuvres for New Year's Eve or another gathering sometime.

Let's start with the Southwestern Egg Rolls:

Although I didn't take this photograph (which appears on Allrecipes.com, where I got the original recipe from which I adapted mine below), the ones I made looked pretty darn close. Instead of the tortillas originally called for, I used wonton wrappers to create miniature egg rolls. They're the perfect "two-bite delight," LOL!

Southwestern Egg Rolls

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1/3 cup frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons canned green chiles, chopped
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 package wonton wrappers
vegetable oil cooking spray

Rub 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over chicken breast. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook chicken approximately 5 minutes per side, until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in green onion and red pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until tender.

Dice chicken and mix into the pan with onion and red pepper. Mix in corn, black beans, green chiles, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until well blended and tender. Remove from heat and stir in Monterey Jack cheese so that it melts.

Put 1 teaspoon of the mixture in the center of a wonton wrapper, and moisten the edges of the wrapper with water. Fold the sides of the wrapper, and then roll tightly around mixture to make a small egg roll shape. Arrange on a greased baking sheet, and continue to make the rest of the egg rolls in the same manner.

Spray the egg rolls generously with vegetable oil cooking spray, and bake at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve the egg rolls with salsa or guacamole. Better yet, whip up a batch of Cilantro Cream Sauce to go with them:

Again, the above photo isn't mine but instead comes from the Allrecipes.com site. I wish had remembered to take my own pictures, but Steve and I were both scurrying in the kitchen all morning on Saturday trying to get everything done in time.

I think this sauce is absolutely delicious. If you like cilantro as much as we do, you'll probably agree. It's excellent with tacos or burritos, chicken, and even fish. Even so, be aware that the recipe as written below makes a LOT. I usually cut it in half, and we still end up with plenty of yummy leftover sauce.

Cilantro Cream Sauce

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 (7 ounce) can tomatillo salsa
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, pepper, celery salt, cumin, garlic powder, cilantro, and lime juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy, and chill until ready to serve.

1 comment:

Bev Gerard said...

Okay .... I am stuck with a watering mouth over these ... cilantro sauce sounds like it has my name all over it! I'm planning to Wow my Martha Stewart daughter with this one later this year! Yum! Add two more "guinea pigs' to your list any time!