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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring Rolls with Beef and Mushroom Dumplings



Once in a while we all crave something fresh, refreshing and new to have for dinner! Although very convenient to drive down the main drag and pick your desired ethnic food, knowledge is power and this food will empower you to want to learn much more! Try these easy and delicious foods today!

Spring rolls:



- Rice paper wraps
- Vermicelli rice noodles
- Cilantro and Mint
- Soy germs
- Mangoes
- Cooked Shrimps
- Sweet Chili Sauce

How to assemble? 
- Boil a pot of water for you vermicelli and soak them in the water once boiling, just until soft, it doesn't take long at all!
- Prepare a large bowl of warm water to soak the rice papers to soften them, one or two at a time.
- Prepare your other ingredients to have them at hand to better assemble the rolls; slice thin mango pieces and have the shrimp thawed out of cooked and dry.


On a dry towel, place the softened rice paper wrapper. on the bottom part of the wrapper place a small amount of the vermicelli noodles and a few sprouts. At this point, if you want to add some heat, squeeze a few drops of Sriracha chili pepper sauce. Continut with the stacking, adding 2-3 shrimps depending on the size with 2 thin slices of mango. Top with a couple leaves of mint and some cilantro.
Start by folding the bottom of the wrap over the fillingto secure them in place. Then bring in the sides to close it up and wrap the roll forward by maintaining a tight roll. Be careful, the wrapper is fragile enough and might tear. Repeat and repeat again until you have a sufficient amount of rolls. Serve with Sweet chili sauce! With the refreshing flavors combined with a little heat, it's hard to stop eating them, as they become very addicting!


Beef and Mushroom Dumplings:




When it came to making dumpling, any type of spoon-able mixture tends to work as a filling. With a leftover roast, which had already cooked in its own juices all of yesterday, it was deemed a good idea to try and fuse a stew like flavor into these wonderful Asian pockets of joy. As for other possibilities; Teriyaki chicken and mushroom, Leak and Chive, Shrimp and Chive, or anything you can blend together with your hand mixer that you would think would taste good. These dumplings could easily become pot stickers by frying them in a pan, or you could do as I did and cook them in a bamboo steamer. Either way, I would suggest that the filling would be cooked before placing in the raw dumpling wrapper. These wrappers can be found in most supermarkets where you can find an Asian foods isle and mostly in the frozen section.

To assemble:
-Thaw out the wonton wrappers before working with them and have a small bowl of cold water beside you.
-Have you mixture ready (I used  left over beef with mushrooms and corn, all very finely minced together)
- spoon a very small amount in the middle of the wrapper and with your finger, wet the surrounding edge of the wrapper.
- Fold in half to form a crescent shape. At this stage them are many ways of folding a dumpling. Here are a few video links to give you a better idea on how to achieve the next few steps.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfMWljuJifU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NM5ajDONkU&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhvKFEudJt8&feature=fvwrel

- Either cook in a well oiled frying pan, or in a bamboo steamer. These steamers are a really neat thing to have in your kitchen and will, without a doubt, impress your friends at your next dinner party. To use this method, place the steamer on top of a large sauce pot with water inside, which the steamer will sit securely on top. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a medium-high setting to keep creating steam to fill the bamboo chamber. Using a brush, apply some vegetable oil on the bottom of the steamer to prevent the dumplings from sticking, or use the more traditional method of placing the dumplings on lettuce or cabbage leaves inside the steamer. Cook until the wrapper becomes translucent and the mixture is steaming hot. 



In every package of wrapper, you will find around 100 wonton wraps and if your up to it, please feel free to make that large amount and freeze them before cooking them to have them on hand. Combine store made dumplings with your own to create a variety. I strongly suggest serving these with a spicy peanut sauce or your favorite Asian inspired sauce. Enjoy!

Eat well, sleep well and till next time!

-Alix

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog while I was trying to find a recipe for Gateau Clichy.
    I have a wild busy day ahead of me and instead of tackling the day, I am sitting here reading your blog, totally captivated by all your recipes, wonderful photos and step by step instructions.
    Happy blogging, I'll be checking in regularly.
    Best,
    Virginia

    ReplyDelete