Although I profess to not like to cook much, it's really not so bad. (Just don't tell my husband I told you).
The thing I really enjoy is making appetizers. My problem is that when I find something that's a hit, I tend to stick to it as a standard. My strawberry and spinach salad and bean salad, for instance, have become regular potluck fare.
So for the Victoria Day weekend annual barbecue hosted by our friends around the corner, I thought I'd mix it up a little. My contribution was "Vietnamese Salad Rolls", a recipe I discovered at Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver over 10 years ago. Here's the recipe:
You'll need (for 8 rolls):
8 pcs rice paper
6-8 oz rice vermicelli
8 green onions trimmed
8-12 lettuce leaves
8 - 10 oz cooked shrimp, chicken or fish (I cook about 3 shrimps per roll)
1/2 C hoisin sauce
1/4 - 1/3 C satay sauce
Water to dilute dipping sauce
Chopped herbs for garnish (eg cilantro)
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Turn off, add vermicelli noodles and let soak for 3 - 5 minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain well.
Fill a large bowl with very warm water, immerse one sheet of rice paper in the water until it softens. (It helps to have a goofy assistant).
Lay it flat on a surface (I use a dishcloth so it doesn't stick) to add the filling.
Put a lettuce leaf on the rice paper, add about 1 oz (a few strands) of the rice noodle lengthwise on top of the lettuce. Leave about an inch on the bottom. Then add the desired amount of seafood or chicken and a green onion in front of the vermicelli so that the green part of the onion sticks out of the finished roll. Then fold the bottom part over the ingredients, and then roll lengthwise from one side to the other, wrapping tightly. Repeat for the remaining rolls.
Dipping sauce: Mix the hoisin with the satay, and dilute with water to desired consistency. Garnish with chopped coriander or Thai basil.
You can use whatever other ingredients you might like to include in the roll, I like the crunchiness of some very thin slices of cucumber or bean sprouts.
Make sure you visit my girlfriend Rachel's for more Mouthwatering Mondays.
On the subject of rap, for the longest, longest time I didn't like it. In fact, I would turn it if I heard it on the radio. I did enjoy the first hip hop song I was ever exposed to (yes, I am THAT old) but since then, not so much.
But lately? Call it middle-aged crazy, but I'm sure the library must think I have teens at home. This is what I've borrowed to enjoy...
1/ Karl Wolf: Bite the Bullet. Initially I thought, "what have they done with the Toto's Africa", but since the boy loves it, it's grown on me.
2/ Flo Ri Da: Roots.
3/ T.I.: Paper Trail
T.I. + J.T for ya...