Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spring Rolls Two Ways & A Birthday Picnic

Oh my, sometimes the best things we put on our table are the simplest. I was craving some deluxe spring rolls, fresh not fried.

potential fillings: cucumber, cilantro, romaine lettuce, avocado, mango, carrots, scallions, and peanuts. Sauce options: a delicious tamarind shoyu sauce from 101 Cookbooks & some peanut sauce from a bottle (very god actually--Whole Foods brand)

You can't seem to find fresh spring rolls anywhere around here. If only I could be as lucky as my friend Amanda who lives right down the street from the best Thai place ever: Jasmine.

Making spring rolls at home is easy and fun, though. We really should do it more often. I like to make a big platter of potential fillings and everyone (in this case it was just me and Mark) builds their own, so to speak. On this particular evening, Mark opted for massive spring roll burritos, filling them to their breaking point, which required the use of many napkins. I had trouble rolling mine as well, so I chopped everything up and ate with a fork thinking of ways to turn it into a salad. I guess it had been a while since I had printed the sauce recipe, because it is actually for a salad!

The sauce was incredible and I think it'd be a great one to have around for a stir-fry.
Tamarind Dipping Sauce
from 101 Cookbooks

2 tablespoons natural sugar, preferably maple sugar or evaporated cane juice
6 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon shoyu
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon finely slivered seeded red serrano or Thai bird chile

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan, and warm over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the lime juice, tamarind concentrate, and shoyu, stirring until smooth. Let the mixture cool slightly, and then stir in the cilantro, garlic, and chile. The sauce should be tangy and slightly sour. The sauces will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

Makes 1/2 cup.

When Bethany invited us to her birthday picnic at Arrington Vineyards, I knew I wanted to make the salad with the roasted shallot peanut sauce mentioned in the original post. Bethany's birthday parties are always a good time. Last year we had a picnic at a winery in Shelbyville and fabulous meal prepared by Dylan. I'm still thinking about that Thai Basil ice cream!

Anywho, here's what this year looked like:

Israeli Couscous salad prepared by Dylan

Lentil Salad

My interpretation of Heidi's Spring Roll Salad with Roasted Shallot Peanut Sauce

B'day Cake

Today was not a good day for a picnic as it was 56 degrees and raining, but it was a nice set up as they had outdoor heaters at the winery. I'd definitely like to go back on a nice day. This winery was very picturesque. Not to mention it's owned by Kix Brooks...oh, Brooks & Dunn, you've been good to us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All of that food looks scrumptious.
I realy am excited by the fact that ya'll were out in Arrington. I lived out there for 5 years and while rural living isn't much for me, it realy is a beautiful area, especially the vinyards.