Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chopped Challenge #3: Baked Pizza Roll-ups

It's time for Chopped challenge #3, and this time Justin chose gorgonzola cheese, poblano peppers, diced tomatoes (canned), and... wonton wrappers. Yep. Wonton wrappers. Clearly my first thought was to make some sort of wonton, probably fried. Then I thought about cutting the wonton wrappers in to strips, frying them, and using them as a garnish on a soup or someting. The other ingredients were fairly wide open--he didn't choose any kind of meat, so I could do almost whatever I wanted with the other three ingredients.

I started thinking about what to do with the gorgonzola, and my first thought was pizza. That's pretty much the only way I've ever had gorgonzola before. If I did something pizza-related, I could also use the tomatoes. Wontons often have some kind of pork filling, so I decided to pick up some sausage and go for a sausage pizza kind of filling. I could just toss the poblanos in there and call it done, but I thought it would be nice if there was a dipping sauce to go with the wontons. I settled on a modified version of my easy Alfredo sauce with a poblano twist.

When we went grocery shopping, I spied the egg roll wrappers next to the wonton ones and convinced Justin to let me get those instead. They're just a larger version, so it's not a big deal. It just gives me a little more room to put filling in there, meaning I won't have to spend so much time making as many of them as I would have to with the wonton wrappers. Seriously, have you made wontons before? Stuffing all those little wrappers takes forever. This way would definitely be quicker, and I'd be able to roll them instead of folding in all those little corners. My original intention was to fry them, but while browsing Pinterest I happened across a recipe for Weight Watchers-friendly crab rangoon which called for baking them instead of frying. I figured I'd give that a try instead and save some calories.

Justin and I were both really happy with how these came out. We discovered that if you let them cool a bit more before eating them, they get a little crispier than they are if you eat them when they're still really hot. (You also burn your tongue and fingers that way, so don't eat them that soon out of the oven for that reason, too.) I think that if I tried these again, I would try actually frying them for more of that authentic egg roll feel, but otherwise I wouldn't change a thing. The filling was tasty. The sauce was excellent--I'm going to make it more often to put on whatever else I can. This recipe is definitely a keeper.


Pizza roll-ups
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 c gorgonzola cheese
14.5 oz canned, diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 c finely minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
12-15 egg roll wrappers
Vegetable or canola oil

Dipping sauce
1 medium poblano pepper, minced
1 c milk
3 tbsp butter or margarine
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
Pinch of salt


Put half of the minced poblano in a container with the milk and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Set aside the rest of the poblano for later.

Cook the Italian sausage over medium heat until browned. Drain well. Combine the sausage, gorgonzola, mozzarella, tomatoes, onion, and garlic in a bowl. Mix well to combine.

Place an egg roll wrapper in front of you so that it looks like a diamond (not a square). Put 1/4 to 1/3 c of filling in the center of the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner over the filling, and then fold both the left and right points toward the center as well. Roll the wrapper and filling toward the top point. Place the roll so that the exposed edges of the wrapper are facing up; dip a finger into some water and use it to moisten the bottom side of any of the exposed edges of the wrapper and press them back down to seal them. Place the roll-up edge-side down on a greased sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.

Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the roll-ups with oil. Bake them at 400 F for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Meanwhile, place the poblano-milk mixture in a blender or food processor and blend until well-combined. Place the butter and remaining poblano in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the Parmesan cheese and flour, and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, and whisk in poblano-milk mixture. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in garlic powder and pepper, and remove from heat. Serve sauce in bowls alongside roll-ups to allow for easy dipping.

Servings: 12-15

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