Easy Homemade Egg Rolls, Sesame Chicken, and Fried Rice

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The finished meal!

Chris and I love cooking at night together. He makes amazing drinks to go along with whatever flavor profile we’re going for, and Asian is one of our favorites to make for friends and family. I always get asked for recipes, so I’ll add some here for all of you fellow foodies.

Here’s a simple egg roll, fried rice, and sesame chicken recipe that you can make at home. You can even buy your veggies pre-cut at the grocery store to save on more time.

For the egg rolls and fried rice, I don’t have exact measurements, but I’ll write out how I do it and you can modify according to your taste preference. This is how I prepare everything when I’m trying to cut down on cooking time and have everything come out at once:

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Cabbage for Egg Rolls

First I get a bag of precut cabbage in a skillet with two cloves of minced garlic and olive oil, and sauté over medium heat. Then I get the water on for the rice, start on the sesame sauce, and get the chicken batter ready.

**Helpful tip: I’ll double the sesame sauce recipe, minus the sesame oil, and add chives and dried mustard for a dipping sauce for egg rolls or dumplings. You can add a touch more vinegar and ginger for your dipping sauce for a nice, acidic balance to cut the richness of the egg rolls or dumplings.

Sesame Sauce:

2 Tbsp Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp water

1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp white vinegar

1 Tbsp ginger powder

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 Tbsp Honey

Squirt of Sriracha (doesn’t add heat as much as that authentic Asian flavor profile with those yummy chiles)

2 Tbsp sesame seeds

Chicken Batter:

1 large egg

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 pinch each salt and pepper

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken cut into inch pieces

mix batter

IMG_3625***I hold off on cutting the chicken until after I prep the veggies for the fried rice as to not taint my cutting board. This is when I chop and dice the veggies for the rice and add it to a bowl to be used later.

By now the cabbage should be nice and sautéed, so I turn the heat down and add the following egg roll seasoning. Keep in mind for the egg rolls I usually over spice the cabbage so it doesn’t lose its flavor when it’s all rolled up.

Egg rolls:

1 bag precut cabbage

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

3-4 Tbsps ginger powder (or more, to taste)

2-3 Tbsps dried mustard or regular yellow mustard

3 Tbsps of soy sauce (or to taste)

1 egg

Since the cabbage and garlic are all ready to go, I usually scramble the egg and mix it well before adding the rest of the seasoning. Then I keep tasting and adjusting the same flavors until it gets where I’m looking for.

IMG_3550To roll the egg rolls, I spoon about a tablespoon or two directly into the left-center of the diamond shape, fold the top and bottom, then wet the edges and roll up. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m thinking of baking them in the oven at 375 to save on cooking time. You might want to roll them, add a bit of oil to the top and test it out. Other than that, I usually add a little olive oil (or veggie oil) to the skillet and turn them until cooked on all sides. Usually about 1-2 mins per side.

Your white rice should be finished by now, and it’s time to fry it up.

Fried Rice:

1 cup of white rice

2 cups of water or chicken broth

1.5 tsps salt

1 onion, diced (can be yellow, spanish, whatever you prefer.)

2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced

handful of carrots, diced

handful of frozen peas

1 or 2 eggs

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The rice should be cooked in the salted water prior to the next step. (Quick rice recipe, bring 2 cups of water to a boil – add salt and rice, then cover and reduce heat. Cook covered for 20 mins.) I sauté the veggies with olive oil until they’re juuuust about caramelized, then I scramble an egg or two into the mixture. Once the egg is cooked I add the rice, soy sauce, and more olive oil and let it sauté until the desired texture.

995069_10202573687411045_5551373479409022594_nSince I’m now done with the veggies, I cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces and add to batter.

While the rice is getting fried, I add the chicken to a hot skillet and cook until nice and crispy on the outside. Once it’s finished I add the sauce and let it cook for a few extra minutes to really caramelize on there. And that’s it!

Sometimes I also chop fresh chives and garnish the chicken with it.

Now it’s time to curl up after dinner with a good book, and get that brain thinking about your own WIPs. Enjoy!

Post Revisions Pizza – Homemade Recipe

Hello my lovely blog friends! I know it’s been a few months since I’ve stopped in and said hello, but it’s been quite a year. I was balls deep with my new writing project, trying to keep myself occupied while on submission, and doing a BUNCH of research. I’m finally putting the final touches on my manuscript and it’s one of my favorite projects EVER. Hopefully you’ll be hearing more about it when it goes on submission this fall.

To make up for my silence, I’m going to share a fun recipe with you that’s been in our family for years and years. After writing all day it’s nice to take a break and cook up something quick and tasty.

Since I have a Sicilian background, I’m going to share a fast pizza recipe with you. Now don’t be scared…it’s MUCH easier to make dough than you might think.

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First you’ll need the following ingredients to make the dough:

2 cups warm water

1 pkg dry yeast (active dry)

2 tablespoons sugar

3 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups unbleached flour

In a small bowl mix the dry yeast with the warm water, then let it sit aside.

In a large bowl add the rest of the ingredients and mix together. (You want all of your salt and sugar to be mixed evenly before you add the water/yeast).

Once you’ve done that, slowly add the water/yeast into the large bowl. I usually lightly move the mixture around with my hands to spread the water as far as possible without kneading it too much at first. After the water is mixed with the flour (as best as you can) start kneading the dough on a counter (make sure you sprinkle some flour on the surface to avoid the dough getting stuck prior to kneading it). It’s important to not over knead it, you basically just want your dough to be smooth at this point.

Divide the dough in half, making two round mounds (pictured below).

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Cover with a towel and let sit for about 30-40 minutes.

While your dough is rising, you can make some easy marinara sauce. (If you’re really fancy, you can make the sauce the night before and let it cook down longer.)

For the sauce you’ll need:

1 can of whole peeled tomatoes

1 medium can of Hunts sauce

2-3 cloves of garlic (based on taste preference)

1 pinch of salt

1 pinch of oregano

3 tablespoons of dried basil (or enough to cover the top of your sauce)

In a food processor, chop the garlic and tomatoes until smooth. Add the tomatoes and garlic to a sauce pan, then combine the rest of the ingredients and cook over a medium heat for as long as possible. (The longer you let it cook, the more it’ll cook down and become nice and thick for your pizza.)

While your sauce is finishing up you can prep your toppings to save some time. We like making mozzarella, goat cheese, and prosciutto pizza, but nothing beats a classic margherita pie. For that you’ll just need to slice some fresh mozzarella, or buy some that’s already pre-sliced.

When you’re happy with your sauce’s consistency, you can begin rolling your dough out. I normally just hand roll it by pulling and stretching it until it’s roughly the size of our pizza pan or stone. After you’ve rolled your dough out, sprinkle some more flour on your pizza stone or pan then place your dough on top of it.

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Add sauce to your dough. The trick is to not add too much, just a few spoonfuls – you still want to be able to see the dough in spots. This will help ensure your dough doesn’t get soggy in the middle.

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Then top with cheese and whatever else you like. For mine I sprinkled a little bit of Pecorino Romano over the top then added sliced mozzarella. Pictured below:

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Stick it in a preheated oven (I set mine for 425) and let it cook for about 15 minutes. You may want to check yours around the 10 minute mark, depending on how hot your oven gets. The pizza is done when the crust is a nice golden brown.

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Slice and enjoy!

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Quick Dinner Tip: If you make your sauce the night before (or even defrost frozen sauce you’ve saved from previous meals), then this dinner is extra easy and fast. You can also pre-make your dough and keep it wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge the night before. Then you’ll just have to set the dough out for a few minutes to get room temperature and roll it out. Total time for that would only be about 30 minutes for cooking and prep.