Saturday, June 11, 2011

Spring Rolls


     I have to tell you,  I really do like my fried foods. (Yes, I know that is bad!)  But, I do keep trying to find lighter versions of my favorite foods.  I am not as young as I use to be and I don't want to look like I have a permanent life preserver ring attached to my waistline.  I found a really good recipe in Rachael Ray's magazine that was inspiring and fresh.

     I did cheat a little bit and used what ingredients I had on hand to make these.  The great thing about spring rolls is all you need to know is the basics and add what you like.

Meat or Protein:

  • Cooked chicken, shrimp, or pork.  If you are vegan why not use cooked chopped egg, a favorite bean, or tofu.
Veggie Filling:
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Carrots, matchsticks
  • Cucumber, matchsticks
  • Mint leaves
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Chives
  • Rice sticks ( Boil water in a small sauce pan.   Remove from heat.  Add 1/4 cup rice sticks and let sit for 10 minutes.  Drain off water.  Cut into bite size pieces.) 
Rice Wrapper

Sauce:
  • 1tsp minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tsp honey
  • splash of lemon juice (optional)
       Mix the ingredients together and toss with your meat or protein.




Assembly

  1. In a skillet, place enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, and just a little more.  Heat the water over the lowest setting.  You need the water to be warm.  
  2. Dip one rice wrapper at a time in the warm water until it becomes pliable.  You will use your hands here, so be sure that your water is warm only!  Don't burn yourself.  
  3. Remove the softened rice wrapper to a flat surface.  (I use my cutting board.) These will be tacky, so they may stick a little to a plate, but they are manageable.  
  4. In the center of the wrapper lay down your carrots, cucumber, protein choice, rice sticks, herbs, and lettuce.  
  5. Fold up the bottom edge over the filling, then fold the two sides in and roll up.  
  6. Dip in your favorite sauce.  Mine is Homemade Thai chili sauce.  I also like Major Grey's Mango Chutney (I like the Patak brand.  I use the hot and spicy, and it really isn't too terribly hot.)

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