Saturday, August 18, 2012

Egg Rolls Italian Style

I've had a fascination with egg rolls lately and have been baking (not frying) them with just about every type of stuffing you can imagine. Tonight I took the Italian route and am rather pleased with the results. If you like manicotti, but don't feel like making an entire meal of it, here's an appetizer that will satisfy your urge for creamy, salty, cheesy and crunchy. I made these with ricotta and spinach, added some previously cooked sauteed mushrooms, wrapped the mixture up with store bought egg roll skins and tried to keep the calorie count as low as possible.

Italian Style Egg Rolls
10 Servings

10 egg roll wrappers
15 oz part skim ricotta cheese
1 10 oz package chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry- next time I will cut the amount of spinach in half as it was just a bit too spinachy for me
8 oz chopped mushrooms, sauteed and cooled
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 egg beaten
1 cup part skim mozzarella
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup egg substitute
Store bought Italian style bread crumbs (for dusting rolls)
Marinara sauce for dipping
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl combine ricotta cheese with next eight ingredients (to kosher salt).

Now it's time to roll these babies up. If you've never worked with egg roll skins before, I'll give you a little heads up. They are not square so you'll never get a perfectly rolled egg roll. No matter, they will all look and taste great. Place an egg roll skin on your work surface so one of the points is facing you. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of cheese mixture on the lower half of the roll, not in the center. My camera has a depth perception problem so this photo looks like the cheese is smack dab in the center. It's not.

Roll wrapper over the cheese mixture and brush edges with egg substitute. This will help seal the egg roll while it's baking. Fold the sides over the top and complete your roll.

Brush top with egg substitute. The egg substitute will help the rolls brown and help the bread crumbs stick to the top. Place on cooking sheet that's been prepared with cooking spray. Now repeat the process 9 times. When all rolls are made, sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake 7 minutes and remove from oven. Turn egg rolls over, brush with remaining egg substitute and sprinkle side 2 with bread crumbs. Bake another 7 minutes, remove from oven and serve with your favorite marinara sauce. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Ricotta cheese is so versatile, so while I'm on this egg roll kick, I'm going to try something on a sweet note. Kinda like a warm cannoli. With semi sweet chocolate chips and a little cream cheese.  If it works out, I'll be sure to share.

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