Ryan has been shooting a commercial all week and his presence has been very rare around these parts. Our conversation the last several days has amounted to him saying "I love you." as he headed out the door at 6 am and me saying "How was your day?" when he would fall into bed exhausted at around 11 pm every evening. He wrapped yesterday, so today we decided to have a great summer meal out in the backyard. It was the first time we had dinner out there this season, just the two of us. I am so embarrassed to admit that, because we are extremely fortunate to have a backyard in this sprawling city. We really need to use it more. This morning we got up and headed to Whole Foods for some pre-skewered kebabs and the ingredients for summer rolls and peanut sauce. In the July/August issue of Everyday Food there is a little how to for summer rolls. We choose the shrimp and mint combination and we weren't sorry, let me tell ya. They were delicious! And there are plenty left for tomorrow. I also made the creamy peanut dipping sauce from the same article, and though I thought it came out a bit thin, the taste was all there. Here is the recipe for both as they appear in Everyday Food:
Shrimp & Mint Summer Rolls
4 ounce package vermicelli rice noodles
8-inch spring-roll wrappers
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked, then halved lengthwise
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1 medium carrot cut into matchsticks (1 1/2 cups)
1 bunch chives
1. Pour boiling water over vermicelli rice noodles and soak 15 minutes. Drain and rinse. Divide into 8 equal portions. Fill a wide, shallow bowl with cool water. Working with one spring roll wrapper at a time, soak until pliable, 20 seconds. Transfer to a flat surface and smooth.
2. Place a layer of shrimp, mint, and carrot on bottom third of wrapper, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Top with a portion of noodles and another layer of shrimp, mint and carrot.
3. Fold bottom of wrapper tightly over fillings.
4. Roll over once, tuck in sides, and finish rolling. If desired, add 3 fresh chives and continue rolling to enclose them. Transfer roll to a plate and cover with a slightly damp paper towel. Repeat to make 8 summer rolls. Serve immediately or refrigerate, up to 2 hours.
Creamy Peanut Dipping Sauce
Makes 1 1/4 cups
1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
In a medium bowl whisk together peanut butter and water until smooth. Whisk in lime juice, soy sauce, and sugar. Sprinkle peanuts over sauce just before serving.
Kalli * Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Since it's starting to get hot outside, hot coffee seems gross so I'm back to making Vietnamese iced coffee (well, this is the more traditional way, with a prettier presentation BUT that method uses hot coffee which will melt your ice, and you need individual cup coffee presses.) To prepare, I brew a few cups of extra strong black coffee the night before, cool it down and store extra in the fridge. Then in the morning I mix some of the concentrated coffee with a couple tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, over ice.
TIP - mix the condensed milk into the coffee BEFORE pouring over ice. I spaced and did it wrong in these photos.
Oh, Kalli. How I long for the days when I will be able to wholeheartedly embrace caffeine again. This looks fantastic, and oddly refreshing.