IMBB time again and this time out it's frying with "Summer's Flying, Let's Get Frying" hosted by fellow Chicagoan At Our Table. What neighborhood, AOT? We're just West of Lincoln Square.
Spring rolls are normally made with fresh wrappers. I make these with a phyllo wrapper brushed with olive oil and stuffed with some of the best vegetarian ingredients.
I don't fry much, but these rolls don't take too much oil in the pan, don't get fried for too long and taste fantastic, so I make an exception. The method here produces a small burrito like roll. You could cut back on the filling, use half as much linear phyllo and make something more like a phyllo cigar.
Did you know, by the way, that phyllo dough comes in varying thicknesses? I use a #7 dough for this recipe. If you use a thinner dough (like a Pepperidge Farm), add more layers to the roll before adding the filling. Don't overdo it though or you'll end up with raw phyllo in the finished product which doesn't have the best texture.
Phyllo spring rolls
2 cups cabbage, chopped into 1/4" disks then sliced into very very thin batons
1/2 cup fennel, grated on the big holes of a box grater
1/2 golden delicious apple
1/2 cup carrots, grated on the big holes of a box grater
1 cup vegetable stock
8 leaves phyllo dough, #7 thickness
1/2 cup regular olive oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
sprinkle of lemon juice
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
This recipe is all about mise en place or having all your ducks in a row before you start. Prepare all the vegetables for the filling before breaking out the phyllo dough, though you should defrost the phyllo overnight and leave it out of the refrigerator for a half hour before use.
We want all the ingredients to be cut almost as thin as grass or hay. Slice the scallions on the extreme bias into 1/8" wide lengths, slice the apple into similar thin batons. The grated carrot and fennel should be thin enough as is. Sprinkle lemon juice all over the apple and fennel to keep them from browning.
In a small pan, combine the cabbage and stock over high heat. Add salt and fennel seeds and stir. Cook until the cabbage just gets soft and loses that "squeaky" texture.
Drain and set aside.
Lay out your phyllo dough under a damp clean dishtowel to prevent it from drying out. Working quickly. take one sheet of phyllo and lay it flat on a clean dry work surface. Brush liberally with the extra virgin olive oil. Lay the next sheet on top of it and brush it with olive oil all the way to the edges.
At the bottom middle half of the sheet, lay out a couple of tablespoons of cabbage, more or less. Add half as much carrots, and fennel, and almost as much apple actross the middle 1/2 of the bottom of the sheet.
Fold the side 1/4 of the sheets in lengthwise. The ends of the filling should be covered by them.. Brush the folded lengths with olive oil and roll up the filling in the dough so it forms a neat packet.
Place the roll under a barely damp towel and repeat procedure above until you have 4-8 rolls, depending on how much filling you chose above.
Heat 1/2 cup of ordinary olive oil in a skillet. It should cover the bottom of the pan easily, but not be much deeper. Turn the burner on high. The oil is ready when it sizzles when you touch a corner of a roll to the surface.
Fry each side until it's a deep rich brown. Remove to a paper towel and pat off the oil.
Slice on the bias down the middle and serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.