I am going to admit something that could get me into trouble. I don’t really like Thanksgiving turkey. In fact, I actually dislike it. I much prefer a roasted chicken with its crispy skin and tender meat. But, I do love the rest of the holiday meal – the stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, my mom’s rooster shaped green jello mold, Buttery Dinner Rolls which are a classic from The Chopping Block, and of course the pies – pumpkin, apple, cherry (I’m a Michigan girl after all) and pecan. Yum!
But like most feasts, there are always lots of leftovers. And after a few turkey sandwiches or even a turkey hash with eggs, ideas for what to create with all those leftovers start to dwindle. That is until I discovered the Thanksgiving leftover egg roll! Yep, that’s right. How about taking your favorite parts of Thanksgiving dinner, rolling them up inside an eggroll wrapper and then frying to a crisp golden brown? Use your gravy, cranberry sauce, or even an Asian sweet/spicy chili sauce for dipping, and you have a delicious treat that is sure to be the coolest appetizer at a Thanksgiving weekend get together, or a cozy night at home with Netflix. And the best part? The only additional item you will need to purchase from the grocery store is a package of egg roll wrappers that are usually found in the refrigerator section near the tofuT. the rest you will most likely already have in your fridge and/or your pantry.
Once you try this, you will realize how easy it is to put together a delicious and quick appetizer or snack. Looking for more great holiday party treats to make? You may be interested in the following cooking classes coming up in December. Holiday Hootenanny and Holly Jolly Appetizers are the perfect classes for a hands-on experience, or if you just want to relax and let the chefs cook for you, then our Winter Cocktails and Appetizers demonstration is the perfect choice!
Now before I get to the recipe I have another confession to make. I would love to take credit for this stroke of culinary brilliance, but I have to give credit to my colleague Chef Mario Scordato who gave me the idea during the Thanksgiving Crash Course at Lincoln Square I attended this past week.
Thanksgiving Leftover Egg Roll
Thanksgiving leftovers: turkey, veggies, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce - whatever classics are on your thanksgiving table (I would steer clear of the jello molds though!)
Frying oil – vegetable, grapeseed, any high heat, flavorless oil (smoke point of 400° or above)
Tall, Straight sided deep pan, such as a dutch oven, or even a stock pot
Candy/deep fry thermometer
Slotted spoon or spider to retrieve egg roll from pot
Sheet tray with a cooling rack inside
1. Gather ingredients and tools.
2. Chop ingredients into small dice
3. Place egg roll wrapper on flat surface in a diamond shape. Place fillings in center of diamond. (I recommend no more than 3 different fillings)
4. Take bottom flap of wrapper and fold over filling away from you.
5. Fold each side of wrapper over filling, like and envelope or burrito.
6. Roll tightly – until you get to last corner. Using a wetted fingertip – wipe finer across tip of wrapper to help form a seal and roll completely – placing tip facedown on work surface. Finish all egg rolls.
7. Preheat oven to 200°.
8. Pour oil no more than ½ up the sides of a deep pot. On stovetop over medium heat, bring oil in pan to 350° - be sure to use the thermometer – safety first!)
9. Once oil reaches 350° - gently lay egg roll(s) in pan. Do not crowd. The number of egg rolls you can fry will be determined by width of opening of pan. No more than 4 per batch though, because oil will cool down as you place egg rolls in, and you don’t want oil too cold, or soggy egg rolls!
10. Fry egg rolls for 2-3 minutes a side until outside is crisp and golden, and filling is warmed thru.
11. Remove with slotted spoon or spider to rack covered sheet tray to drain and cool slightly. Place in 200° while frying the rest of egg rolls to keep warm.
12. Warm gravy in separate pan over low heat, if you have a way to keep warm while serving such as a mini crock-pot, fondue pot, or even a butter warmer, great! If not then I recommend using cranberry sauce, Asian sweet/spicy dipping sauce or another room temperature sauce of choice.
13. Once all egg rolls are fried – serve on platter with dipping sauces on the side!
I tried a few variations and my favorite was turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce as a filling with warm gravy as the dipping sauce. Please try this recipe and leave comments below as to your favorite combo!