There is absolutely nothing holiday-ish about this photo. Still, when I saw him, I knew my fellow MANhandlers would appreciate his…ball. It’s clearly the focus of the photo, yes? I’m suddenly nostalgic for my days in the soccer keep. I was quite good, you know–recruited for the Miss Budweiser Ladies’ Traveling Team. But that’s another tale for another time. Ogle away while I get the recipe you need for the holidays.
So, every year we have this tradition that we do a predictable holiday meal for Christmas, but for New Year’s Eve, we do a huge Mexican food feast. It was easier to pull this off when we lived in New Mexico (the South simply doesn’t understand tamales or green chili that is not a bell pepper). We are a diligent and resourceful lot, though, and we make it work. The recipe below is ridonkulously simple, clearly unhealthy and guaranteed to taste good. We lean on the latter and ignore the middle altogether for this one night every year.
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 clove of garlic, minced (more if you’re fending off the undead)
1 white onion, chopped (less if you intend to kiss your sweetheart)
1 can chopped green chilies (use two if you’re a chili addict and don’t forget to pick out the skins)
1 large bag sharp cheddar (large means the BIG bag)
2 packages eggroll wrappers
1 bag frozen potatoes OPTIONAL (like O’Brien potatoes but without the peppers–trust me on this)
Small bowl of water
Oil for frying
Heat the oil.
Brown ground beef with garlic, onion and green chilies in a deep pan. (I add the green chilies when the meat’s almost done and use the spoon to spread it around and pick out the skins.) Drain grease off meat and put back in the pan.
Fry potatoes. Drain them well and pat excess grease off with paper towels. (Seems pointless, but trust me. Too much grease is just too much grease.) Keep grease hot.
Add the bag of cheese to the meat and turn the heat on low. Stir it in and make sure it melts well. The meat should stick together really well.
Add the potatoes and mix in.
With on corner of the eggroll wrapper facing you, add a small spoonful of the meat mix. Dip your fingers in the water and trace the edges of the wrapper. Fold the nearest point over the meat, fold the outside corners in and roll. (It’s very important to make sure you get the seams sealed, but don’t mash them. Eggroll wrappers are temperamental and tend to tear out of spite. It’s true. I swear.) Set aside. Repeat the process until you’re out of wrappers, meat or alcohol.
Fry your eggrolls until they’re golden brown. (Usually takes a minute or so.) Remove and drain on a paper towel.
Suggestion: Have someone fry while you roll. It makes things much, much easier because the eggroll wrappers tend to stick to the counter as you set them aside.
Serve with salsa and enjoy! (Really, though? They don’t need it.)
There you have it, my faithful readers — a Tompkins tradition since 1948. Okay, that’s a lie. We started this around 1995. But traditions sound better if they’re older. You’re going to thank me. Your hips will curse my name, but the belleh will be happeh.
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas, happy holiday season and prosperous New Year full of wonderful new reads. And Mexican Eggrolls.