This is all by way of saying that while I love to cook new things when Josh comes over, I don't fret if we are just serving up pizza or sandwiches or hot dogs for that matter. But the whole new girlfriend thing inspired me to go the extra mile. Here was the menu:
Cheesy crab in pastry cups courtesy of Mrs. D, Josh's mom
Vietnamese summer rolls, handmade right in my kitchen
Shredded Asian flavored beef
Stir-fried vegetables over udon noodles
Cheesecake brownies for dessert
With the exception of the stir fried veggies and noodles, which were pretty basic, every other dish was totally blog-worthy. (I will post more later this week, promise.) But the best part, in my humble opinion, was the summer rolls. I have always wanted to make these, and now that I have found and learned to sort of navigate an Asian grocery I was ready to give it a try.
|Check out my knife skills. Perhaps Top Chef Moms Edition?|
Here is what I put in our summer rolls. There are, of course, tons of ways to vary this recipe to fit your needs and tastes. Photos by Dave.
|Here is all of the veggies chopped and ready to go.|
- cucumber - seeded and cut into long thin strips
- jicama - halved, peeled and cut into long thin strips
- 2 carrots julienned
- mung bean sprouts
- rice sticks and/or rice vermicelli - cooked and rinsed
- cilantro, mint, Thai basil - roughly chopped
- 1 lb medium shrimp - cooked, tail off. (You could also use chicken, pork, tofu or just go all veggie.)
- 1 Korean hot pepper finely chopped (I only added this to a couple of rolls to make them spicy.)
- rice paper
|Dave showing off his camera skills that are far superior to mine. Jealous much?|
-Get out a large plate and put a damp paper towel on it
-Soak a rice paper in warm water for about 10 seconds and place it on your work surface
-Start with two shrimp and then add a little of everything else.
-Roll it up like a little burrito - fold the bottom up first, then fold in both sides, then roll the rest of the way up.
-Place on plate and refrigerate covered until ready to serve. I read several recipes that noted not to let the rolls touch on the plate. Also, several suggested to only prepare them 2 hours or less before serving, but I made them about 4 hours before go time and they were just fine.
I don't typically do the step-by-step photo thing. About a hundred other bloggers have cornered that market, but this once I am making an exception.
|Ready to go. Yes, I have an apron with my name on it. Cooler than cool, right?|
|After you put in all of the ingredients, roll the bottom up first.|
|Then fold in each side.|
|Roll it up the rest of the way.|
|I believe I actually said, "Ta da!"|
These would be fun to do with kids, too. I made an all veggie one for Kara and she actually liked it. One warning, I had way more ingredients than I actually needed for 10 rolls. If you are going to make these, I recommend either making a lot and/or planning your weekday meals around an Asian theme to use up the delicious fresh herbs and vegetables in the fridge.