Posted by: ThePseudotarian | November 1, 2010

Sweet Pea Rolls and Honey Chili Mustard Sauce

The gears have been turning in the Pseudohousehold! Kitchen gears,  house gears … all kinds! I’ve been cooking all kinds of neat stuff, and we recently redecorated our apartment. However, the redecoration process is almost a moot point, since Matt and I are in the process of house shopping! We haven’t been to see any yet but we’re working on what we want (and don’t want) and where we want to live (and, ahem, where we don’t).

We have a while before our lease is up, too, so I hope I’ll be able to get a lot of cooking in before we’re crazy hectic with moving and painting and redecorating the future shmouse (and of course writing that scary big check to PAY for it). With all this excitement over new stuff happening, I’ve had a burning desire to cook new things. Last week, I had a burning desire to make homemade mac ‘n’ cheese (do NOT ask me how that went). This week, I just wanted to make anything new.

So I’ve had this package of Nasoya egg roll wrappers in my fridge for … oh maybe 2 months now. I bought them along with a package of wonton wrappers, with grandiose plans to make wontons or baked ravioli. However, I have this curse. It’s much like my homemade mac ‘n’ cheese curse. Whenever I try to make ravioli, no matter how simple the idea behind it, no matter how straightforward the recipe … I botch it. First, a few months ago, Matt and I tried super-from-scratch ravioli. Homemade dough and everything. It was terrible. We tried again with these Nasoya wrappers, but I forgot that we would need to steam or bake them, rather than boil. Big. Goopy. Mess. So I swore then and there, that it was the end of ravioli in the Pseudohousehold (probably a lie, but whatevs).

But I still had this big unopened package of egg roll wrappers. They’re much larger than the wonton variety and much easier to handle, being floured on one side and such. I just needed to figure out what the hell I was going to roll them with. I thought about normal egg roll stuffings: cabbage, carrots, fake beef, but like I said, I wanted something … new, and I can get spring rolls/egg rolls at the crazy Chinese restaurant down the street. Well, except I don’t trust Chinese food from fluorescent-lit places that are next to cigar shops and across from 711, and places where I’m pretty sure they eat cats (… I don’t trust food from any place that eats cats …). So what could I use my egg roll wrappers for if I wasn’t going to stuff them with rice wine-soaked cabbage/carrots etc?

Peas!

Matt and I were lounging around Barnes & Noble’s cooking section a little while ago and I picked up Modern Spice, by Monica Bhide. One of the recipes that I couldn’t get out of my head were her Chile Pea Puffs. I loved the idea of combining peas, a crumbly cheese like paneer (which I really, really want to make at home!) and some heat and spice. Plus, I felt a bit safer with baking these as opposed to my other attempts at steaming, boiling and frying. I wish I had bought the book, and I’ve been on the lookout for it since, but that recipe has been in my mind lately. Partly because I would never have thought to make “egg rolls” using peas. Not only did I love these, but it made me think of all the other ways I can utilize these awesome egg roll wrappers. Mushrooms … rice … squash …? I’m thinking maybe baked ratatouille egg rolls. Be on the lookout people!

With that said, this isn’t Monica Bhide’s recipe, but inspired by it (interestingly, I found the Chile Pea Puff recipe reprinted with permission at 101cookbooks – check out the links on the right).

Sweet Pea Rolls with Honey Chili Mustard Sauce

For the rolls:

1 package of Nasoya egg roll wrappers
2 cups of peas, thawed if frozen
2 tablespoon ricotta cheese
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried, crushed mint
Garlic chili sauce, to taste
Healthy pinch of pepper
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 egg, beaten

For the Honey Chili Mustard Sauce:

If this reminds you of the dressing in the last post, I wouldn’t be surprised …  =)

3 tablespoon Organic Honey
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
Two pinches Tarragon
3 – 5 drops soy sauce or Bragg’s fluid aminos (this carries a heavy, heavy flavor, so go on the light side at first)

Pour thawed peas into a large metal mixing bowl, and mash them a bit with a broad spoon, making sure to leave some intact or at least true to their general shape. This will give the peas a much better texture, which is also why I encourage you to simply thaw, rather than cook, your frozen peas (and frozen is totally fine here, people). Stir in the garlic, tarragon, mint, chili sauce, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Add your ricotta next, and stir until the mixture is thoroughly blended. Taste and add more spices if you want. Alternately, if the spices are too strong, stir in a bit more ricotta (or even add more peas if you have them).

Lay out your Nasoya wrappers and add a spoonful or two (your discretion!) of the pea mixture to each. You may have to play around with the amount you add to each wrapper. Brush beaten egg around the edges, and fold according to the directions on the package, not unlike folding an envelope from a piece of printer paper, sealing each fold with your finger. This recipe should make 10-15 pea rolls (depending on how much pea mixture you add to each), but you can easily double this recipe. I wrapped my leftover Nasoya egg rolls wrappers in foil and popped them in the freezer so they wouldn’t dry out. I’ll let you know how that works (Update: it worked perfectly! I used more today, and they were in perfect condition after thawing for the afternoon in the fridge).

Place your pea rolls on a nonstick cookie sheet and brush both sides lightly with egg or oil. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through until your rolls are nicely browned. The skin may split, but this mixture is surprisingly cohesive and shouldn’t ooze too badly. Note: these will brown more quickly on the bottom than on the top, so check halfway through. Don’t just judge based on how brown the top skin is.

While these are baking, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce, and adjust to your taste. Much like last week’s dressing, you may need to change up your amounts depending on your individual taste. When your rolls are done, serve them with the sauce on the side as a dip or drizzled gently on top.

Matt and I absolutely loved these. They have a nice medley of flavors, and nothing fights for attention. I’m a sucker for mixing peas with mint, especially when I make creamed peas, and the ricotta adds a nice mellow base. The delicate richness of the rolls is complimented nicely by the light sweetness of the sauce. And it’s got a heck of a nice bite to it!

We loved these so much that we’re making a non-spicy version for Matt’s mom. Like I said above, I can’t wait to try other “egg roll” versions with savory fillings (other than cabbage etc). Stay tuned! Oh! And on Wednesday, Matt and I are finally getting internet back at the non-shmouse (read: the apartment), so be ready for updates that won’t be two months apart.

Update …

We tried two new stuffings last night:

  • Whiskey and balsamic sauteed mushrooms and onions with pecans and mozzarella (Uh-mazing).
  • Lima beans with ricotta and mint.

More to come!

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