When it's too hot to cook, or even to light up the grill, what does one make for dinner besides salad?
Spring rolls! Similar to a salad, but more fun to eat. :)
I thought these would be the perfect meal to have, with temps hitting the one-hundred degree mark - I so was not going to turn on the oven. I did however have to turn the stove on to boil the water to cook the shrimp and soak the noodles in; but it was on only long enough for the water to come to a boil, and I turned the exhaust fan on to suck up the extra heat, so it wasn't too bad.
A few of the ingredients.
This is a must have tool! Shreds carrots beautifully. You could use a food processor, but for one carrot, it's not worth the clean-up.
Here is the rice-paper before softening in water - it feels like plastic - actually reminds me of the floor mats that you place under your office desk chair - ha ha ha.
The recipe instructs you to lay down a double thickness of paper towels and lay the softened rice-paper on top and to turn once to blot dry. I chose to just dab the top with an extra towel, this may have been the problem I experienced with the rice-paper tearing and sticking - sticking is an understatement - I was unable to remove it from the paper towel. The rice-paper did not seem to stick to my cutting board as much (which just so happened to be recently oiled and waxed).
You first place the noodles and vegetables, which consist of cabbage, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts and cilantro, on the bottom half of the rice-paper, then give it a roll half way, then place the basil leaves and shrimp, and finish rolling up. To serve, cut the rolls in half on the diagonal and place decoratively on a plate.
As the photo shows, I did have some issues with the rice-paper tearing.
The dipping sauce.
Dipping the roll into the sauce did not work to well - the filling wanted to fall out - it is much easier to spoon the sauce into the roll itself.
These were tasty, though I enjoyed the recipe my sister made even more - or maybe it was the sauce I liked better; I did like using carrots and cucumber from the recipe I followed. The one my sister used was from Fine Cooking, and you can never go wrong with a Fine Cooking recipe - my all-time favorite magazine.
I looked up the FC recipe to compare ingredients, and saw that the recipe was contributed by none other than Nancie McDermott! Not only an author of several Asian style cookbooks, but she is also a member of Wok Wednesdays!, the on-line wokking group that I am in! How cool is that?
Click here for the recipe!