Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Summer Rolls, and the Livin' is Easy....

Ok, so my rolls didn't look this good....

We had an approximation of Vietnamese summer rolls for dinner tonight. Despite being more than halfway through September, and summer officially over this week, the weather is still hot and humid, with no real relief in sight. We had most of the ingredients on hand already (I like to keep rice paper and rice vermicelli in the pantry) and it seemed like a perfect antidote to the heat.

Summer Rolls
6 Round rice paper sheets
2 bunches rice vermicelli, cooked to package directions, drained and cooled
Handful of cilantro, chopped
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Handful of fresh mint
Handful of baby spinach
Handful of broccoli slaw, or, shredded carrots
24 medium shrimp, cooked
Hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons finely crushed peanuts

Shallow pan of warm water

Place a paper towel on your work surface. Place one rice paper sheet into the warm water and allow to soften. When soft, spread out onto towel. Place four shrimp in a line down the center of the wrapper, but not going to the edges. Top with approximately 1/4 cup noodles, plus a some of each of the herbs and veggies. Squirt a line of Hoisin on it all, and sprinkle on some peanuts.

Fold top and bottom edges of rice paper over filling, then roll the wrapper closed, like a burrito. Place seam side down on a plate. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Slice rolls in half; serve with a dipping sauce of your choice (Hoisin, Thai- or Vietnamese-style peanut sauce, or something like A Taste of Thai Sweet Red Chili Sauce. (No affiliation, that's just what we happened to use tonight. If you check out that site, make sure to look at the recipes...most look really tasty!)

Serves 2-6, depending on appetite, and whether it's a main dish or appetizer.