It seems like for the last few years, I’ve taken a break from writing here and then I crawl out of hibernation sometime around mid-February. First, the days get shorter. Then the holiday season starts. Once that’s over, I’m tired and I want to focus on making tried-and-true favorites that don’t really demand much from me. Winter for me really means recipes where a few things go into a pot or a skillet or the oven and without much effort, dinner is served. During this time of hibernation (and voracious recipe collecting), I decide what recipes are going to be a part of the next installment of 12 Days of Oscar. I started 12 Days of Oscar in 2011 to combine my thoughts on two of my favorite things: food and movies. This year I have twelve movies and recipes that I think are worth coming out of hibernation for.
The first installment for this year’s feature is one of my all-time favorite movies. The 1962 movie Gypsy is the film adaptation of the stage production of Gypsy: A Musical Fable. In an attempt to turn her daughter June into a vaudeville star, domineering stage mother Rose Horvick takes June and her less talented older sister Louise all over the country. When June tires of trying to play roles meant for young children when she no longer is one, Rose puts her energy into Louise. As Louise gains fame as burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee, her relationship with her mother gets increasingly distant. Gypsy was nominated for three Oscars (Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Scoring of Music).
When Mr. Goldstone of the Orpheum Circuit visits during Louise’s birthday, Rose starts thrusting both compliments and Chinese food in his direction. The first thing she offers him in the song “Mr. Goldstone, I Love You” is an egg roll. Every time I make egg rolls, I think (not always silently) “Have a Goldstone, Mr. Eggroll!” just like in the song so it seemed appropriate to pair egg rolls with one of my favorite movies. Once you’ve mastered rolling an egg roll so that it stays sealed up and conquer any fear of frying you might have, egg rolls are incredibly easy to make. I filled these with shrimp and a ginger cabbage mixture. You could use beef, or pork, or chicken (ground or finely diced is best) and they would be just as delicious.
- 12 egg roll wrappers (my grocery store has them refrigerated but if yours come frozen, defrost them unopened at room temperature for 45 minutes or overnight)
- 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
- 3 oz. shredded cabbage and 1 oz. shredded carrot OR 4 oz. bagged coleslaw mix
- 1/4 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
- protein of choice, cooked and (if not ground) finely diced (for shrimp egg rolls use 1 large shrimp per egg roll, cut in half)
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Oil, for frying
To make the filling, spray a wok or large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray (or use an oil sprayer, such as Misto). Heat the pan over medium heat.
Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute, then turn the heat to medium low.
Add the cabbage, carrots, and ginger. Stir-fry for 1 minute until the vegetables have softened.
Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper and stir to combine.
Continue to stir-fry the mixture for 1 more minute.
Spread the vegetable mixture onto a baking sheet so it cools. Prop up one end of the baking sheet so any excess liquid runs to one end of the sheet.
Allow the mixture to cool for 15 minutes, and discard the collected liquid. If you are using cooked ground or diced meat, stir it into the filling now.
To wrap the egg rolls, start by placing one wrapper so a corner points toward you. Remember to keep the other wrappers covered with a damp towel or paper towel while you work with one wrapper at a time.
Place 1 Tablespoon of filling on the corner, as pictured below (use 1 Tablespoon only, do not overfill these). If you are using shrimp, place them next to or on top of the filling.
Roll the corner with the filling up toward the opposite corner.
Fold the left and right sides of the egg roll wrapper in toward each other as shown below.
Roll the bottom of the egg roll up toward the top point, being sure to keep the left and right sided tucked in as you do.
Dip a finger in water and run it along the top corner of the wrapper and then press lightly to seal the wrapper closed.
Place the egg rolls in a single layer as you roll them, covered in plastic wrap so they don’t dry out.
To fry the egg rolls, fill a wok or pot with 2 inches of cooking oil (vegetable or canola is preferred. Do NOT use olive oil, it can not be heated to a high enough temperature for frying).
Heat the oil to 350 degrees (if you don’t have a fry thermometer, you can put in a cube of bread or a kernel of un-popped popcorn. If the bread browns within 10 seconds or the popcorn kernel pops, it’s ready).
Carefully slide or lower the egg rolls into the oil. Depending on the size of your pot, you can fry 4 to 6 at a time.
Turn the egg rolls occasionally and fry for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until golden brown.
Carefully remove the egg rolls from the oil and place them on a wire rack to cool.
These can be eaten after a few minutes of cooling.
Makes 12 egg rolls.
Source: heavily adapted from Steamy Kitchen