Rolling the egg rolls.

Looking out at another balmy (for Colorado), sunshine-filled 40-plus degree January day, I can’t help but think of the upcoming spring.  Actually, I’m contemplating the extensive amount of tasks awaiting us with said thaw. One of the first things on the list is labeling the 2009 Riesling.

These fried egg rolls could be improved by baking.

Yes, Mesa Park Vineyards is going over to the white wine side for a release.

With the labels coming soon, that means all we need is a sufficient taste description and scrumptious food pairing to offer.  Brooke and I decided to take upon the burdensome task of eating our way to the pairing.

Here’s my first attempt: crunchy, fried, pork and vegetable stuffed, egg roll. Even though I dig Asian food of all shapes and forms, I’ve never cooked it much. Seems like too many ingredients and too many steps. Before my recent career change, I frequented a delicious Chinese restaurant in lovely Clifton at least once a week to satiate my appetite.  Nowadays, in my vineyard management role, I work at home and don’t eat out.  I was craving egg rolls, big and brown egg rolls, baby.  And hot mustard dammit.

The ingredients were surprisingly cheap. I used a head of lettuce, carrots, a red pepper and the rolling skins, plus some roasted pork spare ribs glazed in raw honey from our neighbors at Z’s Orchard. I chopped the vegetables (adding salt and cayenne pepper) and sautéed them in a little olive oil while I waited for the pork to cool.  After finely chopping the ribs and sweating the veggies I set up my rolling station.
I always thought they’d be difficult to roll and keep together, but I was pleasantly surprised.  The hardest part was getting the skins separated without tearing them.  The rolling part I learned in college. They came out much prettier than I anticipated.

Our new Colorado Riesling turned out to be a perfect companion to the egg rolls.

I heated about an inch of vegetable oil in the smallest skillet I had.  I worked the rolls in small batches so they would cook more cohesive.  They really browned nicely.

They were freaking delicious!

Brooke concocted a soy/honey/wasabi sauce  for dipping because I forgot the hot mustard I so craved.  There’s always next time I suppose.  Next time I’ll forgo the frying and just bake the egg rolls. Though I generally love fried food, using a little less oil will enhance the flavors.

We munched on these tasty treats with our Riesling, Its lovely tropical fruit tones offset the crispy, spiciness of the rolls. Pairing No. 1 was a success. Stay tuned for more pairings and the release date of the Riesling.


Brad Webb