Sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE

Family Home Evening, ball games, movies—there are always reasons to gather together in the family room. But it’s always better with something yummy to eat and share. Here are three suggestions.

See this week’s specials at The Prepared Pantry.

Click here to get coupon codes for free ingredients.

Eggrolls 2

Oriental Egg Rolls

Surprise your family; make the egg rolls. They’re not hard. Your family will love them. Or you can serve them to guests. They’ll be impressed!

You can find the egg roll wrappers in the produce section at Wal-Mart or your local grocery store.

Egg rolls should be cooked in hot oil in a sauce pan on the stove top. Make sure that the oil is about two-inches deep and 350 to 375 degrees. If the first egg roll does not cook rapidly enough, turn the heat up. (Slow cooked egg rolls will be greasy.)

For the filling:

Ingredients

1 pound ground turkey or beef
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium head of cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 or 4 stalks of celery chopped
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
egg roll wrappers
vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  1. Brown the meat and add the 1/4 teaspoon salt and fresh ginger for seasoning. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
  2. Cook the cabbage, onion, and celery until it is wilted and crisp-tender. Add the seasoned cooked meat. Stir in the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

To assemble your egg rolls:

Eggrolls Assembly

Place the egg roll wrap in front of you.  Since it is a square, turn it so that the corner is facing you.

Put 1/2 cup of filling onto the center of the egg roll wrap.  Press the filling together so that it’s shaped into a long rectangle horizontally leaving an inch and a half of wrap on each side of the filling.

Lightly whisk an egg with one tablespoon water to make a thin wash.

With the egg wash, brush over the four edges of the wrap.

Take the corner away from you and fold it over the filling.  Pinch and fold in each side one at a time so that the filling stays together. Gently roll the egg roll up.

Pick up the egg roll and look at it smoothing all the sides to make sure the filling will stay intact.  If there is a loose edge, glue it down with the egg wash.  Repeat with subsequent egg rolls.

Cook the egg rolls in hot oil until the outsides are brown.

The wraps are often found in the grocery in the produce section but sometimes in an ethnic foods section.  In our stores, they come 20 to a package for about $3—about 15 cents each.  Egg rolls are usually economical to make.  No special equipment is needed though a food processor to cut and chop the vegetables is handy.

buffalo wings

Easy, Spicy Buffalo Wings

Ingredients

10 to 12 chicken wings
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup hot sauce (we use a red taco sauce)
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

Directions

1. Cut off the wing tips at the first joint.
2. In a shallow dish, mix the melted butter, hot sauce, honey, paprika, salt, and pepper together. Tumble the chicken wings through the sauce, cover with plastic, and marinade for 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature. (For safety reasons, do not leave the chicken out for an extended period.)
3. Place the prepared wings on a boiler pan. Set the oven to broil. Set the pan about five inches from the elements. Broil for ten minutes or until done. Serve hot.

corndogs mini

Easy Lil’ Corn Dogs

Using tempura batter mix makes these easy to make—with only four ingredients.  They are as good as any at the county fair.

One package of eight good quality hot dogs cut crosswise
2 cups tempura batter mix
1 cup milk
1 large egg

16 wooden skewers about 4-inches long (cut longer skewers into shorter sticks)

Insert the skewers into the ends of the hot dogs.

In a large bowl, stir the batter mix, the egg, and the milk together.  The batter will be thick.

Pour one inch of oil into a large, heavy skillet or use a Fry Daddy.  Heat to 365 degrees.

Holding the hot dogs over the bowl of batter, spoon the batter onto the hot dogs and spread it around to completely cover them. See the picture to the right.

Lay the coated hot dogs, 3 or 4 at a time, in the hot oil. Turn them with tongs after 10 to 15 seconds of cooking to prevent the batter from sliding off the hot dogs. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more or until golden brown, turning to brown evenly. Remove with tongs and drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Serve with your favorite dip, ketchup, or one of the dips listed on this page.

Variation: Lil’ Bacon Corn Dogs

Fry six slices of bacon to a crisp and then crumble it chop it into pieces.  A bacon press allows you to fry both sides at once and does so more uniformly and without a lot splatter.  Mix the bacon pieces into the batter and prepare as above.

Variation: Chili Corn Dogs

Mix two tablespoons mild, diced, canned green chilies into the batter and prepare as above.

Apricot Mustard Dip

Add one tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard to every 1/4 cup apricot pineapple jam.   Add more jam or more mustard to suit your taste.

Sour Cream Salsa Dip

Mix sour cream and salsa together.  Start with a 50/50 ratio and then alter the mix by adding more salsa or sour cream to suit your taste.

Enjoy your delicious, homemade food!

 

About the Author 

Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking available as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon. Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and six beautiful granddaughters.