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Monday, July 12, 2010
Homemade Eggrolls with Sweet & Sour Sauce made from Preserves
Homemade eggrolls will put a sparkle in my families eyes every time. Especially when served with sweet and sour sauce made from my own homemade preserves. The preparations take a bit of time, but I make a very large batch so that we can have them for lunches and put extra up in the freezer.
I begin by gathering all the garden vegetables I have available. Some things I will purchase organic at the market. Every time I make eggrolls the filling will vary depending on the season for the vegetables and what meat I have available. For this recipe I used 4 small lean porkchops. I try to purchase meat that is grown without antibiotics and growth hormones. I much prefer livestock that is fed by mother earth with both organic feed and grass fed. The type of oil that I use makes a huge difference in the flavor as well as health. My all time favorite is organic sunflower/expeller pressed, where the milky oil of the sunflower seed can be seen. Also a good safflower oil or sesame seed is very good. After I fry my eggrolls I save the oil in the refrigerator for another use. This allows me to be more frugal with my budget to be able to buy a healthier oil.
What you will need: Eggroll skins fresh garlic cloves fresh ginger root fresh sweet onion corn starch cooking oil soy sauce fresh spinach leaves cabbage bok choy or pak choy carrots garlic powder 3 or 4 small porkchops
Begin by mincing 2 or 3 garlic cloves, 1/2 onion and grate at least a heaping tablespoon of ginger root. Reserve some of this for the sweet and sour sauce and set it all aside. Next put a tablespoon or so of oil in a skillet and cook the porkchops, seasoned with garlic powder. When they are done cut them up into very small bite size pieces. Set aside. Next prepare your vegetables. For the cabbage I slice it very thin and again cross length. The same for the spinach and bok choy. I grate the thick stems of the bok choy and the carrots and then sit it all aside. Next I start heating up my wok with a couple of tbsps. of oil on med. high heat. I put it the garlic, onion and ginger root. This will begin to really flavor up the oil. Then add your porkchops. Stir a bit to soak in the flavors. Add a few dashes of soy sauce. It is the oriental version of salt so use it to taste. Now add the vegetables. I use two long wooden spoons and use them like chop sticks. Take one in each hand and pull the meat from the bottom of the wok up into your vegetables. Do this just until the vegetables begin to get tender. If you feel you would like to add a little more soy sauce at this time go right ahead. I usually do to make sure I have enough for the vegetables. Pour everything into a large metal bowl with a lid or foil on top and place it in the refrigerator. By leaving it set for a bit will allow the liquid to drain to the bottom. When your making your eggrolls you don't want liquid in your skins. This will cause them to be to wet and burn when you fry them. Now it's time to wrap. If you are at all familar with putting a clothe diaper on a baby that is what you will be doing. Lay out your skin on the angle. Place a couple of good tablespoons full of your mixture. Fold up the bottom corner. Fold over the two side corners and roll her up. I mix a tiny bit of cornstarch with water and have it sitting in a cup near my work space. I dot the last corner of the skin with it and roll the eggroll up over it. This will help the skin stick together. After they are all rolled up I start deep frying them in a cast iron pot with hot oil. Be careful not to over stuff your eggrolls or they will not turn well for you while frying. Let each eggroll drain well back into your pot. I place them in a glass pan lined with coffee filters to finish draining.
Sweet and Sour Sauce 12 oz. of homemade preserves or jam. (Buy organic preserves or jam if need be) 2 tbsp. good quality white wine vinegar 1 packed tbsp. of brown sugar 1 tbsp. finely chopped onion 1 tsp. red pepper flakes 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Heat all the ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Take it off the heat and let cool. Place it in a mason jar with the lid on and refrigerate. When I'm making a huge quantity of eggrolls I usually double this recipe. You just can't have enough sweet and sour sauce!