Wednesday, March 21, 2012

First Day of Spring Rolls

There is absolutely nothing I love more than the changing of seasons! The DC area is a lovely change from growing up in the south with such little definition in seasons. As much as I complain about the chill and darkness of winter, it's nice to experience the first snowfall and then watch the cherry blossoms bloom on the first week of spring. So, to celebrate the nice weather, I made.....SPRING ROLLS!!!!

I served these spring rolls with snap peas sauteed with a little olive oil, soy sauce (gluten free), and chopped garlic. The dipping sauce is duck sauce. I have had no problem finding gluten free duck sauce in my regular grocery store, but if you can't find it, try online or a natural foods store. I promise one day I will attempt to make my own!

You can absolutely play with these ingredients. Try different meats or make them vegetarian. I've made them several times before and they're never the same!

Rice paper wraps
1 can tiny shrimp
Cole slaw mix
Mung bean sprouts
Cellophane noodles (made from mung beans)
Sesame seeds
Soy sauce (gluten free)
chopped garlic (approximately 1 clove)

Follow directions on the noodles to soften them. In a pan, saute the shrimp with garlic until warm. Add cole slaw mix, sprouts, noodles, sesame seeds and soy sauce. Continue to saute until everything is combined and warm. Add basil and cilantro to taste and turn off the heat.

To assemble the spring rolls:
Soak a rice paper wrapper in warm water for approximately 30 seconds, or until soft.
Lay the wrapper flat on a plate and place a heaping spoonful of the filling onto the paper.
Fold both of the ends in and then fold one of the long sides over and finish the wrap by rolling, keeping the filling in the center.

Happy Spring!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bubble Tea

Bubble tea or boba tea can vary in it's recipe, but I will be making milk tea. The common factor is the tapioca balls that sit at the bottom of the drink! These are fun to chew...or choke on. Please be careful and use the buddy system when drinking your bubble tea. Right after high school, this tea became somewhat of an addiction while I worked near a little shop that made it, and I had to try it for myself. I'm lucky enough to live next to an Asian market, so the ingredients weren't hard to find. If you can't find the tapioca or straws, they can also be ordered online.

1 cup large tapioca balls (the 5 minute kind)
Tea flavor of your choosing
Coconut milk (you can use any type of milk)
Bubble tea straws

Brew tea. I made up a pitcher of peach tea for mine on the stove. Sweeten the tea with sugar while hot. I use approximately 1/2 cup of sugar to on pitcher of tea.

Follow the directions on the bag to cook the tapioca. Strain when finished. I had only seen tapioca in black, but I found these fun rainbow ones at my store:

Put some of the tapioca balls at the bottom of a tall glass, add ice, tea, honey (aprox. 2 want it to be sweet since the tapioca and milk are not sweetened) and top with milk. Mix Well. That's all there is to it!

You can experiment with different flavors of tea, types of milk or flavored syrups. I served mine with mochi ice cream, which can also be found at an Asian supermarket or Whole Foods. Mochi ice cream is ice cream wrapped in a rice dough. Just be sure that whichever brand you pick up is gluten free.