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A Patio Food Bouquet

No need for a centerpiece when you serve these at your next summer gathering.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with “To Die For” Sauce

THE MUSTS
Square rice wrappers (oriental market)
Carrots, finely shredded or diced
Fresh cilantro
Brown thin rice noodles
THE OPTIONS
Avocado, sliced thin
Extra Firm tofu, plain or herbed, cut julienne style
Romaine lettuce, cut into 4″ long slivers
Fresh dill
Fresh tarragon

Step 1: Prep

Cook noodles according to package directions the day before, drain thoroughly, and put in fridge in sealed container. Much easier to work with them the next day when they are completely dry.

Cut up all ingredients and have them ready in separate bowls.

Clear clean, smooth counter space for rolling. Have a roll of paper towels handy.

Wet several towels with cold water and wring out. Place towels over a large platter to place the rolls underneath as you make them. This keeps the rolls from drying out while you’re still working.

Step 2: Assembly

Heat 1″ water in large skillet (near your work area if possible). Not hot enough to burn your fingers. Turn heat off. If water starts to get cool, heat back up again as necessary.

Place one rice wrapper in at a time and you’ll see it immediately start to soften. As soon as all the edges are curled, remove gently by lifting from top 2 corners and place on work surface. Immediately pat dry with a handful of dry paper towels. (If you have to throw the first one away because water was too hot- no biggie. Happens to me all the time:)

Use scissors to cut noodles loose from the container. Gently add in other prepared ingredients.

Step 3: Rolling

Gently pull from the bottom two corners up completely over the top of all ingredients and roll. You can pull more tightly as you roll and tuck in the corners to complete.

Step 4: Storing

Work as swiftly as you can. Place finished rolls on platter underneath the moist cold paper towels (a couple layers of towels is advised).

Once all rolls are made, lift off the towels and use a scissors to quickly cut each roll in two. Arrange like a bouquet facing outward.

Cover with the towels and layers of plastic wrap to avoid any air from getting in. Store in fridge.

You can make the rolls in the morning for an evening affair but no sooner than that. The sauce can be made in advance.

“To Die For” Sauce

The only bad thing about this recipe at a party is it can cause “roll rage.”  When you mix the delicate handling of the rolls to mouth with the explosion of flavor from this sauce, you have guests who act like they’re playing a game of “spoons,” eyeing their competition:).

So there is no sense in giving you the recipe without doubling it right out of the gate.

INGREDIENTS
4 T Satay sauce
6 T Hoisin sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 T unsalted peanuts, chopped
2 T lemon juice

Some satay sauces are vegan and some aren't. Read the label!

You’ll be asked for the recipe while their hand is still cupped under their chin preparing to catch a noodle:-)

"Be like the teakettle, when it’s up to its neck in hot water, it sings." Amish Proverb

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. Erin #

    Mmm… I’m going to attempt these soon. My mouth is watering just thinking about them!!

    June 7, 2012

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