Appetizers, Recipes

#10DaysofTailgate: Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls

Egg rolls are easier than ever when you bake them up with a savory-sweet blueberry pork filling featuring Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup.

Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

These Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls are a fantastic way to kick off [sorry, I had to do it] the #10DaysofTailgate blogging event that I’m participating in over the next [you guessed it] 10 days. For more info on #10DaysofTailgate check out my intro post from yesterday here. There’s also a giveaway on that post that you do NOT want to miss. Fourteen prize packs, people!!! Wish I could win! 🙂 But no matter what, we are all winners with this fabulous egg roll recipe I’m sharing today. That sounds cheesy but it is so true, folks.

Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

For me, football is all about the food. I’m not a football fan, even though my husband and my dad are obsessed. I’m super thankful that my husband Ben is willing to watch quite a bit of his games at home with the sound turned off. The announcers just drive me crazyyy with all their babbling, and I do try to sit with Ben while he’s cheering on his teams or just enjoying a good game [side note: I don’t understand this concept. Why watch a game where you don’t care who wins or loses? #makesnosensetome]. During these times, I always have a good book, my laptop, and a snack on hand to keep me occupied. I actually made these egg rolls a few weeks ago for the first football Saturday of the year [woohoo] and just couldn’t wait to share them with you! They’re incredibly tasty–the filling is a mix of leftover carnitas, though you could also used ground pork, coleslaw mix, and some seasonings… most notably Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup. This fruit-based sauce [sans tomatoes] has a ketchup-like consistency with tons of sweet, smoky, fruity flavor. It plays very well with soy sauce for a fun and easy dip for the egg rolls.

Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

I’ve had homemade egg rolls before, but haven’t ever made them myself. It turns out they are super easy to roll up. Just follow the photos below! Just place the filling in the center, roll up the bottom, fold in the sides, and roll up! Some of mine looked a little wonky, but that’s part of the fun of homemade, right?! It’s how they taste that matters. 🙂

How to Fold an Egg Roll | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

I baked my egg rolls for an easy/healthy way to enjoy this app, but if frying is your thing they could totally be fried. I was surprised how much crunch the baked egg rolls had. We even had a few leftover that I refrigerated and heated up in the oven later in the week. Boom! Back to crispy perfection. This is such a great snack, you guys! I hope you give it a try! If you’re interested in checking out more about Not Ketchup, be sure to follow them on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. Enjoy!

Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Print

Ingredients:

for egg rolls

  • 16 ounces cole slaw mix [shredded green and purple cabbage, carrots]
  • 8 ounces cooked pork [leftover carnitas or cooked ground pork]
  • 3 green onions, green and white pieces, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers [approximately 20 wrappers]

for dipping sauce

  • 3 tablespoons Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine cole slaw mix, cooked pork, green onions, Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup, soy sauce, and ground ginger. Stir and taste–season if necessary. I used leftover carnitas so I didn’t need more seasoning but salt, pepper, etc. may be necessary.

To fill egg rolls, consult the back of the package. 🙂 But seriously, directions should be there. The pictures above can help too. You’ll want to have a small bowl with water and a brush handy, along with a towel to dry your hands and work surface.

Set the egg roll wrapper as a diamond on your work surface. Put 2-3 tablespoons of filling in wrapper at a diagonal. Roll the bottom portion tight over the filling, then fold the left side and then right side over so it looks like an envelope. Brush with a little bit of water to hold everything together, then gently roll the rest of the way, brushing over the seams with water.

Mist with cooking spray, then bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

While egg rolls are baking, stir together ingredients for the dipping sauce.

Let egg rolls cool for 5-10 minutes before serving with dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Note: If you don’t have any Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup on hand or can’t find it locally, I’d recommend using blueberry jam/preserves instead.

Here’s what the team brought to the table…

Starters
Loaded Baked Nacho Supreme by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls by The Pajama Chef
Gazpacho Shooters with Spicy Shrimp by OnTheMove-In the Galley
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders with BlueCheese Aioli by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventure

Dips
Soft Pretzels and Buffalo Cheese Dip
 by Things I Make (for Dinner)
Cheesy Bean Dip by Making Miracles
Garden Fresh Salsa by Eliot’s Eats
Pineapple Salsa by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Devilish 7-Layer Dip by Miss Laura’s Kitchen

Sips
War Eagle Sangria
 by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Spicy Strawberry Bourbon Shooters by CafeTerraBlog
Iowa Sunrise by From Gate to Plate

Sides
Deviled Egg Potato Salad
 by Cooking In Stilettos

Mains
El Diablo’d Lamb Lollipops
 by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Ginger Chicken Kabobs by Summer Scraps
Chili by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Spiced Fig and Garlic Chicken Wings by girlichef
Baked Mac and Cheese  with Bacon Pretzel Topping by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Asian Duck Sliders  by Curious Cuisiniere
Pineapple Chile Lime Wings by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches by Love and Confections

Sweets
Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies 
by The Spiffy Cookie

Disclosure: I received a complementary bottle of Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup to try as part of my participation in #10DaysofTailgate. I was not compensated in any way–for my time, to create a recipe, or to publish positive comments. I was not required to use this product as part of my recipe. My opinions are my own.

Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes

Crockpot Asian Pulled Chicken

Dust off your crockpot–this Asian Pulled Chicken is perfect for a chilly night and is a snap to put together!

Crockpot Asian Pulled Chicken | thepajamachef.com

I don’t do crockpot recipes that involve multiple steps. Isn’t the point of the crockpot to set it and forget it? So this recipe is super simple: place chicken in crockpot, top with a bunch of seasonings/sauces–without even mixing it!, cover, cook, enjoy. Perfect, huh?! Since I prefer to not even have to CHECK on crockpot meals while they’re cooking, I always like to use a bunch of sauce so the meat doesn’t dry out. For this recipe, I combined orange juice, rice vinegar, honey, and some spices with a myriad of Asian sauces I had hanging about in my pantry: soy sauce, hoisin, and oyster sauce…and some of Star Fine Foods’ Asian Cuisine Cooking Oil to give everything a little extra soy/ginger ooomph. If you don’t have all those sauces, don’t worry. One would be more than enough to make this almost barbecue-like sauce shine.

Crockpot Asian Pulled Chicken | thepajamachef.com

Once you open the lid, you’ll be greeted with the awesome aroma of chicken bathing in a sweet and tangy sauce. There’s citrus and a little heat and ginger and all sorts of good things in there, making that tender, melt-in-your-mouth chicken tastes even better than it smells. Since it was so effortless, I bet you’ll make this recipe again and again and again! Enjoy!

three years ago: Corn Cake Salad
four years ago: Sausage Pepper Penne

Crockpot Asian Pulled Chicken

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds chicken – a combination of chicken breast and thighs is good, or just one works too
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Asian Cuisine Cooking Oil by Star Fine Foods [or 1/4 cup olive oil with 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger + 1 teaspoon soy sauce]
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • rice, for serving
  • cilantro, for serving

Directions:

Place chicken in crockpot. Add all ingredients to crockpot [except rice and cilantro], then cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Gently shred chicken with a fork. Serve with rice and cilantro.

Main Dishes, Pasta, Pasta, Recipes, Sides

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Kale and Edamame

Spicy peanut sauce, noodles, kale, and edamame meet in an addictive, easy pseudo-takeout meal that can be enjoyed hot or cold–what’s not to love?!

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Kale and Edamame | thepajamachef.com

This spring/summer Ben and I have been eating sesame or peanut noodles all. the. time. [Side note: is there an actual difference between them? I’m sure there is. The librarian part of me is itching to google this up and see what I find out, but I’ll restrain myself.] They have replaced our easy mac & cheese from a box dinners. I have a hard time telling you what recipe I’ve used because a) I have many pinned on Pinterest and b) don’t really measure ingredients for sauces like this because I’ve never taken the time to take a few pictures to share the recipe here! But this time I did. Measure and photograph. 🙂 And this time I didn’t use any recipe except what sounded/looked/tasted good to me. It’s a good thing I did, because my noodles were utterly amazing.

Inspired by the lovely Amy of fearless homemaker and HER spicy peanut & sesame noodles, I added mix-ins to my noodles for the first time ever. What a good choice! Adding some kale and edamame made the textures of everything just pop and look pretty. Dontcha just love all that green?! 🙂

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Kale and Edamame | thepajamachef.com

Ben walked in the door just as I was mixing everything together and was like, “what in the world is that fabulous smell?! You must be the best wife ever for cooking such an incredible dinner.” Okay, maybe his words didn’t come out exactly like that, but the sentiment was there. I know it. But seriously–these noodles DO smell fabulous. The sauce is the perfect balance of spicy, sweet, and fresh flavors. I used ground ginger in the sauce but if I had had fresh ginger… oh man. Use that if you can.

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Kale and Edamame | thepajamachef.com

Though I served these noodles as a vegetarian main course, this is a great base recipe to add some meat. I think grilled chicken or thinly sliced steak would be great. Or even shrimp or tofu. This could even be a side dish if you like. We loved every last one of these yummy noodles, and like all good Asian-ish recipes…you can enjoy them hot or cold. They’re great both ways. In the recipe below I included notes about how to prepare them to be more picnic friendly, but no matter how you make them, I’m sure you’ll love ’em! Enjoy!

one year ago: Ginger Banana Waffles
two years ago: Minty Asian Slaw
three years ago: Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Kale and Edamame

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Kale and Edamame | thepajamachef.com

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces thin spaghetti noodles [any sort of thin noodle would work–Asian of any type, linguini, etc.]
  • 3 cups kale, tightly packed & thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Thai basil, loosely packed & chopped
  • 1 cup edamame, shelled & room temperature
  • green onions, sliced, for garnish

for sauce

  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • juice of half a lime [roughly 2 tablespoons]
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger [use 1 inch grated fresh ginger if you have it]
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ~1/2 cup pasta water, to thin sauce

Directions:

Prepare noodles according to package directions. Be sure to reserve about half a cup of pasta’s cooking water to thin the sauce.

While noodles are cooking, whisk together all ingredients for sauce except for the pasta water.

When pasta is ready, drain, and return to pot [or a large bowl]. Add kale, basil, and edamame and toss. Thin dressing with 3 tablespoons of pasta water, whisk, and the pour over noodles and vegetables. Toss well to coat. If necessary, add additional pasta water to thin sauce further, up to a full half cup.

Serve noodles with green onions for garnish.

Note:

Can be enjoyed warm or cold, but the dressing does really absorb into the noodles after refrigeration [which doesn’t bother me but does affect presentation] so if you’re making these noodles for an event and want to serve them cold, be sure to rinse well after draining to get rid of starch, toss with a bit of sesame oil, and then refrigerate separately from the sauce and veggies. Toss together before serving. I haven’t tried this technique with this recipe, but I have done similar things for other dishes so I assume it’d work well! Using rice noodles [that you don’t boil to cook, thus, they stay cold] might be a good option too.

 

Main Dishes, Other, Recipes

Quick & Healthy Pineapple Fried Rice

Lately I’ve been really into quick but still healthy meals. Working full time is great… but when I get home from a long day and an even longer commute, half the time I want to just curl up on the couch with my soft blanket and my Kindle, and the other half of the time I want to bake doughnuts, cookies, and muffins and skip dinner entirely. No idea why this disparity, but dinner is usually not my highest priority. But ya gotta eat, right? So I’ve been turning to quick meals that are still healthy and that make loads of leftovers to eat all week long, like this fabulous Pineapple Fried Rice. This crave-worthy dinner can be made in about 20 minutes so it’s awesome for busy or lazy nights when you just want something yummy but not heavy.

Pineapple Fried Rice | thepajamachef.com- a 20 minute quick and healthy #dinner #STARFineFoods #vegetarian

I started off this dish with the Asian Cuisine Cooking Oil from STAR Fine Foods which they graciously sent me to try out. If you can’t find this at your local grocery store, just add a little ginger [fresh or ground] and some extra soy sauce as the veggies are sauteing. Normally I wouldn’t think of using special infused oils on an ordinary weeknight, but I’m beginning to change my mind. They really make an ordinary dish shine–and cut down on my prep time so I can get back to my book sooner. 🙂 #librarianalert

Pineapple Fried Rice | thepajamachef.com- a 20 minute quick and healthy #dinner #STARFineFoods #vegetarian

For this batch of fried rice, I used garlic, carrots, edamame, peas, and green beans, but feel free to use whatever veggies you want. I’m thinking some sugar snap peas and broccoli would be good to try next time. What we especially loved about this vegetarian fried rice was the subtle sweetness of the pineapple with the salty soy sauce and sesame oil. Oh man, what a combo! This dish was hearty enough without meat [I totally think fried rice is one of those dishes where meat isn’t missed] but if you gotta have some, pork or shrimp would be good. Chicken is too predictable, methinks. Oh, and don’t forget the chopped honey roasted peanuts on top. Crunch crunch! 🙂 Cilantro would be a good addition too! TTYL 🙂 [I can’t believe I just wrote that. LOL! Hahaha.] Enjoy!

one year ago: Lemon Cranberry Muffins
two years ago: Camp Tecumseh Baked Oatmeal
three years ago: Pork Chops with Red Wine Sauce

Quick & Healthy Pineapple Fried Rice
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons STAR Asian Cuisine Cooking Oil [extra virgin olive oil infused with soy and ginger]
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup frozen edamame
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas
  • 2/3 cup frozen cut green beans
  • 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits in pineapple juice, drained [reserve 1/4 cup pineapple juice and save the rest to drink or for something else]
  • 4 1/2 cups cooked, cold rice [day old if possible]
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • sesame seeds, for serving
  • chopped honey roasted peanuts, for serving

Directions:

Add cooking oil to a large skillet or wok set over medium-high heat. When hot, add carrots and saute for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in edamame, peas, green beans, and pineapple. Cook for a minute or so until they just begin to soften.

Add rice and soy sauce to vegetables, then stir continuously for about 4 minutes, until rice is hot and begins to crisp up.

Push all the rice mixture to one side of the pan and pour the eggs in the empty spot. Quickly stir the eggs on the hot surface until they just begin to cook, then whisk them into the rice mixture. Pour in toasted sesame oil, then stir to combine.

Remove from heat, and serve fried rice with sesame seeds and chopped honey roasted peanuts.

Time: 20 minutes.

Yield: 5-6 servings.

Disclosure: STAR Fine Foods sent me a complementary package of their new cooking oils and some other goodies to try out. I had no obligations to blog about them or provide positive feedback. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try them though! Thanks to Ruby and all the other great people at STAR Fine Foods for their generosity.

Linked up with: What’s Cookin’ Wednesday.

Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes

Sweet and Sour Chicken {Repost}

So, I used to post once a month on a blog called Today’s Housewife. Last fall, the group decided together to stop posting due the busyness of life and families and such. Though sad, I enjoyed being part of the group. As of early January, the blog was officially taken down. But I don’t want to lose my recipes, so periodically I will be reposting them on here. Enjoy!

~

this post is originally from October 13, 2011


Sweet and Sour Chicken | The Pajama Chef

Chinese is Ben’s favorite ethnic food, so I’m constantly on the look out for ways I can surprise him with some special dinners at home. First it was Healthy Fried Rice, next it was Sweet and Sour Chicken. Before I tried any of these recipes, I expected them to be really difficult. But you know what? Making Chinese food at home really isn’t that hard. It’s actually pretty simple; all it takes is a bit of effort.

Sweet and Sour Chicken | The Pajama Chef

In almost no active preparation time at all, you can have restaurant-quality Sweet and Sour Chicken on your table for everyone to enjoy. We loved how sweet and tangy this dish was, as well as the freshness and healthiness factors. Because nothing beats the impressiveness of homemade!

Sweet and Sour Chicken [from Mrs. Schwartz’s Kitchen]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks or tidbits
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • brown rice, for serving
  • stir fry vegetables, for serving
  • sesame seeds, for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.

Put cornstarch in a shallow bowl. Crack eggs into another shallow bowl, and beat slightly with a fork. Season chicken with salt and pepper then dip in cornstarch and egg.

Working in two batches, brown the chicken, tossing every so often so that all sides crisp. Remove chicken to a large baking dish and arrange in a single layer, using a paper towel to degrease if necessary.

In a medium bowl, stir the sugar, pineapple, ketchup, vinegars, soy sauce, garlic, and red pepper together until sugar dissolves and sauce is fully mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Then pour half of the sauce over the chicken and toss to fully coat.

Bake the chicken for 60 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. [This would be a good time to start your brown rice, if you haven’t already.]

Meanwhile, pour remaining sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn heat to low and simmer to reduce, about 20 minutes.

Serve chicken over rice and vegetables and top with additional sauce and sesame seeds.

Yield: 5-6 servings.

Time: 90 minutes [30 minutes active].