Monday, March 17, 2014

Irish Egg Rolls (corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots)

If you're Irish like I am (and even if you're not) there's a good chance you may have had corned beef and cabbage recently since today is St. Patrick's Day.

And if you make large quantities of food like I do, then there's an equally good chance that you have plenty of leftovers (we actually plan it that way because we enjoy them almost as much as the first time we serve it).

If that's the case, you may be wondering exactly what to do with some of those leftovers. I'm here to help!

I usually either just heat them up as is, make reuben sandwiches or chop them up to make hash (I can't stand the hash from a can - it looks and tastes too much like dog food) but it's awfully good when it's made from scratch.

I wanted to try something a little different this time around - and I've been making eggrolls recently so I decided to combine the two.

They came out fantastic. My son loves the corned beef and the potatoes but refuses to eat the cabbage and carrots so I wasn't certain how he'd react to the eggrolls with all of the above in them. I was more than pleasantly surprised when he told me (repeatedly) how much he loved them and that he'd REALLY like for me to make them again.

We used thousand island dressing as a dip which really gave them the flavor of a crunchy reuben.  If you don't happen to have any on hand, you can do what we did and make your own by combining catsup, mayo and a bit of pickle relish.

Keep in mind that you can also make this with packaged corned beef (or some from the deli) if you want to try it and don't have any leftovers to use.  You can also make it with or without any of the other ingredients - don't like cabbage?  Leave it out. Same thing with the carrots or the potatoes. I used all of it but it's certainly not necessary. Likewise, I'm listing the amount of leftovers I used but you can use more or less depending upon how much you have or simply how many eggrolls you want (the recipe below made about 15).

Finally, I use the eggroll wrappers that you find in a Asian market as opposed to the ones that you find in your local supermarket.  Both will work, but the ones you find in a supermarket are far more "bubbly", aren't as crispy and are "chewier".  Conversely, the ones in an Asian market are MUCH crispier, very smooth and have a wonderful "crunch".

These are the wrappers I prefer to use, but any will work

If you try them, let me know what you think!


  • 1 pound cooked corned beef
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked cabbage
  • 3 small cooked potatoes, diced
  • 4 small carrots, diced
  • 2 ounces Swiss cheese, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 12-15 egg roll wrappers
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • oil for frying
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots in a bowl
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet and then sauté diced onion until soft and just starting to brown (about three minutes)

  3. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant (about two minutes) 

  4. Add the corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until heated throughout

  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  6. Remove from heat and set aside
  7. Mix the water and cornstarch well
  8. Place the eggroll wrapper on the counter with one corner pointed towards you

  9. Add about 2 tbsp filling and a bit of Swiss cheese on top of the wrapper

  10. Start rolling the wrapper up and around the filling. It's very important to wrap as tightly as you can. 

  11. Fold the right and left corner to the center

  12. Roll towards the remaining corner but stop just before you get to the end

  13. Brush the tip with the cornstarch water mix using a pastry brush (if you don't have one, your fingers will work)

  14. Continue rolling and then lightly press the edges to seal

  15. Repeat steps 8 through 14 until you use up all of your filling (or your wrappers)
  16. Heat oil to 375° F

  17. Fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown

  18. Drain the egg rolls on a cooling rack with paper towels until cool enough to serve

  19. Serve with thousand island dressing or your favorite mustard
  20. Enjoy!

NOTE:  You can actually make these and freeze them to cook later. Simply place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put the eggrolls on top of them (make certain they are not touching). Place in the freezer for a couple of hours until they are frozen solid, then place them in a freezer bag and pull them out when needed and fry in 375 degree oil until golden brown.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The BEST chocolate chip cookies ever!! (no, really - you have to try them!)

I'm not entirely sure why, but when I think of cookies, I ALWAYS think of chocolate chip cookies.  I like most all kinds, but there's no doubt which ones are my favorite.

I also am aware that lots of people think theirs are the best.  And the title of this posting may be a bit of hyperbole because it's entirely possible they aren't the best...but I'm betting they're pretty darned close!

So, what makes them so good? I'd have to say it's really two things; the steps to create them and the addition of a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg.  I know that you won't find many chocolate cookie recipes with either of those ingredients, but it DOES make a difference.  I guess you'll have to try it yourself to really know for certain!!


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten 
  • 2 tsp vanilla (double strength if you have it available)
  • 2 3/4 cups (12 oz) all ­purpose flour (if at all possible, weigh the flour to be certain you have the correct amount) 
  • *3/4 tsp ­medium coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips (I actually use one cup dark chips and one 3.5 oz Lindt Dark Chocolate "A Touch of Sea Salt" bar cut into small chunks)

*If possible, use sea salt and not table salt. You will get much better flavor (and texture) that way. If you only have table salt, use 1/2 tsp. ​


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    Butter, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg
  2. Cream butter, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg (approx. 3 minutes on medium­/high speed on a Kitchen Aid Mixer)
    This is what it should look like after properly creaming the butter and sugars
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes
    After adding the eggs and vanilla and beating together
  4. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour. Mix until just incorporated (don't over mix at this point)
    Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt
  5. Add chocolate chips and stir until well distributed. The batter should be fairly thick
    I use half chips and half cut up dark chocolate bar.  This is a Lindt
    dark chocolate "A Touch of Sea Salt" bar chopped into small pieces
  6. At this point, I put the batter in the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of an hour but preferably overnight. It's not an absolutely necessary step but it DOES make a difference in the texture of the cookie

  7. Remove from the refrigerator and drop about 2 tbsp of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
    My brother and son enjoying making cookies together
  8. Bake for 12-­14 minutes until the edges are nice and golden brown 
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for about two minutes 
  10. Pick up the parchment paper with the cookies still on top and transfer to a cool non­porous surface (I put a cookie sheet in the freezer to chill and take it out and put them on that. They cool very quickly that way. I actually use two cookie sheets to bake on and keep two in the freezer and swap them back and forth)
    My brother and son - they were very
    proud of  the cookies they made!
  11. Allow the cookies to cool on the paper for at least 3 minutes before serving
  12. Enjoy!