Our anniversary was last night. Six years. It’s been fun thus far, trust me. We decided to stay around the house this year, so with that in mind, of course my first question was, ‘What would you like me to make for dinner?’. The response…
Month: May 2007
There are a few times throughout the year when spring rolls touch my heart. This is one of those times. The smell in the air from flowers and plants blooming, and the cool breeze to name a couple. This past weekend was one of those weekends where the weather was simply amazing; warm and breezy one day, cool the other. These feelings sparked something that I love to make and enjoy eating. Spring Rolls. Sit back and enjoy this recipe and the appetizer. They are fresh and really easy to make.
I make nearly 12 spring rolls and here is what I used.
- shredded carrots (3)
- angel hair or vermicelli pasta; 1/2 a box
- shredded green onion (cut lengthwise) 4-5
- cooked shrimp, sliced in half; nearly 15 (30 when sliced)
- cilantro (1/2 bunch, chopped)
- spring roll wrappers (12 or as many as you are going to make)
If you have reviewed the ingredients you can determine a few things; they are healthy, tasty, and easy to chop/dice/slice. Trust me, the only time intensive piece here is soaking the wrapper in warm water to allow softening for the wrapping.
Ready? Here we go.
Get your noodles cooking and boil as the box says. Drain and let cool. Cool is the message here on the noodles as you do not want to put warm or hot noodles in the wrapper.
As the noodles are cooking this is a great time to prepare your ingredients by chopping/slicing your ingredients. Because of the transparent wrapper, you can determine how you want to layout your ingredients. Do you want to guests to see shrimp on the outer layer, lettuce, carrot? You can be as creative as you want here. Keep slicing.
Cooled noodles, and veggies and shrimp ready to go? Good. Get ready to wrap.
When visiting an Asian market, you can find several types of wrappers. I use this type of wrapper. They are cheap, plentiful, and reliable.
Fill a large bowl with warm water. Submerge a wrapper in the water and move it around for a minute or two. You will begin to fill it soften. Please note that if you let it go too long, you might as well toss it because it will most likely tear in the wrapping process. (If it tears while wrapping, do not fear, just eat it.)
O.K. Wrapper is soft. Get it on a plate and lay it flat. Arrange Noodles, green onion, carrot, and cilantro in the mid to lower section of the wrapper. Fold the bottom area of the wrapper of the ingredients and begin to roll. Tuck in the sides, and continue to roll. The wrapper will seal itself.
Continue this process. Do not worry if you tear a few. This is the learning process as to how long you need to soak the water, as well as how much you can stuff these things.
I serve them with a sweet chili sauce. Enjoy.
After spending a lovely day with my wife, I decided to invite my in-laws over for a Mother’s Day dinner. Seeing that my father-in-law is Filipino, I decided to make his yummy barbecue recipe, my egg rolls, a thai papaya salad that will rock your socks off, pancit with chicken and shrimp, and curry mussels. Sounds like a lot. It was.
I started off the family with a dozen or so egg rolls that I wrapped a few weeks back. My father-n-law said these were better than the Filipino ones, so I took that as a serious compliment. I kept the sauce for the egg rolls really simple. White vinegar, chopped garlic, and ground pepper.
Anyway, I am not posting about egg rolls, as I posted that on Seis de Mayo. Because I was making pork barbecue, I wanted to introduce something spicy, sweet, and tangy. Bring on the papaya salad. This has some intense flavors and smells so prepare yourself.
- 1 young papaya (larger in length, green) commonly found in asian markets.
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1/4 teaspoon shrimp paste (beware of the smell, but move on)
- 3 TB of nam pla (I use the 3 crab brand)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 red thai peppers (spicy, so adjust to 1, 2, 3, or more)
- 1 TB sugar
- 1/2 a lime
- Asian Green beans (optional)
- peanuts (optional)
First peel the papaya. Once peeled, shred the papaya until thin strips. Once you have enough for your salad, add garlic, shrimp paste, tomatoes, beans, and thai peppers to a mortar and pound with a wooden pestle (I purchased both mortar and pestle at an asian market for six dollars). Do not pound too hard as you really just want to bring out the juices of the bean and tomatoes.
Add the papaya, fish sauce, peanuts, and sugar into the mortar and begin to use your pestle and a large spoon and begin to toss and mix. Transfer to serving plate and eat with rice, sticky rice, or fork and chopsticks. This dish brings great flavors, maybe not meant for everyone (most people at the table could not handle the intensity of the thai peppers, so adjust to your liking), however is great with barbecue.