Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Food Blog Summer 2010 Edition: Summer Rolls

One of my summer goals was to cook new dishes and just cook more often. I've been actively pursuing this goal. I've made Coconut Thai soup, Sweet Potato and Carrot soup, various pasta dishes using nutritional yeast for cheesy sauce, Tempura using panko bread crumbs, Coconut lime banana bread (too delicious to describe), chocolate chip cookies, pizza with sauteed peppers and onions and fresh kale... and more to come. Some things required more prep than others, such as the tempura, but it baked quickly. Most could be made in 30 minutes. The sweet potato soup and the banana bread took the longest just because the sweet potatoes and the bread had to bake for an hour. I've had failures, like burning the banana bread in my finicky oven and having to make a second one because I was set on having that bread! It was successful the second time. My next projects are blueberry muffins and sushi. I've made sushi before, so it's not new, but I've only done it 2 other times. The blueberry muffins are from the book Baby Cakes and are completely vegan. It's a beautiful cook book and I copied down a few of the simpler recipes while borrowing it from the library. Eventually I'll buy it so I can have all the recipes.
Today I conquered Spring Rolls. I've always loved spring rolls. I do prefer them fried and crispy, but I served these at room temperature without frying.
First I sauteed fresh garlic and sweet onion in olive oil. Then I added shredded carrots and kale I had hand torn into small pieces, discarding the stems. I added some dipping sauce I had used for tempura a few days ago (I didn't think to take any pictures of that meal, but it was awesome.) The sauce included Shoyu Sauce, Agave and Dijon mustard thinned with a little water. It's a light and sweet sauce. I sauteed it so the kale was wilted, but not completely cooked. I didn't want it to be too tough to eat, but I do not like my greens mushy. Here it is ready to go in the rice wrapper:
Here is my work space all ready to assemble. I sliced red pepper very thin and added 3-4 slices to each roll. The pie dish on the right had warm water to soften the rice sheets. Once softened, I laid them on the cutting board and added a scoop of the kale mixture, peppers and rolled.And here they are. The first one I did I softened it too much and it ripped while I rolled it. By the 4th I'd gotten the hang of it and figured out to soften it just enough. I had looked up pictures online to see how to roll them and it's very easy to do.I made a dipping sauce of Shoyu Sauce, Agave, water and fresh grated ginger. (Ginger tip: peel it, cut it into manageable pieces about 2-4 inches in length, wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap, place them in a baggie, and freeze. Then you can just take out a piece and grate what you need into your dish.) My girls loved it. And they loved the spring rolls. G lost a lot of kale along the way. She had a little mountain of kale on her plate and said she was making a salad. After 3, maybe even 4, rolls she got a spoon and spooned all of her kale into her sauce and ate it. S did the same thing, though hers was mostly onions and carrots and she didn't use her sauce. I had three and one-half (Will came home and tried it and it was not to his liking) and was quite satisfied. The only way these would be better is if they were crispy. I have 6 wrappers left and I'm going to look up a way to make them crispy. Maybe it's a matter of putting them in the skillet with olive oil. Maybe they can be baked. I don't know, but I can find out.
Along with this dinner I made ginger green tea. I just grated a little ginger into the teap pot, added agave and it was delightful.
Do not be afraid of Spring Rolls! I have a few recipes in my vegan cookbooks, but I didn't have the ingredients for any of them. So I used what I had and what my kids like and my kids like their KALE! (I really don't know how that happened, but I'm so glad it did. They had seriously been bugging me to make sauteed kale with garlic and onions. Crazy kiddos!)

1 comment:

Debi said...

I'm coming to your house for dinner! Everything sounds so yummy. I'm definitely going to try the Spring Rolls. Now I'm hungry :)