To celebrate, what did I do?
I didn't go overboard and attack a smorgasbord at a local restaurant or that feeding trough they call a buffet. A celebratory mood calls for celebratory food!
Hoppin' John is a dish of black eyed peas (or crowder peas), rice, ham hock or bacon, onions, and sometimes bell peppers and vinegar. Traditionally eaten on New Year's Day, the peas are to give good luck and collard greens are to add wealth in the new year.
Every year I either forget which one means what or forget to eat black eyed peas and collard greens. Hoppin' John and its components can be eaten any time of the year and I felt it apropos to make these rolls because they're quite economical, easy to make, and something new to display a great Southern dish.
Hoppin' John Eggrolls
1/4 pound ground chicken or turkey
1/4 pound bulk sausage, casings removed & chopped fine
1 medium onion, small dice
1 jalapeno, diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup black-eyed peas, drained & rinsed
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup white rice, cooked
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
10-12 Nasoya egg roll wrappers
water of egg wash for sealing wrappers
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and turn heat on medium-high. Add chicken/turkey and onion. Brown over medium heat and use wooden spoon to break meat up into small pieces. Turn down heat and stir in jalapeno, tomatoes, peas, and seasonings. Add rice, vinegar and cook until heated through.
On a clean, flat surface, lay out egg roll wrappers in a diamond shape with the triangular-shaped corner facing you. Put 2 Tbsp of the hoppin' john mixture in the center of each of wrapper.
To assemble each of the rolls, take the bottom point of the wrapper and fold it over top of the filling. Fold the sides in towards the middle and roll the filling towards the top point of the wrapper.
The bottom and sides of the wrapper have been folded to encase the filling. I'm getting ready to roll it upwards and then seal it with water.
Seal the egg roll by dipping your index finger in a small bowl of water and running it over the top point of your wrap and any openings where you feel the wrap needs to be glued together.
Place all rolls (seams down) on a baking pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 12 minutes, flipping rolls over about halfway through cooking.
The following dipping sauce is the only way I could incorporate greens on my plate without them being a side or taking 5 hours to cook. Gremolata is usually served as an accompaniment with osso bucco or other meat dishes to brighten them up.
Gremolata Dipping Sauce
1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
Using vegetable peeler, remove peel in long strips from lemon. Mince lemon peel. Transfer to small bowl. Mix in parsley, greens, garlic, and sour cream.