Tuesday, November 25, 2008

eggrolls for thanksgiving?

yes...if you are fortunate enough to spend thanksgiving with my twitter friends diane and todd, the creative force behind the wonderful blog white on rice couple. white on rice couple is one of my favorite sites because i learn something new every time i visit...they describe themselves this way..

"Carpe Diem! We're cooking instructors, food writers, avid gardeners, travelers and photographers. Trying to live life to the fullest, we never cease to explore new global sights, sounds, flavors and adventures."

todd was born in oregon, diane in vietnam...and they both now live in southern california...their recipes are an amazing fusion of their lives, histories, family traditions and travels...their photography is beautiful..their recipes clear and easy to understand...and...best of all for me...they make creating really good vietnamese food at home possible...i always thought it would be hard and complicated...trust me...read their blog...you will be inspired to try their recommendations...

so, when they agreed to guest blog for my thanksgiving memories series i literally jumped for joy (o.k. by now you know i can be a bit of a drama queen...but i really was very, very happy)...diane took the lead on this post and...no surprise...shares a delicious sounding recipe using turkey on thanksgiving but with a twist...in addition, she shares one of my favorite american traditions...merging cultures to create the true meaning of thanksgiving...i can't wait to give these eggrolls a try....in the interim..trust me on this..check out the white on rice couple's blog....and let me know what you think in the comments section of this post...

"The huge feast at my parents house on Thanksgiving has always reflected the multicultural influences inspired from each and every family member. One of the challenges, though, has always been how to make turkey interesting for my Vietnamese parents . Mom and Dad never grew up eating Turkey in Vietnam, so when they finally did have their first bite, turkey lacked the fat and flavor from their standard duck and chicken.
Basically, eating turkey was very unexciting for them, and on the verge of food torture.
But on the other hand, my siblings and I (all six of us) loved turkey, gravy and all the trimmings because it was a refreshing change from our daily intake of rice and noodles. It was the one day of year that we could indulge in everything that was Native American Indian and Pilgrim. So every year when Thanksgiving rolls around, it was always the tale of two feasts: one that was more Vietnamese inspired for my parents, and for the kids, one that was as close to possible to what the Pilgrims had near Plymouth Rock. History class taught us many culinary lessons.
To please every palate, tradition and generation gap, our Thanksgiving spread was a reflection of the Far East meets East Coast Pilgrim style. We have, to please the kids, a roast turkey, gravy, potatoes, rolls, corn and almost everything that could be duplicated from what us kids learned from school. For Mom and Dad, there was the noodles, Vietnamese herbs, and lots of fish sauce to dress the "dry, bland, flavorless" turkey. The kids had the giblet gravy, while Mom and Dad had the fish sauce style gravy, full of chiles, garlic and everything else that gave them the satisfying comfort of a Vietnamese home.
As time evolved and we all learned to cook beyond the traditional trimmings, we started to get creative with not just the turkey, but with other roasts and hams. The protein moved well beyond the turkey. Although we have added new sources of protein, creative vegetable dishes and desserts, the turkey always makes a star showing at the table. No matter what happens, all my brothers love their simple turkey and gravy. Take that away from them and you have a mutiny of four monstrous appetites. That's why we keep the turkey.
So to add to the energizing creativity of foods that has been coming out of the kitchen now that many of us cook, the evolution of the turkey as taken us to making eggrolls (fried springrolls). It has the meat to satisfy my hungry brothers, and the flavors of the traditional egg rolls that Mom and Dad love eating. Now everyone is happy crunching on these crispy, savory turkey rolls. It meets the best of both food worlds for all members of our expanding family. It's a tradition that will continue for many more generations to come.
Turkey eggrolls are easy and a delicious alternative to the Thanksgiving appetizer. Not only is it a great way to creatively use turkey meat, but the addition of traditional Asian flavors and spices make it a delicious finger food for all ages. Even for those turkey haters, these turkey eggrolls have been the ambassador to positive turkey eating. It's a great dish that will be making the Thanksgiving rounds for many more years .
The most important part of these turkey eggrolls is that they brings two different food cultures together harmoniously for a heartwarming Thanksgiving meal."

Turkey Eggrolls (with bacon)
To keep to the integrity of the healthy aspect of turkey, you can omit the bacon. We like adding bacon because of the extra fat ( we love our fat) and flavor. It's amazing what extra flavor the bacon adds to the turkey!

1 lb fresh ground turkey
5 slices bacon
1/2 cup chopped rehydrated glass noodles (about 1 small individual package). Optional, if available.
1/2 cup chopped rehydrated black fungus mushrooms (wood ear mushrooms) or chopped fresh mushrooms.
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped cabbage
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 large cloves crushed garlic
1 pkg of about 25 springroll wrappers or rice paper wrappers.
Vegetable oil or Peanut oil for frying.
Fresh lettuce, sliced cucumber and mint, basil or available herbs.

1. Par-fry bacon till just slightly crisp, but still soft. Remove bacon from oil and chop bacon.

2. Rehydrate glass noodles and/or black fungus mushrooms in hot water, drain. Chop these, as well as green onions, cilantro and cabbage.

3. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl . Using your hands, dive into the bowl and mix everything together well. Mush it all between your fingers to ensure that all chopped ingredients are blended well.
4. If using rice paper wrappers, dip rice sheets in warm water for a few seconds. Place rice sheet on your work surface (cutting board or plate). Let rice sheet soften and become gelatinous for about 1 minute. Start on the wrapper edge closest to you, place about one full tablespoon of filling on edge of wrapper. Slowly roll and shape filling to a tubular shape. Roll about the first 1/3 of wrapper, then fold in both sides and continue the roll until it is completely finished.

-For flour based/pastry springroll wrappers, follow wrapping instructions as above. But use a bit of egg white to help seal all the edges and seams of the springroll wrappers. These type of wrappers do not need to be dipped in water. Use them straight from the package.

For more photographs on wrapping technique, visit Spring Rolling Techniques

5. In frying pan or deep fryer, place about 1 inch of vegetable oil. Let oil heat up slowly on medium heat. Gently place rolls in hot oil and fry on each side until golden brown.

6. Serve warm with fish dipping sauce, fresh lettuce, slices of cucumber and mint, basil or what ever herbs are available.

Makes about 25 rolls, but depending on how big your rolls are and how much filling you use, the recipe may only make about about 12-15 rolls.

so..from one diane to another..thank you so much for guest blogging on my site...let's do it again sometime soon...for everyone else...happy thanksgiving...


napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green life of style"

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Finla said...

It is always nice to read about how other people celebreat festivals.
Turkey roll looks so yummy.
Ilike the addition of bacon in them

Manggy said...

Hey you guys! You know, I'm inclined to think the way you parents do about turkey... But I do appreciate its healthier aspects. But I love that the rolls are packed with flavor that I won't even consider getting rid of the bacon ;) After all, what use is making room for healthy stuff if you can't be a little naughty every now and then?

Unknown said...

a greattttt way to have turkey! brilliant idea!

it's hard to find in hong kong though..i'll settle with chicken instead hehe

RecipeGirl said...

What a great idea! These look delicious and I would have put bacon in there too!! Thanks for pointing us to this great blog :)

Did you see my spring roll post the other day? I put Roasted Butternut Squash in them and made a Cranberry Dipping Sauce!

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

welcome happy cook and manggy..thanks for popping over from the white on rice couple's site...the turkey rolls do look delicious, don't they? let me know if you try them..with or without the bacon!

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi rita and recipe girl..thank you for your comments...rita..chicken rolls also sound good..let me know how they turn out.recipe girl, happy to have found your site...please visit again soon..

Brooke said...

What a delicious tradition and even more tasty recipe! I can't wait to try this out with my leftovers!

Anonymous said...

Hi, nice blog!
I love Thanksgiving day very much. I found a site with a lot of things about Thanksgiving. Maybe this will interest you: All about Thanskgiving Day!!! :)

Anonymous said...

I love your blogs, what a great way ti eat turkey. I love egg rolls and I happen to have some wrappers, I may have to try them!

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi brooke and foxy lady..welcome and thank you for your comments...please let me know if you try the eggrolls..
and visit us again please!!

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi gina..and thank you for your kind words..ok, no excuse..you have wrappers on hand? cool..let us know if you make the eggrolls..

Anonymous said...

Wow these look great. I think I may have to go get some more turkey to try them!

Ms.Reality said...

I have to try this recipe! I don't eat much turkey because it usually is too bland for my taste. But incorporating it with a eggroll sounds delicious. Your blog is awesome and so is the White on Rice couples blog.

Mose is cute!

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi marc and ms.reality..welcome...please let me know if you try the eggrolls...i keep meaning too..have just been wildly busy...

please come back again for a visit..nice to get to know you..