Welcome friends! Here let me take your coats, hats and pocketbooks. Please go on in, there’s plenty to eat and Don will whip you up a Martini or an Old Fashioned — you know how Mr. Draper is.
Oh, and I brought the tastiest shredded pork and shrimp egg rolls — you just have to give them a try.
You see, this Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook has got me thinking I’m on the set or better yet — back in time. Like I needed another reason to fantasize about being Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks), in her snug sweaters, fitted dresses and pencil skirts and that gorgeous head of fiery red hair. (A girl can dream, right?)
But even if I can’t swish my hips to the same effect ol’ Joanie does — I can whip up some truly tasty egg rolls with the help of this to-period treasure, The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin. Gelman and Zheutlin did their homework filling the books with recipes from the time period (late 50’s early 60’s.) The book is filled with Mad Men tie ins, plenty of tongue-in-cheek helping articles like “The Hostest with the Mostest: Tips for a Successful Mad Men-Style Cocktail Party,” and engaging historical information that lends context and brings both the dishes and the period come to life in your kitchen.
For our Mad Men Virtual Dinner Party I chose the Egg Rolls (page 117) and though, I admittedly tinkered with the recipe a bit, adding a smidge more Asian authenticity, the original recipe from 1963, is what you’d have been served at most restaurants and dinner parties of the time. Shredded pork, shrimp, and sherry (along with the 1Tbsp grated ginger and 1Tbsp grated garlic I added to the sauce mix) make these little beauties sing with decadent flavor. I also omitted the bean sprouts (we’re not big fans — next time, I may add a little napa cabbage or baby bok choy to the mix.)
The book also gives a recipe for an Apricot Sauce for dipping, that I thought was not complex enough for today’s palates, so I whipped up a spicy sweet and sour variety using Trader Joe’s Mango Chutney as a base instead of apricot jam.
The results were dazzling and HUGE! Though the recipe calls for 16 egg roll wrappers, if you follow its directions of 2 to 3 TBsp of filling per egg roll, you’ll end up with only 6, king-sized egg rolls (which my hubby adored!) If you truly want to get 16 egg rolls out of this recipe, cut the amount of filling in half.
These egg rolls were a hit at my house and with a little help from a couple of friends (thanks Margo and Justin) we finished them all off in one night.
I recommend putting on a little Dean Martin (my son’s fav), pouring yourself a drink (I love an Old Fashioned or a Vanilla Stoli Martini with bleu cheese stuffed olives– sounds weird tastes AWESOME!)
- 2Tbsp soy sauce
- 2Tbsp Sherry
- 1.5 tsp cornstarch
- 1tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3Tbsp canola oil
- 1 pound shredded pork
- 1/2 pound fresh shrimp chopped
- 1 medium carrot grated
- 1/4 pound mushrooms, diced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 pound bean sprouts
- 16 egg roll wrappers
- Enough vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Apricot sauce for dipping
Combine the soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a small bowl.
Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the shredded pork, shrimp and mushrooms and cook for one minute. Remove pork and shrimp and drain liquid. Set aside. (GF NOTE: Confusing directions here — I recommend just sauteing the pork and shrimp and then doing the carrot and mushroom after — instead of trying to separate shredded pork from mushrooms after cooking.) Add carrot and mushrooms and stir fry for several minutes. Add scallions and bean sprouts and stir for 2 more minutes; return shrimp and pork to the skillet. Add soy sauce mixture and stir for the last 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
Place egg roll wrapper with one corner pointing towards you. Place 2-3 Tbsp of filling on a wrapper and fold the bottom corner up to the center. Brush the unrolled edges with water. Fold the left and right corners to the center; squeeze gently and then roll up all the way. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.
Heat the oil for deep-frying over medium heat (lower heat if it has a tendency to smoke). Deep-fry the rolls for 6 minutes. Turn each side so it gets immersed, since the upper side tends to float outside of the oil. The rolls are done when they’re golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately, or keep warm in the oven before serving. Serve with apricot sauce.
Yield 16 servings
GF Super Quick Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce
- 1 jar Trader Joes Mango Chutney
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp cooking sherry
Mix together in a saucepan and let come to boil for 3 minutes, to thicken a bit. Will be a loose dipping sauce consistency. Enjoy!