Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Vegetarian Mexican Experience!!

When my Friend told me about this event, I thought ohh I can come up with something. Had to I love Mexican food, and had to do something. I was talking about it at work, and another friend of mine, Susan, said hmm we should make egg rolls. I thought yes..Mexican Vegetarian Egg rolls. So we made plans to do so. Well, Monday failed, some health issues with her family whom is much more important than my cooking. Which left us with today, Wednesday the day before its due. We actually did 2 events in one, the next will be posted in a few days, when I have some rest lol. Back to my egg rolls.
This event, Hosted at Dk's Culinary Bazaar wanted us to come up with a vegetarian Mexican item. Anything, appetizer, entry..anything. Leaving room for the creativity to flow freely. See me, I could easily be Vegetarian.. I love fruits and vegetables..but the issue is ..well I love meat. But I had no troubles putting that aside to come up with something. And man we had a blast doing so today. I know that an egg roll isn't very authentic, but I liked the idea of twisting something to fit the theme. So we went with it.
Now since they were dabbled the entire time, I don't have an actual recipe.. but I have everything we used, and the cool thing is, you don't need to be exact with them. Its really all a matter of taste for each person. Making them super easy, and open to many variations!! So we made a list and set out to come up with our Mexican Egg rolls. We thought of everything we could that sounded Mexican, flavor wise. And hit our local Walmart.
Our list consists of:

Spinach (I like the green it adds)
Red, Yellow, and Orange Bell peppers, Sliced into thin strips
Cilantro, finely chopped
Can of Black Beans, drained
Can of diced green chilies
Fresh Garlic, minced
Mushrooms,finely chopped
Bag of Shredded Cabbage
Onion, diced
Can diced tomatoes with chili's
1 bag each Lipton Mexican rice, and Spanish rice (we thought it would work for a binder and added flavor) (*Make the rice before you make fillings and start assembling the egg rolls)
Egg roll wrappers
Fresh corn Kernals...(we have hers frozen from her garden!! and of course, frozen or can would work as well, but my gosh her fresh corn was amazing and sweet!!)
Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese

The herbs we used were:
Ground Chili pepper
Red Pepper Flakes

So, since we played, we actually made 3 different fillings. Using the ingredients to make variations.
For the first one, We put about 1 tbsp vegetable oil in skillet. We heated and then added our Pepper strips, Garlic and onions. We sauted for a few minutes and added the mushrooms, black beans, cabbage. We seasoned this one with the cumin, coriander, green chilis, and cilantro. We put in a good heaping scoop of the Mexican rice and made sure it was heated Through. Put the filling in a bowl to cool slightly. Once room temperature, sprinkle in a small amount of shredded cheese. Fill egg rolls and set aside. Fill a large frying skillet with a good deal of oil. You want it to go about half up the side of the egg roll. Heat until hot, then fry until each side is golden. Place on paper towels to drain and cool slightly. This had the best texture and hold together of the three, flavor was right on too, she preferred this one, I liked the 2nd one's flavor better. Both good =)

For the second filling, we took the peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, black beans, cabbage, green chili's, spinach, corn, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, salt, pepper and cilantro. We left out rice and cheese. Now for this one, we felt that the filling wasn't sturdy enough. It definitely needs a binder, we thought either a rice or maybe even a shredded potato; But flavor wise, it was my favorite just lacking the sturdiness of the binder

And for the 3rd filling.. we took the peppers, garlic, onion, mushrooms, beans, corn, diced tomatoes, green chili's, cilantro, and used Spanish rice. We left out the added herbs to see how they affected the flavor. For both of us, the Spanish rice was too much. With it and the tomatoes that was all you tasted, and leaving out the herbs didn't help. The texture was good, but the flavors needed enhanced.
Obviously you cool the fillings and prepare as listed in the first variation, I just didn't want to take the time to fill that all out again ha-ha! Overall, we were very happy, infact are going to take a huge batch to work tomorrow =). I made a guacamole to go with mine. Fresh avocado, homemade salsa, cilantro, salt and pepper all mixed together.
I hope someone takes them on. They were easy, alot of fun and very tasty. We enjoyed the entire process and definitely the final outcome!!
Thanks for a great fun event!!


DK said...

OH this is simply Amazing. I love your rolls Tina. They look so delicious. Thanks for your wonderful entry to the event. I appreciate it

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