Thursday, August 10, 2006

We're Rolling Now

I'm fascinated by food. I love to eat, cook, photograph, and talk about all persuasions of cuisine. Some intimidate me more than others. Take Summer Rolls for example. I go to Vietnamese restaurants and gobble them up by the bunch. I've never tried to make them because of that flimsy rice paper wrapper. I just knew my fat fingers would destroy any I tried to roll. I decided that it was time to give them a try. I'm not going to give a recipe here. The internet is full of them. Just Google Summer Roll Recipes. I'm going to act as more of a motivater here, a catalyst if you will. You can do this! The rice wrappers are tough little guys and can take the abuse.
Mis en place is the key. I swore that I would never use that phrase again since I heard it at every pre service line-up I ever attended at Hotel Fancy. It makes perfect sense to use that term here. I think the translation from French is " in its place" or something like that. It means get your "stuff" together before you begin the process. Decide what your going to stuff into the rolls have it all set up and then begin. We stayed with the classics for our effort. Shrimp, noodles, lettuce, shredded carrot, cilantro and mint. Like a burrito, you could wrap just about anything. Soak the rice paper wrappers and drain on a clean towel. Then stuff and roll em. No worries mate, they're easy peasey!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Mis en place
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Summer rolls
Now a word about dipping sauces. This was a family food adventure. My wife, daughters and I took turns wrapping rolls. My first born daughter has an affinity for what I call "refrigerator door dipping sauces". Open the refrigerator door and create. Here's the list of ingredients she used for two wonderful sauces. Amounts are to taste.
Peanut Sauce

Peanut butter
soy sauce
sesame oil
olive oil
rice vinegar

Citrus Sauce

orange juice
lemon juice (about 1/3 of the orange juice you added)
soy sauce
sesame oil (just a bit)
olive oil (just a bit)
I'm sure the recipe police will be after me for the lack of measurements but what the hey.


Ivonne said...

Your family sounds delightful! Great rolls and great dipping sauce!

Claire said...

I LOVE summer rolls and keep saying I'm going to make some. The only thing keeping me from doing it...actually buying the rice paper and noodles! I just had some at Cheesecake Factory, and they were good but not as good as the ones I got in Chicago at Penny's Noodle Shop! Maybe I'll go buy some rice paper and just do it!