Game Day Bites!

Game Day around here means a few things, usually the Pittsburgh Steelers and me cooking in the kitchen. Nope, I am not a football fan. I have watched plenty of games while munching on some hot wings, but I have no idea what is going on. The kids also enjoy college football, racing and soccer which means this is the time if the year I need to fight to get to see my Chelsea Handler!
In thinking about making some game day bites I thought for a long time about making some egg roll wrapped goodies but I did not want to drag out the fryer. I love my deep fat fryer, but I also hate it, the mess and all that oil, I can just live without it; unless that is I am making my special traditional egg rolls. Then I will drag it out and put up with the mess and all that oil, because those things are amazing! Someday I will have an egg roll making party and post the recipe. We cannot do it without making at least 100 egg rolls and about 200 crab puffs. They freeze really well and I have to hide as many as I can get away with, otherwise they are GONE!

For this post I had seen Reuben Egg Rolls on Pinterest and have wanted to try them for a while. I also made a Buffalo Chicken Dip a while back and thought that would be really good in an egg roll. Then for some reason I felt like I needed a third item. I went to a favorite of mine that I have never shared, the Chicago Cheese Crisp. What makes it a “Chicago” cheese crisp? Well one of my all time favorite sandwiches is the Italian Beef drowning in Giardiniera!! The Italian Beef originated in Chicago, and I finally got to have one there a few years back which was one of my long time foodie dreams fulfilled! I can get jars of Giardiniera at the Italian Deli, so when I have a craving I find that a Cheese Crisp filled with Giardiniera hits the craving spot. I usually use the HOT kind, but this time I bought mild and a jar of the Hot relish.

So let’s do this, easiest to more challenging. I would say these are all low on the difficulty meter.

Chicago Cheese Crisp

In Arizona we can get daily fresh, locally made tortillas, so that is what I choose to use. My favorite cheese to use is just Medium Cheddar, nothing fancy, but sometimes the store has a good shredded mix on sale, which was the case today, so that is what I used. I also like to bake my cheese crisps on parchment paper, I like the crunch the tortilla gets. I coat one side with a little butter, lay it out on the parchment paper, put on a layer of cheese to 1/2 the tortilla, and then add the Giardiniera. Then I fold the tortilla in half and usually make about 4-5 this way on one large baking tray. I then cook in a 400 degree preheated oven for 7 minutes on one side and then only about 4 on the other. I keep an eye out to make sure the edges don’t burn.

Dipping Sauce – Creamy Au Jus – one 16 oz container of sour cream, one packet of Au Jus Mix. Mix together well and let chill for about 30 minutes before serving.

Inspiration - the Italian Beef Sandwich

Inspiration – the Italian Beef Sandwich


Buffalo Chicken Bites

The filling for this I also made as a dip in the crock pot and it was great served warm with tortilla chips too!

3 Large Chicken Breasts
1/3 white onion, chopped
1 Large celery stalk, chopped
3 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
16 ounces of cream cheese
Season to taste – Garlic Powder and Cayenne pepper

Egg Roll Wrappers
1 beaten egg -raw

In a frying pan, on medium high heat, melt butter and add the three chicken breasts. Season with some garlic powder and cayenne pepper as you cook on each side. About 1/2 way through cooking add the chopped onion, celery and garlic. At the very end add the sauce and let it cook to a boil and turn off the heat. Let cool slightly.
Either shred the chicken by hand and mix OR add the chicken, sauce, cream cheese to a blender and food processor and puree until mixed well.

Fill each wrapper in the middle with about 1 TBSP of filling then roll it bringing in the sides as you fold it in; when you get to the end brush a little egg on the end to seal it like an envelope.
I found a really cool how to video for egg rolls on YouTube –

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven on parchment paper, on a baking sheet, for about 5 minutes, turn a little bit, another 5 mins, turn and so on until crispy on all sides.
Note – You could certainly fry these in a deep fryer, in which case I like to use peanut oil and submerge in 350 degree oil for about 3 minutes.

Dipping sauce – Cilantro Lime Ranch: Use one 16 oz container of sour cream. 1 Package of Hidden Valley Ranch, 1/4 cup of diced fresh cilantro and zest about a tsp of lime and spritz of the lime juice. Mix well together and let chill about 30 minutes before serving.

Buffalo Chicken Bites

Buffalo Chicken Bites

Rueben Bites

I am a HUGE corned beef fan, however I usually like to make my Rueben’s with Pastrami. I know it is a little odd but my reasoning is sound, I like the way the pastrami acts as a sauerkraut moisture barrier on one side of the bread and the swiss cheese does on the other side. I figured the same principle would hold for the Rueben bites, so I went to the deli and had them slice me up some good pastrami. When it comes to working with egg roll wrappers moisture can be your enemy. If too much moisture gets in the wrapper they will fall apart, tear or blow out while cooking. I made sure I drained as much moisture as possible from the sauerkraut before rolling. All and all these were pretty simple to make.

Thinly sliced Pastrami (or corned beef)
Narrow sliced pieces of Swiss Cheese (cutting a pre-made slice in 1/2 worked well)
Well Drained Sauerkraut

Egg Roll Wrappers
1 beaten egg -raw

Lay out wrapper, one slice of pastrami, a tbsp of sauerkraut and then the slice of swiss; roll carefully folding in the sides as you get to the end. (see YouTube video I posted with the Buffalo Chicken Bites) At the end brush on raw egg to seal the end.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven on parchment paper, on a baking sheet, for about 5 minutes, turn a little bit, another 5 mins, turn and so on until crispy on all sides.
Note – You could certainly fry these in a deep fryer, in which case I like to use peanut oil and submerge in 350 degree oil for about 3 minutes.

Dipping Sauce – Thousand Island Dressing


RR 1

**A special thanks to my Neighbors for being taste testers for this post! It is much appreciated!!

Fun Pic’s!

Steelers Fans!

Steelers Fans!


6 comments for “Game Day Bites!

  1. September 15, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    The Buffalo Chicken Bites looks yummy! Pinning for later! With football season ongoing, maybe sooner than later. 😀

    • September 15, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      Thanks for stopping by! Those seemed to be the resounding favorite. Also as a dip just served with tortilla chips.

  2. Mistie
    September 11, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing the recipes and allowing us to be your taste testers! They were all delish and can’t wait to make them!

  3. September 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Dude. I love my fryer. … (although my fryer consists of a large pot filled with oil. And does indeed get SUPER MESSY)…. I may one day buy a real fryer… But that may be detrimental to my health. lol I gotta say, I am not a football fan. I even played football in High school, mostly due to the influence of my sport obsessed older brother. I wouldn’t take it back though, playing is more fun than watching.

    Well, Christy’s 30th B-day is this weekend and I’m throwing her a bash. I am going to make a bunch of finger foods. I’m going to cruise around your blog and book mark my favorite recipes.

    I love a good baked Mac and Cheese. I’ll bet you have one somewhere. I have a crazy idea of making one with lobster. ….. (I just bought some frozen lobster tails for like 6 bucks a piece).

    My favorite sandwhich in the world is a hot pastrami sandwich on Rye with lot’s of spicy mustard and horseradish… I’d say a close second is the Rueben.

    I have to admit the last thing I expect to find inside an egg-roll is the filling for a rueben. It looks pretty good though.

    Giardinara. Is something I’ve only recently been introduced too. I remember working at Oreganos and bringing one of my tables a side of marinara, But really he wanted Giardinara…. Big mistake… Being from europe, it seems like something that would be very popular in my house growing up. Maybe I’ll make that chicago cheese crisp for my mom. I’m sure the Chicken bites will be a huge hit.

    I really like the deviled egg dip you made that one day!

    • September 11, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      If you want you can borrow my fryer and see how you like it, the good part is when the lid is closed it reduces all the splatter and you can really control oil temp. The bad part is cleaning it after. I have had Mac&Cheese lobster bites before I guess the key would be just not overcooking the lobster. I do have a recipe under “Choose Your own Adventure” Mac and Cheese! The Buffalo Chicken bites would be a hit, and since this weekend is a No Kids party you could kick the spice up a notch!!

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