CEiMB: Two Types of Rolls
Happy Earth Day! Are you doing anything to celebrate? I’m going meatless for the day which is perfect timing for this post! This week’s CEiMB post is going to be a bit different – I am posting two recipes, and both are vegetarian! First up is this week’s pick, Soft Asian Summer Rolls with Sweet and Savory Dipping Sauce, and then I’m getting caught up by posting last week’s Grilled Zucchini Rolls with Herbs and Cheese. I went to a cookout this past weekend, and these appetizers were my contribution to the spread. It was a gorgeous spring day for grilling, and these recipes sounded like they would pair perfectly with kebabs.
Ryan and I made the summer rolls on Saturday night so there would be less for us to do on Sunday morning. I should say, we *tried* to make the summer rolls on Saturday night. Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know that I posted about this week’s recipe being a FAIL. I was so excited to make these, but it just wasn’t working out. I’m not sure if the rice paper rounds I found are not the right size or product or what, but the amount of stuffing Ellie recommends was not fitting in the round. Even when I halved the ingredients, the rolls just tore apart, and this was all without the shrimp which I decided to omit to keep it vegetarian-friendly. We managed to get one made for photographic purposes, but I ended up serving the rest as a deconstructed salad. We taste tested the roll we made but without the dressing, it was bland. I actually spit mine out :( I think I would have liked these a lot better if the veggies had been blanched or softened in some way. I just didn’t find the flavors to be cohesive. As a salad, it was too vinegary for me, but a hit for others.
Soft Asian Summer Rolls with Sweet and Savory Dipping Sauce
For the summer rolls:
2 ounces rice noodles
6 rice paper rounds
12 fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
1/2 cup shredded carrot
12 whole large fresh mint leaves, rinsed and dried
3 green-leaf lettuce leaves, leaves, spines removed, leaving 6 halves
Vinegar dipping sauce, recipe follows
Bring water to a boil and cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and cool (makes about 2 cups).
Line up ingredients in small bowls before beginning to make rolls. Fill a large bowl or saucepan with very warm water. Place a rice paper round in the hot water. Soak for between 30 seconds and 1 minute, or until rice round is pliable and pattern on the round is barely visible. Remove and place on a clean, slightly damp kitchen towel.
Place 2 basil leaves on the inner edge of the rice round, about 1-inch from the edge and leaving about 1-inch on each side. Top with approximately 1/4 cup cooked rice noodles. Top with about 2 tablespoons carrots, then 2 leaves of mint. Fold 1 piece of lettuce leaf and place on top of pile. Bring the edge over filling and tuck underneath. As you continue to roll, fold in the sides. Finish rolling, repeat with the other rolls, and reserve under a damp cloth or paper towel. When ready to serve, slice in half and serve, cut ends up, with dipping sauce.
Vinegar Dipping Sauce:
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons warm water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon finely shredded carrot
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Dissolve sugar in warm water, combine with other ingredients, and chill until ready to use.
Source: Ellie Krieger’s “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life”, p. 56
On Sunday, I threw the sliced zucchini on the grill before the meat went down and assembled the zucchini rolls before we sat down to eat. I used Laughing Cow cheese wedges in place of goat cheese because I am not a fan of the sour-ish taste goat cheese has. After reading the reviews from last week, I knew to try to serve these warm instead of chilled, but I found that they cooled too quickly. Before I was done assembling the rolls, they were getting cold. These got mixed reviews, just like the salad. I thought they were OK though not something I would make again. Just like with the summer rolls, I just didn’t find all the flavors to meld together well, though I did prefer these over the others.
Grilled Zucchini Rolls with Herbs and Cheese
3 zucchini (about 1/2 pound each), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
2 wedges Laughing Cow cheese
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup basil leaves
Discard the outermost slices of zucchini. Place on a preheated grill or grill pan for about 4 minutes on each side, or until tender.
In a small bowl combine the cheese and lemon juice, mashing with a fork.
Put 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese mixture about 1/2-inch from the end of a zucchini slice. Top with a few spinach leaves and 1 small, or half of a large basil leaf. Roll up and place seam side down on a platter. Repeat with the rest of the zucchini slices.
Source: Ellie Krieger’s “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life”, p. 48