An oven op­tion

Thanks to a pas­try brush method, a hot oven and a bak­ing rack, th­ese egg rolls are a tasty treat.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FOOD - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Thanks to a pas­try brush method, a hot oven and a bak­ing rack, th­ese egg rolls are a tasty treat.

Alice was our au pair from China, and when she joined our fam­ily she brought with her a slew of tasty dishes.

Our fam­ily fell in love with her com­plex fried rice, dumplings with juicy meat fill­ings and her crispy egg rolls with gar­lick­ymeaty-mushroom fill­ings. The tricky thing was that Alice was one of those cooks who worked her magic with­out a recipe. I would watch, tak­ing men­tal notes of the in­gre­di­ents and quan­ti­ties (writ­ing it down felt, well, wrong), but repli­cat­ing her dishes proved sim­i­lar to me try­ing to cap­ture the ex­act taste of my grandma’s cook­ing — im­pos­si­ble.

Though we loved all of her cook­ing (well, ex­cept for her take on choco­late muffins, but that’s an­other story), her egg rolls were the fam­ily favourite. And why not?

Minced up good­ies wrapped in del­i­cate, fried (es­sen­tially) pasta? Yes, please!

So I took the lib­erty (since I was miss­ing the mark any­way) to cre­ate my own ver­sion, one that man­aged to get most of the crispy good­ness with far less fat. Af­ter ex­per­i­ment­ing with a va­ri­ety of meth­ods — from spray­ing the eggrolls with an oil mister or cook­ing spray as well as dry­bak­ing — the clear win­ner was the pas­try brush method com­bined with a hot oven while also us­ing a bak­ing rack to al­low for full air cir­cu­la­tion dur­ing cook­ing.

So what if th­ese egg rolls are not com­pletely tra­di­tional. I did cap­ture the essence of Alice’s cook­ing, and when the girls are miss­ing her I know fond mem­o­ries are only an egg roll away.

And by the way, my ex­per­i­ment­ing also proved that quickly sauteed ba­nanas sprin­kled with a lit­tle or­ange juice and a dark choco­late chip or two also make for a per­fect dessert egg roll fill­ing. Brush with co­conut oil and dip cooked eggrolls in tangy Greek yo­gurt. Yum!

AP PHOTO

Th­ese baked egg rolls pack plenty of flavour and are de­li­cious with a sesame-soy dip­ping sauce.

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