Finding a new way to use up leftover browned hamburger gives me a sense of satisfaction you wouldn’t believe. I just hate throwing any leftovers out, but know the family can get tired of eating them long before they run out.
Some people have that “no-leftovers-ever” gene that enables them to cook the perfect portions for every meal. These are those people who don’t need Tupperware to store that extra cup of spaghetti sauce that wasn’t used or that pork chop that no one could possibly finish or that bowl or two of soup that didn’t get eaten because someone decided to eat out with friends instead of eating at home. Nope, they know all and see all so they never end up with a fridge full of plastic bowls just waiting for another chance to tempt the pallets of everyone who aimlessly peruses the shelves in search of something, anything but what’s in the fridge, to satisfy their growling stomach.
Well, I’m definitely not one of those people. Not even close. There are no less than six plastic bowls brimming with leftovers in my fridge at any given time. A quick check of the fridge this morning and I found chicken enchiladas, stuffed burgers, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, chicken pizzaiola, spaghetti sauce, and let’s not even get started on the desserts. It’s not that I don’t know how to portion out food, it’s just that most of the time the kids are more than happy to take leftovers to work/school for lunch and Hubby does enjoy a meal of some sort right around 10 p.m. when I’m not about to climb out of bed and make him something fresh. Yet, inevitably, the bowls seem to miraculously multiply and by the end of the week, there isn’t an inch of fridge real estate to be found among the towering stacks of neatly packaged leftovers.
Today when I decided dinner was going to be a conglomeration of every leftover in the fridge and began sorting through stacks of storage containers I happened upon a rather large bowl of browned hamburger. I’d used this a few nights ago for Coney burgers. There wouldn’t have been so much leftover had Grace not made last-minute plans with a friend for dinner, but alas that’s the story of my life.
With only a very small bowl of chili left for topping the Coney burgers, I knew if I didn’t find a better solution for this leftover meat, I’d probably end up throwing it out. Sure I could freeze it, but then with four freezers packed to the hilt nearly all the time, this would get lost until the next millennium. No, action was required now.
Further digging into the fridge produced a just-on-the-verge-of-molding-over Velveeta, a chunk of sharp cheddar without any obvious purpose, a cup or so of homemade bacon bits, and a package of egg roll wrappers just shy of their expiration date. What to make, what to make?
Well, even though egg roll wrappers scream “Asian” themed delicacies, I decided to think outside the box and give them a little American flair for a change of pace.
Heating the ground beef in a skillet, adding the sharp cheddar cheese (shredded), and cut up Velveeta, gave me an almost saucy filling. I thought about adding some onion to the mix, but instead opted to save that for the sauce. With the meat mixture nice and bubbly, I took out an egg roll wrapper, placed two tablespoons of filling on it, and then rolled it up. After sealing the edges with water I put the egg roll in my deep fryer, preheated to 350, for 2 – 4 minutes until it was golden brown. When it was done, I put it on a paper towel to drain and cool a bit and worked on the sauce.
A favorite sauce that we like to put on our burgers is based on one found at a local restaurant, Daly’s. This is a restaurant my parents went to while they were dating and Hubby took me to when we were dating. With it being more than an hours drive from our house we don’t get out there very often, so whenever we get a craving for their “secret” sauce, I whip up a batch of my own version. I don’t have the exact proportions that Daly’s uses, but a waitress was kind enough to divulge to me the list of ingredients in the sauce and I took it from there. Although not exact, it is pretty darn close and Hubby says it’s better than the original (certainly this has nothing to do with the fact he doesn’t want to drive an hour to get the original).
This sauce has everything you want on your burger or hot dog all rolled into one: onion, relish, ketchup, mustard, and just to shake things up a little, horsey sauce. Can it get any better than that? I think not!
So, with my egg roll cooked and slightly cooled and the sauce fresh from the food processor, I cut into the roll and did the first taste test.
Remarkably good. Different in the sense that I sort of thought it was going to have an Asian taste, even though all that is Asian in this recipe would be the egg roll wrappers, but, when I get something stuck in my head…
The crunch of the wrapper around the hot and cheesy filling was a great contrast. Add to that the tangy zip of the Daly sauce and it sent my taste buds into a frenzy. Success!
With the remaining leftovers dug from the depths of the fridge heated and anxiously awaiting for their final chance at consumption on the table, I presented the family with a platter of Bacon Cheeseburger Egg Rolls with a side of either Daly sauce or the little bit of chili from the fridge. The results? Well, in retrospect perhaps presenting the family with something new and exciting over the dull and boring leftovers wasn’t my brightest moment, because although there aren’t any leftover egg rolls, the original leftovers remain albeit in smaller Tupperware bowls, taking up nearly as much space as before. I just can’t win.
That’s okay, at least I found another new recipe to keep the family coming back for more. Now I’m considering making a pizza filled egg roll or how about some sort of dessert egg roll. The possibilities are endless, and for this I am Simply Grateful.
Bacon Cheeseburger Egg Rolls with Daly Sauce
For Egg Rolls:
- 1 lb. Browned Ground Beef
- 1 Cup Bacon Bits
- 8 oz. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 5-6 oz. Cubed Velveeta Cheese
- Garlic Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
- 1 Package Egg Roll Wrappers
- Water for sealing
- Oil for frying
For Daly Sauce:
- 1 Medium Onion, minced in food processor
- 1/2 Cup Relish
- 1 Cup Ketchup
- 1/4 Cup Mustard
- 1/4 Cup Horseradish Sauce
- Combine browned ground beef, cheddar cheese and cubed Velveeta in skillet over medium heat
- Season with garlic salt and pepper.
- Cook until cheese is melted and mixture is saucy.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees.
- To assemble egg rolls: Place egg roll wrapper on a diamond. Put 2 tablespoons of meat mixture and 1 teaspoon of bacon bits along bottom corner, leaving about 1″ on three sides. Fold bottom corner over meat and then the sides. Dip fingers in water and run them along the top edges of the wrapper. Continue to roll egg roll to seal.
- Fry egg roll for 2-4 minutes or until golden brown on all sides, turning as necessary.
- Remove egg roll from oil with tongs or slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
- For the sauce: place onion in food processor/chopper and process until finely minced. Add relish, ketchup, mustard and horseradish sauce. Pulse until combined.
- Serve egg rolls warm with a side of sauce.
If you don’t want to make the Daly sauce to serve with these, beanless Hormel chili makes a great accompaniment as well.