Here’s an awesome appetizer to keep the zombie hordes away from your grill at the next cook-out. I’ve made this recipe a couple of times this month, first for out G.R.U.N.T.S. inaugural dinner, and – because it was so good – again for an appetizer for out hautemealz.com Easter feast.
The first gig was a Cuban theme and that’s how I found this recipe…well, actually, I never did find a recipe, just this description:
“Cumin spiced ground beef it mixed with olives as well hard-boiled egg and other spices then its rolled in light pastry and deep fried till golden and crunchy, its served with a habanero sauce, that is just slightly spicy and compliments the dish really nicely.”
With those in-depth instructions, I decided to use egg-roll sheets (big won-ton wrappers), Roberto Guerra’s Cuban hamburger recipe for the meat, and make my yellow sriracha sauce for dinner.
Perfect storm, baby.
Cigars del Pinar
1/2 lb ground sirloin (15% fat)
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb pork/beef chorizo
1 Tbs each cumin, salt, ground pepper
1 cup black olives, chopped
1 lg yellow onion, diced
5 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 cups cabbage, shredded
20 egg-roll wrappers (1 pkg)
Peanut oil for frying
In a large skillet, cook meats with onion and spices, until cooked through and finely crumbled. Drain most of the excess oil and mix (still hot) with the cabbage. Add in the olives and eggs, and toss until well combined.
Place 2-3 Tbs of this mixture onto a egg-roll wrapper, and roll up (see slideshow, below) wetting the ends with a brush of warm water, to seal.
Bring 2 inches of oil to medium high heat in a large, heavy skillet. Using long tongs, add the egg-rolls in batches, leaving plenty of cooking room around each. Fry until golden and crispy (it goes quick 1-2 minutes per side, max). Remove to paper towels to drain.
Note: Plan to finish these up at least 15 minutes before you intend to serve them, the interiors stay freakin’ hot for a long time!
How to Roll a Cigar (del Pinar, that is…)
Yellow Sriracha Sauce
4 yellow bell peppers, diced
1 hot yellow pepper*, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 Tbs light brown sugar
In the morning, remove peppers & garlic from bowl and place in saucepan. Add 1/4 cup of the vinegar mixture, 2 Tbs of water and the brown sugar.
You can add more vinegar if you want it more tart and a thin sauce. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 min. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Puree until blended but it still has texture.
*For more heat, replace with a habanero, minced.