Sunday, March 6, 2011

Homemade Pizza Rolls: Forget the Frozen Food Aisle

So, I was recently introduced to a local store's electronic coupon program. As I sorted through the e-coupons and chose the ones I wanted, I noticed a coupon for frozen pizza rolls.

Ahh, pizza rolls. Comfort food extraordinaire. One of those things you sometimes crave uncontrollably as you stroll through the frozen food section. I won't lie; I've eaten a few pizza rolls in my day (especially in college).

Instead of downloading the e-coupon, I decided to try making my own pizza rolls. Have you figured out yet that I like a challenge?

Personally, I enjoy a loaded pizza roll -- sausage, pepperoni, onions and green peppers. So that's what I set out to make, looking for opportunities to cut calories in the process. I bought homemade bulk sausage (pork breakfast sausage) from a local meat market, which I drained and pressed after cooking to extract as much fat as possible. I also opted for turkey pepperoni, which has far less fat than regular pepperoni. And instead of pizza sauce, I selected a smooth, veggie-filled pasta sauce, new Prego Veggie Smart Smooth & Simple.

Assembling the pizza rolls is easy; the process is basically identical to putting together the Southwest Egg Rolls. However, I decided to try a new technique for baking the rolls: Coating them with a bit of olive oil on all exposed surfaces instead of using cooking spray, and reducing the temperature a bit as compared to the egg rolls. It worked like a charm and will be how I will bake my egg rolls or other "roll" recipes utilizing egg roll wrappers.

And of course, if these meats and veggies don't correspond with your family's taste, you can always adjust accordingly. Just make sure to chop/cut them up small. And if you decide to use mushrooms or other veggies that harbor water, be sure to saute them for a few minutes as I did with the bell pepper and onion.

(Yield: About 20 rolls)

8 oz. bulk pork sausage (breakfast sausage), cooked, crumbled and well-drained
3 oz. turkey pepperoni slices, quartered
1 small green bell pepper, diced small
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup pasta sauce (smooth, not chunky)
· Liquid egg whites (or the white of one large egg)
1 pkg. egg roll wrappers
Several tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

· Preheat oven to 400°F.
· Spray a frying pan with butter-flavor nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium or medium-high heat.
· Add bell pepper and onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper; saute for 2-3 minutes -- just long enough to sweat any water out of them. Cool completely.
· Combine onion/pepper mixture, sausage, pepperoni, cheese and sauce; mix thoroughly.
· Place stack of egg roll wrappers on a flat surface in a diamond shape and cut 1 inch or less off the left and right corners.
· Scoop about 3 Tbsp. of filling into the center of a wrapper, then fold up the bottom point and fold in the trimmed edges. Moisten the top point with egg white and then finish rolling up the egg roll from the bottom up.
· Place completed egg roll seam side down on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil (preferably non-stick).
· Repeat until filling is gone.
· JUST before baking, coat your hands with olive oil; run your hands over all sides of each roll to coat, and then place it back on the foil-lined baking sheet. You will need to re-coat your hands frequently.
· Bake for 12-14 minutes or until pizza rolls are brown.

You might even end up with a very authentic pizza roll "blowout" ...

1 comment:

  1. Those look delicious, Lindsay...definitely going to try them! In regards to the sausage, I find that when I drain and then run warm water over it, that gets rid of a lot of the grease.