The kids were gone this Saturday. One would think that cooking for fewer people would be a relief...but its not. No folks, not a relief at all. It was actually kind of daunting to rifle through and figure out what I could make that could still be applicable on a larger scale. At one point I threw up my hands and whined, " I want Le Le!" ( Our favorite Viet/Thai cuisine in the area) Thats when I had a stroke of genius. Well, actually thats when I saw the spring roll wrappers under the loaf of wheat bread. Spring rolls!!! yum.
Spring rolls are Ashley's favorite food. He loves them almost as much as he loves...um...um, oh! chocolate cake and cheeseburgers! We first attempted these at Sylvia's birthday feast. I set them up as a build your own buffet and it actually went over really well with everyone young to old. Start by soaking your rice noodles for ten minutes in cold water and then boiling for ten more, rinsing in cold water to stop the cooking process. During this time you can start soaking your rice papers, about 4-5 per pie plate ( I use a pie plate to soak my papers) in lukewarm water for about 6 minutes. These can be stacked and covered with a damp towel to keep them from drying out. Julienne or chop or just sort of cut some carrots, an english cucumber, scallion, mint, thai basil, cilantro, and maybe a little bit of lemon verbena ( which I have in abundance if anyone would like some). Lay out some bean sprouts and maybe a little bit of BBQ pork or shrimp. The rolling part is really, really a huge pain in the butt. Its also a lot of fun to keep attempting. I have found that the husbands love of the roll has translated into an expert ability at handling it, so he is my designated roller. For a dipping sauce I cut some hoisin with low sodium soy sauce and added a tad anchovy past and some scallions. 3-4 spring rolls make a nice cool dinner on a warm summer evening.