My wonderful assistant, Caren, is getting married this Saturday and I hosted an intimate bridal shower for her a week ago. Rather than the usual round of shower games, we opted to have a cooking theme, as the bride loves spending time in the kitchen. I hired a personal chef to give us a cooking lesson, the favours were all cooking related and we showered Caren with kitchen gadgets (you know, those fun things you see in the store that you'd never buy for yourself, like bread warmers or cooking stones or 20-piece pizza kits).
Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Tamarind sauce
1 pack rice sheets (spring rolls wrappers)
1 head of lettuce, washed, drained and chopped
1 carrot, finely grated
1 cup alfalfa sprouts
1 cup cooked peach palm, peeled and julienned
½ cup ground macadamia nuts
½ cup red cabbage, grated
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
2 quarts Hot-Warm water to soften rice sheets
Sesame to garnish
1 package tamarind
1 cup hot water
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
¼ tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
make the sauce, mix the tamarind in the water and bring to a boil until all
flesh has been removed from the pits. Mix well.
into another container and return to pan at medium heat.
remaining ingredients and bring to a boil whisking firmly.
until desired thickness. Adjust flavors and reserve.
the rolls, prepare your mise en place of the fillings in a flat surface.
a wide bowl, pour ½ Qt of the hot water and submerge the rice sheet for a few
seconds until soft enough. Remove from water and transfer to a clean plate or
filled the inside with the veggies making sure the soft items are on the
outside and the rough one on the inside part of the roll.
the sides to the middle then fold forward to close the roll firmly and tightly
but gentle enough not to rip it.
sesame seeds and set aside. Repeat operation with water and sheets until all
the fillings are used.
10. Served with the
chilled Tamarind and the rolls cut in half.
11. Refrigerate for no
more than 4 hours, cut only when ready to serve.
Do those look gourmet or what?
A fun time was had by all and we all left with a few new culinary skills under our belts. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I think I'll have a cooking party just for the heck of it!