I’d like to share with you one the most taste-bud-tingling appetizers my mouth has ever experienced: the Buffalo wing eggroll.
You heard me right.
I’d like to consider myself a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to chicken wings. In fact, if a nutritionist were to make a food pyramid based on my actual diet, the largest block at the bottom would probably be wings (followed closely by nachos and beef jerky).
Anyway, the idea is simple. Fill an egg roll wrap with the city of Buffalo’s greatest culinary contribution and fry it up.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1-2 lbs. of cooked chicken meat (I picked up a cooked rotisserie chicken from a local grocery store)
1-2 celery stalks cut vertically into thin strips
1 cup carrot shavings
5 oz. package of crumbled blue cheese
5 oz. package of salsa or pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 package eggroll wraps
1 egg white
1-2 cups sesame, vegetable or olive oil
1 ½ cups of hot sauce
1 tbs. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. paprika
4 tbs. butter
½ cup Ranch (or blue cheese) dressing
1 ½ tbs. Dijon or spicy brown mustard
1 tbs. cracked black pepper
Make the Buffalo sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan or in a microwave and slowly mixing in the hot sauce, paprika and crushed red pepper. Chop your chicken into small pieces (think pulled pork consistency) and drop them into the Buffalo sauce, coating the chicken pieces evenly.
Now it’s time to roll up your eggrolls.
Lay the eggroll wraps flat on a counter, in a diamond orientation. Coat the top two sides with egg whites. Place a pinch chicken in the center of the egg roll diamond along with some slices of celery and carrot. Cover the combination with a light sprinkling of cheese.
Fold in the left and right corners of the wrap and gently fold the bottom corner up to the center. Slowly roll the package forward, enclosing the eggroll using the egg-coated corner like the adhesive on an envelope.
On a stovetop, heat the oil in a wok or large pan to medium heat. If you have them around, throw in a couple of chili peppers and a clove of garlic to season your oil. Toss one or two eggrolls at a time into the hot oil, rolling them gently to cook each side evenly.
When the eggrolls are cooked to a golden brown, take them out and place them on a rack or plate covered with paper towels to dry. Cut them in half and serve with the dipping sauce.
Verdict: Good, eh?
The celery acts as a slightly snappier substitute for the cabbage traditionally used in eggrolls. I’ve found that, in general, cooked celery is always delicious. I made a special effort to fit in as many of the celery leaves as possible.
After making this, I can’t help but wonder why more eggrolls don’t have cheese in them. As long as you make sure all the seams of your eggroll are secure to prevent a mess, the melted cheese goes great with the chicken – both texturally and in terms flavor profile.
All things considered, the finish on these eggrolls is fairly light. They’re not nearly as heavy as many other variations – including the corned beef and cabbage rolls I make every St. Patrick’s Day.
Follow O-R staff writer Aaron Kendeall on Twitter: @akendall