Fresh Spring Rolls with Shrimp

Fresh Spring Rolls with Shrimp

Tonight I celebrated our ridiculously early spring with these tasty fresh spring rolls for friends!

This is another common restaurant treat that can be easily reproduced in your own kitchen.

The rolls were prepared in moistened rice paper (e.g., 22cm diameter, see video below for wrapping demonstration) with the following ingredients: napa cabbage greens, bean thread noodle (prepared in advance and cooled), cucumber (peeled, seed portion removed, and cut into roll-length spears), pea shoots (yay, pea shoots!), julienne carrot, scallion greens, and shrimp (from frozen, sautéed with a bit of garlic salt, then cooled).

The rolls were served topped with pea shoots, chopped peanut, and accompanied by a sauce of water, palm sugar (dissolved in the water over low heat), fish sauce, fresh lime juice, fresh minced garlic, and a chili garlic sauce to taste.

I served these rolls (one per person) as an appetizer accompanying Rice Stick Noodle and Beef Sauté, however, this time I used more ginger, added strips of red onion, skipped the scrambled egg, and used palm sugar rather than honey.

If you were to do make completely vegetarian rolls, I’d suggest replacing the shrimp with shelled edamame.

Here are the recipes I consulted for ingredient and preparation ideas:
Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls
Fresh Spring Rolls With Thai Dipping Sauce
How to make Asian Spring Rolls (video)
Matchstick Carrots (video)

Shrimp & Mushroom Fried Rice

Shrimp & Mushroom Fried Rice

Ingredients (to serve 2), in order of use: sesame oil (~2 t.), eggs (2), canola oil, (~2 T.),  scallion (2 large, white portion finely sliced, greens separated), sliced garlic (2 cloves), green bell pepper (1/4 pepper, coarsely diced), carrot (1, sliced), green cabbage (1/4 small head, thinly sliced/shredded), fresh black mushrooms (~6, sliced), sticky rice (2 servings, leftover), ground black pepper, soy sauce (~2 T.), fish sauce (1 t.), rice vinegar (1-2 t.), honey (~1 t., disolved in sauce and vinegar), shrimp (for two servings, e.g., eight 31-40 count), scallion greens (coarsely sliced).

Scramble the egg first, in sesame oil, remove it and return near the end.

Stir fry these ingredients (e.g., in a 12 in. cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat, added in the order above, adding the next ingredients as the prior cook to the desired tenderness, e.g., bell pepper and carrot at same time, musrooms and cabbage at same time.

With leftover sticy rice, return it to approximately room temperature (microwaving is fine), wet hands with water and break it up in a bowl, and sprinkle it with black pepper, prior to adding to the strir fry.

For the shrimp (thawed in water, from frozen), chop or leave them whole (as shown here), peeled but left with the tails intact for color.  To cook, place shrimp under the fried rice in contact with the pan, turning shrimp to cook evenly, and remove fried rice from heat when the shrimp is just cooked through after just a few minutes.

Stuffed Shrimp and Oven-Roasted Asparagus

Stuffed Shrimp and Oven-Roasted Asparagus

Here’s a delicious, decadent dinner!

Ingredients (to serve 2):

Large raw shirmp, ~3/4 to 1 pound (6-10 whole with tails intact but otherwise peeled and deveined, the remainder peeled and chopped)
Extra virgin olive oil (a few tablespoons)
White onion, (~1/2 cup)
Scallions, (2, thinly sliced)
Fresh garlic (2 cloves, minced)
Celery (2 stalks, finely diced)
Fresh mushrooms (e.g., Baby Bella or white, ~3/4 cup, finely chopped)
Salted butter (1/2 cup)
All-purpose flour (~1/4 cup)
Soup stock (e.g. chicken or fish, ~1/4 cup)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Thyme (dried, 1 teaspoon)
Cayenne pepper powder (1/8 teaspoon)
Worcestershire sauce (~1 tablespoon)
Saltine crackers (6-8, finely crushed)
Fresh lemon or lime (1)

Optional:
White wine (a few tablespoons)
Fresh asparagus (oven-roasted, as a side)

Here’s my video recipe for Stuffed Shrimp:

This recipe is based, in part, on a recipe by Chef John Besh.
Check out his site here:
http://ChefJohnBesh.com

Pad Thai and Tom Yum Goong

Pad Thai and Tom Yum Goong

I’d not made a proper pad thai before nor had I deep-fried anything, so I decided to do these popular Thai treats for dinner.

The pad thai has shrimp and tofu – the firm tofu was cut into ~1/4″ thick triangles and deep-fried in peanut oil; other ingredients include: peanut oil, scrambled egg, sesame oil, rice noodles (banh pho), bean sprouts, thinly-sliced green cabbage, minced garlic, shallot, scallion, finely-diced serrano pepper, crushed dry thai bird peppers, soy sauce, fish sauce, water, sugar, natural peanut butter, chili garlic sauce, lime juice, and chopped peanuts.
Served with fresh lime, chopped peanuts, and fresh cilantro leaves.

The soup was prepared simply using Tom Yum Paste from a jar (Lee brand), with sliced fresh black mushrooms, bean sprouts, chopped green cabbage, sliced jalapeno, minced garlic, shallot, shrimp, and topped with fresh cilantro leaves.

I consulted the following recipes for ingredient ideas.

“Pad Thai”
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pad-Thai-380593

“Vegetarian Pad Thai”
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Vegetarian-Pad-Thai-240960

Jambalaya and Jalapeno Cornbread

Jambalaya and Jalapeno Cornbread

This is a proper Jambalaya with grilled andouille sausage, chicken breast, and whole shrimp accompanied by jalapeno corn bread.
OK, I’ve posted Jambalaya before, but this one’s more different.The meats here are grilled, and I did the rice in a rice cooker with hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce in the water.

Grilling for Jambalaya

Ingredients are pretty much Emeril’s http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/cajun-jambalaya-recipe2/ , except celery seed instead of celery, whole (dried) oregano, and I switched up the paprika, using smoked and turkish hot.

Jiffy brand corn muffin mix (thankfully less sweet than Trader Joe’s) with a seeded jalapeno, finely chopped, added.