Depending on how many Spring Shrimp Rolls are made, the amount of peanut sauce prepared could initially seem excessive. It was to me, and that sauce is too delicious to forget and let spoil in the back of the refrigerator. Taking a mental inventory of what’s in the kitchen, I remembered the wheat noodles left over from an incredible Asian soup made a few months ago. In the freezer, was a bag of frozen, precooked shrimp. The CSA share provided plenty of squash and carrots. However, broccoli, carrots, bok choy, bell peppers, water spinach, napa cabbage, baby corn, mushrooms (dried and/or fresh), daikon, snow peas, sugar snap peas, peas, cauliflower, celery, onions, scallions, garlic, ginger, parsnips, radishes, broccoli rabe, edamame, leeks, asparagus, bamboo shoots, and sweet potato all are delicious options to include. Was there a vegetable left out? Let me know, especially if it’s a vegetable not commonly sold in the United States. Read more
Having around the clock hot weather equates to less time in a kitchen. That being written, those fancy spring rolls we adore in many Vietnamese restaurants are simple to make. Unless you’re a restaurant superstar chef, don’t worry if the spring rolls are not perfectly shaped with the shrimp perfectly aligned in the transparent wrapper. Just have fun making them. Perhaps, the carrots can be blanched, for small details do make a difference in contributing to the overall taste. Use small to medium size shrimp that are peeled, deveined and precooked with this recipe to avoid turning on the stove and to save time. The smaller shrimp is sweet, and defrosting them takes a few minutes. Serve them with Peanut Sauce, coconut rice and a Pineapple-Tomato Salad, and this makes a beautiful dish best served cold on a hot day. Read more
It was an auspicious Saturday. The MTA had passengers transferring between local and express train lines because of repairs. Once in Brooklyn, I was relieved to finally be en route home. Then, the conductor played the last trick. The train was skipping a few stops, including my destination. I had to walk down a few flights of stairs to board another train. As the next train came to a stop, a striking man would notice me wearing a yellow halter dress. “Beautiful,” he thought. I took a seat in a separate car, unaware of his interest. Peering into the window, I saw the same man that had observe me a few minutes prior. At our destination, we exited onto the platform at the same time. Similar to a screenplay and cliché as it may seem, we saw each other at the same time. It’s one of those moments when other people move in a slow blur. “I’m going to love this man,” I thought. We slowly walked up the stairs, but our distance from each other was a few feet. I would frequently turn around to meet his intense stare. He’ll later joke with friends and family about his initial thoughts of me, “Hold on, baby… I’m coming.” Once outside, he gently tapped my shoulder to politely say, “Excuse me…” We walked through a park to talk about life. Then, he placed a right hand to his chest to say, “My heart… you’re different… my heart feels warm.” Read more
Casey Angelova of the food blog, Eating, Gardening & Living in Bulgaria, is sponsoring another cultural cuisine event. This time it’s honoring Portugal on their National Day. The Portuguese call it “Dia de Portugal.” It’s also a day honoring their national hero, Luís de Camões, for he’s the author of an epic poem, Os Lusíadas, that tells the history of Portuguese exploration.
A few centuries ago, Portugal had vast empires in Africa and Latin America. With a foundation of Mediterranean flavors, it’s a cuisine with a global influence. Tomatoes, chocolate, vanilla and chilies from the “New World” are now important ingredients in many cultures, including Portugal. Read more
Morning Glory, also known as Water Spinach or Swamp Cabbage, is a beautiful green that also blooms bright flowers. Don’t become too excited and start picking leaves from vines, unless horticulture is a profession. Besides, the plant of familiarity that wraps around building and fences is of another family, and it’s poisonous to eat. The Morning Glory for this recipe is different, for it’s a semi-aquatic plant, in which it is also known as a leaf vegetable–such as kale, cabbage, and collards. It easily grows around waterways and in tropical regions, thus it’s known primarily as a Southeast Asian ingredient, especially in Thai dishes. Read more