Trying out recipes to pass on to you.

the easiest hard thing you’ll ever make

Posted: June 29th, 2009 | Author: leah | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

we all have “those dishes” in our head that we say we’ll never make. too hard. too messy. too expensive. i decided just that the first time i had summer rolls at a vietnamese restaurant. the translucent wraps were far too delicate for my mitts to manage. and the layers of herbs and perfectly cooked chicken–all cool yet crunchy in the chewy rice wrap. but who has the time!?

in a moment of bravado a few months later i took a stab at it. and it went great! though there are traditionally many ingredients–rice wrap, rice noodles, various herbs and crisp veggies–you can pick and choose to your liking or availability. mint and basil are so cheap and fragrant at the farmers market lately that i got the hankering again and recreated them this weekend.

google spring or summer rolls. you want them to be uncooked, not fried like an egg roll. i used this one from chow.com http://www.chow.com/recipes/10641

you need a bit of space and an assembly line for efficiency.  you can see my notes to myself. there were TEN ingredients! and even with the sticky notes i don’t think any two rolls were alike. (the 2 lychee martinis may not have helped).

take your time. the rice paper wraps are fragile but more forgiving than you’d think. i added hot peppers to half for me. more shrimp on the ones for the hubs (who LOVES these). makes 8. plenty for a meal for two or snacks for 4-6. this time i also made my own peanut sauce. there is a good one at the bottom of the chow.com recipe http://www.chow.com/recipes/10658 i don’t know what hoisin sauce is let alone own it. a quick google and i subbed 1 tablespoon maple syrup. I also added a few extra shakes of soy sauce. i subbed 1 teaspoon of tomato paste and a few shakes of tabasco for the chili-garlic paste. DELISH.

what difficult dish are you wanting to try to re-create next?

oh, and if you want a lychee martini for your own you need vodka and a can of lychees (asian fruit, like a sweet weird giant grape you can find in with the other canned fruit). equal parts vodka and lychee juice from the can. shake with ice and strain in to a martini class. the lychee isn’t cute but works as a garnish–and a snack after you down the deliciousness. cheers!


3 Comments on “the easiest hard thing you’ll ever make”

  1. 1 Johanna said at 8:57 pm on June 29th, 2009:

    Lettuce wraps.
    I know, I know. LETTUCE WRAPS? They aren’t even hard!!! But they’re involved, and they take time and you need space and dishes and……..
    Maybe a lychee-tini will make it all that much easier. :)
    They look delish. I’ll try these.

  2. 2 Rita said at 11:01 pm on June 29th, 2009:

    I love it! I never even thought to make summer rolls before! Sounds like a good way to spend a warm, lazy Sunday: assembly line rolls + lychee martinis. Hmmmm…

  3. 3 Alyssa said at 10:08 am on June 30th, 2009:

    I have been thinking about trying those lately too, but my general rule is if I can see through it, I can break through it…so we’ll see how many I can break before I get it right.


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