Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dinner tonight... Spring Rolls with Ginger Sesame Shrimp

A few years ago, my friend (and my entertaining role model) Mrs. Durham served me a truly fun meal: make-them-yourself spring rolls. She put the ingredients on a platter and we all sat around the table and assembled them to our tastes. I have thought about trying my hand at them ever since, but always thought that it was too complicated to pull off. But since I've been doing all this cooking of late, suddenly chopping up a few things seemed pretty simple, all things considered.

So tonight, when the very sweet Mrs. Gage joined me for dinner, I decided it was time to give them a go. Following Mrs. Durham's directions, I set out a carefully composed platter that included shredded carrots, thinly sliced cucumbers, fresh mint, basil and cilantro, cellophane noodles, mung bean sprouts, peanut sauce, fresh limes, and shrimp that I had sauteed in a little sesame oil with ginger and sesame seeds. I also boiled some water in my tea kettle and set that out in a large bowl. As the meal went along, we dipped dry rice paper wrappers into the hot water to soften them, then filled them with shrimp and the rest of the items on the platter, rolled the wrappers around the filling like you might roll a burrito, and ate them. It was a really fun, creative, relaxed way to share the meal and the flavors were all so fresh and bright -- a true treat.

Notes: you can find cellophane noodles and rice paper wrappers in the Asian section of the supermarket. I looked for the wrappers in the refrigerated section at first, not realizing that they would be sold in a manner similar to dry pasta. For the carrots, I just used my vegetable peeler to create long thin strips. And I sliced the cucumbers very thin as well. Pulling the elements together onto the platter took just a few minutes. Definitely worth the effort!


Laurel said...

AWESOME!!! I am so glad they turned out well! Yumm, I am going to have to make some. I am also going to start reading this daily! I love it! I just wish you were closer so that Mrs. Durham could come over for dinner too when Mr. Fritz was away!

Elizabeth said...

It was delicious and fun indeed! I'm going to try it at home. Thank you Mrs. Fritz!