My friends and I occasionally have themed pot luck meals. One person made Thai summer rolls that were so good I had to make them myself. I loosely used the recipe below; however, I did not use lettuce or cilantro, but instead used mint, basil, avocado, and green onions in them. I also added Sriracha to the sauce. Here’s the recipe: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/fresh-spring-rolls-with-thai-dipping-sauce/Detail.aspx. I like these because they have a lot of vegetables, so they are healthy!
Soak each rice wrapper until it looks like a little bit like a jellyfish (as in the above photo). Layer the chopped ingredients in it horizontally.
Wrap it up like a burrito: fold one side two thirds of the way up, then fold the sides in, and finally, fold it over the rest of the way. It took a couple of tries for me to roll these and actually make them look pretty, so don’t give up if they look like a sloppy mess on your first attempt. Here’s the finished product:
Some modifications that can be made are to squirt some Sriracha inside these for some extra spiciness, use a peanut dipping sauce instead of the one listed here, as well as adding any combination of meat or vegetables to suit your taste. I wrapped some to have for lunch for a couple days, but I wouldn’t recommend making them more than a day before you eat them. I learned that the rice wrapper tends to pull apart and then things just get messy! I’ll give these 3 stars: tasty and simple.
I love cheese of all kinds. This probably stems from the fact that I have a lot of family in Wisconsin. I grew up going there a lot to visit family and, as a result, frequented cheese factories during each visit. There, I had the opportunity to watch cheese being made and to eat fresh cheese curds. The curds are warm when fresh and squeak between one’s teeth. I’m sure that sounds unappetizing to people who have not experienced this sensation, but if you ever have a chance to try it, I’d highly recommend it. They are yummy!
I’m not only tied to the mild cheese. In fact, the best cheese I’ve ever tasted was a Camembert in Paris that smelled like Brussels sprouts (which I hate), but was absolutely wonderful. It’s really a shame that the US requires pasteurization of the milk used to make cheeses. As a result, a Camembert in the US tastes very similar to brie. I know that brie is a good cheese, but the depth of flavor is not as intense and it’s no match for Camembert made with unpasteurized milk….my mouth is watering just thinking about it! I know I jumped around a bit there, but trying to summarize my passion for cheese is quite a difficult task.
Speaking of cheese, I purchased some Chili Smoked Gouda at a local store the other day. As an avid fan of smoked Gouda, as well as smoked foods in general, I had a good feeling about this cheese from the start and it didn’t let me down. It’s flecked with red pepper flakes and is slightly red in color from them. I enjoy spicy food; I’m not quite up to the level of Thai hot, but I do enjoy a good amount of spiciness so that you know it’s there. This cheese has a level of heat that stays with you for a little while, but is not too spicy for my taste. I ate it both alone and with Wheat Thin crackers and appreciated it both ways. I’ll give this cheese 4 stars. Here’s a photo of this great cheese paired with some Wheat Thins:
I’m involved with a gourmet food group where we get together every month or so and take turns cooking a 3-course meal. When it was my turn (about 8 months ago), I solicited my friends for appetizer ideas, and one friend from high school gave me a recipe for gougères, or French cheese puffs. They were fairly easy to make and made for a very classy appetizer. Recently, I bought some Gruyère cheese and remembered about these cheesy pieces of heaven. I found the following recipe and made them again: http://www.aminglingoftastes.com/2007/03/gruyre-gougres-nothing-says-celebration.html. They were ethereal as I remember them. I give them 3.74 stars! They are pictured below in all their cheesy glory:
Random non-food thought: I think that the Doritos commercial where the guy says: “You forgot the best part” was in my opinion the best one of the Superbowl! Ok, so I lied…I suppose this commercial is food-related, so this thought is not entirely “non-food related.” I can’t help it, though! Here’s a link for those who missed it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBNnD5kuHUE