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Posts tagged ‘shrimp summer rolls’

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

What a perfect summer food…no need to use the oven, just boil a little water in the teapot…chop some veggies and herbs and you’re all set.

We actually made these sometime in July…but I thought I would post about them in honor of the 113° day we had this last Monday.  I love these for their refreshing and crisp taste, and that you can go in any number of directions for their dipping sauce.

Ingredients used:  shredded carrots, cucumber spears, butter lettuce, basil, mint, cilantro, chopped peanuts, cold rice noodles, and shrimp.  Other possible additions include tofu, bean sprouts, cabbage, radish, shredded chicken or duck, or anything else you can think of.  The rice noodles get soaked in water just off a boil and then drained and dunked into cold water until you are ready to use them.

The wrappers can be a little tricky.  They need to soak for a minute or so in hot water.  If you let them soak too long, they can tear and be unwieldy…if you don’t soak them long enough, they will crack and not be flexible.  I find that using a pie dish or shallow tart pan works well and I keep a kettle of warm water available to refresh the water as I go.  Another trick is to lay them on a damp tea towel while you pile in the fillings, this will prevent them from sticking and allow you to pick up the edges to fold and roll them burrito style.

I layer flat cilantro leaves on the bottom and shrimp over those  as that will be the prettiest side, pile all the other ingredients you want in and then fold the top down, both sides in tight and then roll towards you.  You can make these ahead of time and store in the fridge covered with a damp towel.

I neglected to get any photos of the fabulous dipping sauce that Woody threw together…which was perfect.  It involved mayo, sriracha, soy sauce, ponzu, a little rice vinegar, and sesame oil.  You really can’t go wrong.  A simple peanut sauce would be delicious as well.


Playing Catch Up…

(a.k.a. – here’s a lot of what I’ve been making, eating, and enjoying…)

I think, perennially, I fall behind.  As the beginning of school arrives, I am reminded of all of those ‘first days’ of school I had long ago.  I also work at a school…so it is hard to not have a little empathy for those awkward middle-schoolers, some excitement for the brand new kindergarteners, and a touch of dread for those freshman.  I also hate picture day.  The day I thought I had finally outgrown…and now it has come back to haunt me.  It’s still just as bad…even as an adult.  Back to the falling behind thing – each ‘first day’ began fresh…new classroom, new supplies, new books, new locker, new teachers, maybe new friends…and then it ended…with homework.  Usually lots of homework…which meant feeling as though I would never finish it all.

If I’m being honest, I think I operate fairly well in procrastination mode.  In fact, I’m not sure I would know what to do with myself if I completed things before they were due, proactively managed my life, and generally acted as if I were an overachiever.  Not that I’m proud of my lean towards the procrastination end of the spectrum.  Indeed, I believe my life could take on a whole new vibrancy if I were to jump the gun and be able to get things done.  I’d probably reduce my stress levels, gain an increased sense of accomplishment, feel superior to others…and generally be more like Martha Stewart and belong in the pages of Real Simple magazine. Tangent.  Okay, back to procrastinating…I should have posted more regularly…somehow…it just didn’t happen.  Onward!

So…this summer has not been devoid of cooking, eating, imbibing and entertaining…just void of posting about such things.  Here is a brief run through of a few of the dishes I managed to get a photo or two of before they went down the hatch.

Summer rolls with shrimp, cilantro, fresh veggies and rice vermicelli.  Served with peanut dipping sauce.

Carne Asada Tacos!  *Delicious*

Roasted Poblano & Pasilla Peppers Stuffed with Rice and Queso Fresco!

Flank steak over greens with potato cakes and heirloom tomatoes

Raspberry & Blackberry Clafoutis

Cheddar & Chive Biscuits

So tasty…and there is more to come!  Everything was delicious and I’m *hoping* to still get posts up for many of the recipes above.  Hope your summer was just as delicious as mine.

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