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Recipe Recon: Southwestern Rolls

Today’s Recipe Recon [1] comes to you via Jackie Kocurek at Rediscovering Lost Arts from Our Mothers [2]. Jackie’s blog is all about family recipes using fresh ingredients and learning skills like canning food and baking from the older generations.

Jackie, who is from Imperial, Missouri, says “Living in the 21st Century has so many perks, but in our day to day life, we have stopped learning how to do things for ourselves.” I totally agree. Make sure you check out Jackie’s blog [2] and her fabulous retro photos.

Jackie has a great recipe for Southwestern Rolls [3] which she describes as “all of my favorite things found in a Mexican dish, rolled into a bite size piece of yummy!” She combines chicken, black beans, corn, chiles and cheese in egg roll wrappers and then deep-fries the rolls until they are golden brown and crunchy.

I decided to try baking Jackie’s rolls instead of frying them. My biggest concern was whether or not I could get the same level of crunch.

I made some of the rolls with wonton wrappers and some with egg roll wrappers. The wonton-based ones were shaped into triangles. The Grillmaster thought they were easier to eat and crunchier. I was happy with both. The recipe below includes egg roll wrappers because it is closer to Jackie’s original recipe. Feel free to use wonton wrappers instead.

Jackie starts with a raw, boneless chicken breast and cooks it as part of the recipe. I had some leftover stewed chicken, so I shredded it and used that instead. The shreds worked better in the smaller, more delicate wontons. Check out Jackie’s original recipe [3] if you want to see how she cooks the chicken.

It was a little difficult to compare my version with Jackie’s because I don’t have any way of knowing how much vegetable oil was absorbed in her rolls when they were deep-fried. I found something that said when a whole turkey is deep-fried, it absorbs about 1 cup of oil. I’m going to assume in the case of these rolls, it would be about 1/3 cup. I also don’t know exactly how much cheese Jackie used. I was light-handed with the cheese, so I’m going to assume she used more than I did. I used 1/2 cup, so we’ll say she used 3/4 cup.

As you can see from the table below, my modifications didn’t do much to change the amount of carbs in these rolls. Although diabetics need to watch their carb intake, they also need to watch fat. Heart disease is the #1 killer of people with diabetes.

1 roll Original Recipe Recon-ed Version
Calories 205 146
Total Fat 8 g 2 g
Saturated Fat 1 g 1 g
Cholesterol 10 mg 9 mg
Sodium 263 mg 247 mg
Total Carbs 25 g 25 g
Fiber 2 g 2 g
Sugar 0 g 0 g
Protein 8 g 7 g

Here’s my version of Jackie’s recipe. Enjoy!

Southwestern Rolls

Adapted from Rediscovering Lost Arts from Our Mothers

1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
1/2 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
dash of Kosher salt
12 egg roll wrappers

In a large bowl, combine chicken, beans, corn, chiles, scallions, cheese, garlic pepper, cumin, chili powder and salt. Mix gently, but well.

Put a few tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone liner. Cover the egg roll wrappers with a wet paper towel while you work.

Place one wrapper on a cutting board or other work surface so that one of the points is towards you. Dab your fingers in the water and wet the entire edge of the wrapper, all the way around. Place some of the chicken mixture in the middle of the wrapper in a horizontal line. Fold the bottom point up and over the filling. Fold in each side, then roll to enclose. Press firmly to seal. Remove to baking sheet (sealed side down) and repeat with remaining wrappers.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Spray rolls lightly with nonstick spray. Bake 7 to 8 minutes, turn, spray again lightly with nonstick spray and bake until golden and crisp, about another 5 to 6 minutes.

Serve with Jackie’s Homemade Salsa [4] or Avocado Ranch Sauce [3].

Makes 12 rolls
Per serving (1 roll): 146 calories, 2g fat (1g sat), 9mg cholesterol, 247mg sodium, 25g carb, 2g fiber, 0g sugar, 7g protein

Nutritional Analysis: These rolls are low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol and are a good source of Folate, Manganese and Selenium.