Chinese Egg Rolls -Time Consuming but SOO worth it.

yield: Makes about 24

active time: 1 3/4 hr

total time: 2 1/4 hr

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • About 4 cups peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 bunches scallions (about 10), white and pale green parts cut into 2-inch lengths, then cut lengthwise into very thin matchsticks (2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into very thin matchsticks (2 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into very thin matchsticks (1 cup)
  • 8 large fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced 1/4 inch thick (3 cups)
  • 1 lb medium shrimp in shell (31 to 35 per lb), peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 lb Chinese roast pork (char siu) or leftover roast pork, cut into 2-inch lengths, then cut lengthwise into very thin matchsticks
  • 1 (1-lb) package Asian egg roll or spring roll wrappers
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer
  • Accompaniments: Asian sweet chile sauce; Chinese mustard

Make filling: Stir together oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and salt in a small bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved.

Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then add 2 tablespoons peanut oil, swirling skillet to coat. Stir-fry ginger, garlic, and scallions until scallions are wilted, about 1 minute. Add celery, carrots, and mushrooms and stir-fry until vegetables are softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Push vegetables toward edge of skillet, then add shrimp to center and stir-fry until shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Add pork and oyster sauce mixture and stir together all ingredients in skillet until combined. Season with salt and transfer to a large shallow bowl. Cool, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Make egg rolls: Gently peel apart wrappers to separate if necessary (wrappers may not be perfectly square).

Put 1 wrapper on a work surface, arranging wrapper with a corner nearest you and keeping remaining wrappers covered with plastic wrap. Stir filling, then spread a scant 1/4 cup filling horizontally across center of wrapper to form a 4-inch log. Fold bottom corner over filling, then fold in side corners. Brush top corner with egg and roll up wrapper tightly to enclose filling, sealing roll closed with top corner. Transfer roll, seam side down, to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Make more egg rolls in same manner, transferring to baking sheet as formed (you may have some filling left over).

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 250°F. Line a large colander with paper towels. Heat 1 inch peanut oil in a 5- to 6-quart wide heavy pot until it registers 350°F on thermometer, then fry 4 or 5 egg rolls (don’t crowd pot), turning with a slotted spoon, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to colander and drain rolls upright 2 to 3 minutes, then keep warm on a rack set on a large baking sheet in oven. Fry remaining egg rolls in batches, transferring to colander and then to rack in oven.

Note: I added some cabbage to this recipe because I like the taste of cabbage. It turned out superb.

Smells like Perfume; Tastes like Heaven

So fruit is on sale right now and it is canning season for me. I can everything I can get my hands on. I would can my kid if I could find a big enough jar 🙂 But to be serious, I love to can. I love the idea that I can give all this stuff away around Christmas and that it will stay good for a really long time. I have only canned 2 times since the beginning of this season and I have already made Banana Nut Bread Jam, Giardineria (my version not the Chicago version) which includes everything I can find in my fridge and garden, pickled cucumbers, spaghetti sauce, strawberry rhubarb jam, pickled okra and pickled burgundy beans which turn green in the pickling process. As I type this, I am listening to my son play and my canning jars tell me that they have sealed….POP!

I bought a bundle of fresh plums at the store last night and was at a loss for what to do with them at first. I had seen a recipe for plum rose jam that sounded really good but I couldn’t find it this morning in any of my canning books. I will probably find it now that the plums are used up. However, I found a recipe that piqued my interest. Plum Lavender Jam. I am leary about putting lavender in my food because it can be sooo overpowering. I once worked in a restaurant that allowed a small business to come in and use our kitchen once a month to make their large batches of lavender jellies, honeys and breads. We always got samples and while they were good the lavender was so strong that it was weird.
However the way that this recipe I used, the lavender is only used as a fragrance and it makes the plums really stand out.

I got this recipe from http://www.laundryetc.co.uk/2011/08/04/blaisdon-plum-lavender-jam/

BLAISDON PLUM & LAVENDER JAM

Makes 1.125 kg (2lbs 4oz)

1.2Kg ( 2lb 8oz) plums or 1kg (2lb 4oz) when stoned
750g ( 1lb 12oz) sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp dried lavender

Chop the plums into quarters and remove the stones. Place the fruit in a bowl layered with the sugar, add the lemon juice and push the lavender, tied in a piece of muslin, down into the fruit. Cover and leave overnight to macerate.
Next day, pour the contents of the bowl into a pan and heat it through stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to a simmer then remove from the heat, pour back into the bowl, push a piece of greaseproof paper down onto the surface of the bowl’s contents, then cover and leave to macerate for anything between 3 – 24 hours, whatever fits into your schedule.
If you plan to can or water process your jam, prepare your jars and seals, otherwise make sure your jam jars and lids are clean and hot by placing them in a warm oven for 20 minutes. Remove the lavender bundle, then with a slotted spoon remove the plum pieces from the syrup. There is no need to be too painstaking about this, it just means that your finished jam will have some nice chunks of plum flesh instead of it all being cooked into an homogenised mass!
Place the remaining syrup in a preserving pan, heat to boiling then maintain at a rolling boil until it reaches setting point. This took me about 10 minutes to achieve. Add the plum pieces and bring back to the boil and check for setting point again. Pour the jam into hot jars and seal. If you are canning your jam, process for 10 minutes then remove from the canner. Leave till cold, then test the seals. Label and date your jam.

I did not do the overnight bit but instead as I boiled down the plums, I placed the sachet to cook along with the jam. I made a second fresh sachet around the time I added the pectin and took out the first. I used an immersion blender to puree the plums prior to adding pectin. I also added only 5 c of sugar because I don’t like overly sweet jelly. I also used Black Diamond plums which have a dark purple almost black skin and a very red meat. The resulting jelly is a very beautiful garnet color.

What may be one of God’s true fineries

 

If you have ever seen okra, it looks like an angry pea pod or even a fuzzy bean. When cut open it is sticky and kinda weird. However this vegetable is unique because in my opinion it can be prepared only one real way. *mind you this is the only way I have ever had it*…Fry it. Fried foods are my weakness. However since we have once lonely okra plant in the garden, it begs to be fried. Here is a recipe that I made tonight and I eat as I type this….amazing…

Ingredients

Directions

Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F. (You may not need to use this much oil; do not fill the pan more than halfway up the sides with oil.)

In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, garlic,  pepper,  and cayenne pepper. Dip okra in buttermilk and then dredge in cornmeal-flour mixture to coat well. Carefully add okra to the hot oil and cook until golden brown. (It may be necessary to fry the okra in batches.) Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, and then serve immediately.

Paula Deen, thank you so much.