Monday, 13 May 2013

Let's Start Birthday Week With Rice Paper Spring Rolls

It's my birthday this week.  Tomorrow to be exact.  I like it when my birthday falls in the middle of the week - easy to stretch the festivities for a week because you're more likely to celebrate at the weekend.  So, without further ado, let Chloé's birthday week commence.

A couple of years ago, due to a scheduling conflict (stag do organised on my birthday - how dare they?!)  I spent the night alone.  My brother and husband we're out for the night and I could eat whatever I wanted and watch whatever I wanted.  I was not complaining.  Of course, I made sure both parties felt a little guilty before they left but really I couldn't wait to get Top Gear off the telly and eat as much seafood as I could fit in my face.  As soon as they left I was out the door and made my way to the supermarket.  I had decided to go with Thai; rice paper spring rolls to start, followed by fish cakes, and a red curry with prawns for my main and had a leisurely stroll up and down the aisles filling my basket with all the required ingredients.  They must have known it was my birthday because they had every single ingredient in the store which is rare because it's small with limited "exotic" items and has a limited international aisle.  I mean they had lemongrass (they never have lemongrass).  This hasn't happened since.

The fella had bought me a food processor for my birthday (along with a coffee maker I'd been coveting for a couple of years).  The man is nothing if not practical.  His workmates we're worried that he was getting me appliances and not jewellery but he assured them it was fine; he'd bought me a Dyson for Valentine's Day the year before, which I carried home myself, and I was thrilled.  That's not to say I won't take jewellery.  Hint hint.

Anyway, I used the new food processor to make the fish cakes and blend my paste for the curry.  Everything turned out perfectly.  I stuffed my face to whatever 3 star chick flick I had decided to watch and enjoyed every minute of it.  This is where I would show you pictures because I definitely took some but when our computer died a couple years ago I don't think all of the pictures made it to the back up hardrive.  But imagine the finest Thai curry you've ever seen - that was my meal. 

It took me another two years to recreate even a little part of it.  And here it is:

 I made these rice paper spring rolls a couple weeks ago as a starter to a beef stir-fry.  I didn't follow a recipe (surprised?!) and you don't have to either.  Last time I made them I put prawns in them but kept these seafood free for the mister.  I went with thinly sliced cucumber, red cabbage and carrot, some noodles we were having with our stir-fry tossed in sesame oil, and crushed peanuts.  And they're pretty easy to assemble.  Breaking to get a picture of it; not so easy.

The lighting in my kitchen is so bad but you get the jist.

Just soak the rice paper pancake (one at a time) in some hot water for a few seconds until it becomes soft but not too much so it breaks up.  Lay it on a flat surface (I leave a little hanging over the edge of the chopping board to grab for rolling up), place your filling inside and roll by folding the two ends in and rolling the rest from one side to the other.  There are Youtube videos if your more of a visual learner (like moi).

For the sauce, I used about a 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar, a splash of fish sauce and finely chopped chili, garlic and coriander.  The next day this made an incredible sauce for a tuna stir-fry.

Man, now I want Thai food.  I wish there was some place nearby that delivered!

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