So, still no update on those darn apricots. I really don't know what to do about them, and the fact that I just started the South Beach Diet today doesn't exactly motivate me to work with them (since, I won't be able to taste it!) Perhaps, I should have used the apricots before starting the diet? It seemed almost impossible to fit them into my cooking schedule though. I had so many piled up projects.. and I never got around to them. I've finally decided to let the household dig in. Morgane came up to me today and said "Daddy said I can have a polka-dot. Is it okay?" and there she was with an apricot in her hand. I have no idea where she got polka-dot from, but she thoroughly enjoyed it.. in front of me. I guess, I will have to wait for another apricot sale to finally make something with them.
Back, to those projects I was talking about. On a trip to Houston, prior to the barely trip, I went to a Chinese market. It was amazing and I loved the fact that noodles, which run about $4.99 here, were only $2.00! I also found a lot of cool ingredients that I have just about finished. I was really into Asian food for a while. There was one lone ingredient that remained in the pantry untouched...rice paper rounds. I purchased these with the intention of making spring rolls. Yuuuum! But, again, lazyness crept around and fear too- buying them premade just seemed so much more convenient. Then, the strangest of all things happened... my husband offered to cook! WOW. He even wanted to make something interesting- spring rolls!
At first, I was hesitant, unsure if he was really willing to help out in the kitchen. In the end, I decided it wasn't a bad idea taking this on as a couple! Especially, when I have such a hard time getting him to cook something for the family that isn't frozen or canned. I really don't know why he doesn't ever offer to cook, he isn't half bad. I guess he just prefers
I really enjoyed making these and eating them was just as much fun! Here's the recipe for them.
- medium sized shrimp
- bean sprouts
- curly leaf lettuce
- vermicelli rice noodles
- rice paper rounds
*I haven't indicated amounts because it all depends on how many rolls you are making and how big you want them. However, average about 2-3 shrimp per roll.*
Fill a saucepan with water and set to boil on stove. Once the water is simmering, place in the raw shrimp. Once the shrimp have started to curl and changed to a pink color they are ready. This should take about 3-4 minutes. Drain the shrimp and allow them to cool until you can handle them with your hands. Once they are cooled, break off the little legs (if any) and remove the shells and tail. Using a small paring knife, cut along the back side of the shrimp to remove the black trail and rinse to remove it completely. Continue until you have finished devaining all the shrimp. If you have purchased pre-cooked shrimp, you don't need to cook them further. Just defrost them and remove shell, tail, and devaine if needed. Set aside.
Carrots should be peeled and cut into matchsticks. The lettuce and cilantro only need to be washed and hand torn into smaller pieces.
The rice noodles should be prepared according to the package instructions, but it should not take more than 5 minutes. Once they are drained set them aside to cool.
Place your ingredients in an assembly line that is accesible from within arms length to make your life easier when putting the rolls together. Moisten a clean kitchen towel and set it on the counter. This will be your work surface. The rice paper rounds should be included in the assembly line, along with a 9 in. round cake pan filled with tap water.
Place a paper round into the water and allow it to soften. The round will still look a little clear when it is ready, but it will be pliable. Place the round on the towel and allow it to sit for a few minutes, this makes it so much easier to work with. At this point, you can place another paper round into the water, but make sure to keep on eye on it.
Once the round is ready to work with, place two or three shrimp on the top 1/4 of the round. Then work your way through the assembly line- a leaf or two of cilantro, 4 carrot matchsticks, bean sprouts, enough lettuce to cover the previous layers, and a small bunch of rice noodles. I just tore these up by hand, once they are in the roll, no one will see how they were cut. Here comes the tricky part- rolling them.
If you didn't allow the round to set for a while, it will be all floppy and won't stay where you want it to. So letting it rest is important. I would say 5 minutes is ideal resting time. First, using both hands fold the top over the filling and push the filling up to the edge of the fold to make it nice and tight. Hold that down with your thumb, while you reach for the side flaps and fold inward toward the middle. That was the hardest part! Once the sides are straight, all you have to do is roll the whole thing downward on itself, like a burrito- et voila! A spring roll.
Place the completed spring rolls on a plate and cover it with a wet napkin, while you finish making the rest.
These tasted delicious by themselves, but we dipped them in soysauce with a squirt of lemon juice and they were even better! Yum,Yum,Yum,Yum- Delicioso! (too much Dora the explorer).