Summer Roll

I make 3 per person. Here I’m making 12. Sometimes the ingredients get a little tilted by the end. I usually run out of avocado first.

For this three person version, you’ll need:
1/4 of a 14oz package of rice stick noodles
36 shrimp peeled and deveined
1 carrot julienned
1 cucumber julienned
Rice vinegar
2 cups cabbage (Napa, Savoy, Green…) sliced thin
1 Avocado halved and finely sliced
24 sprigs of cilantro
24 basil leaves
12 25cm extra-thin spring roll wrappers (or 22cm look for Dynasty brand)
Sweet chili sauce for dipping
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Cooking equipment I used:
9×9 Pyrex baking dish
4 quart saucepan

2 cups boiling water in a 9×9 casserole dish or something close to that. Break up a quarter of a 14oz package of rice stick noodles and soak for about ten minutes then drain in colander. Cut up a bit with scissors.

36 shrimp. 3 for each roll. I buy frozen medium size wild-caught white shrimp and flash them in lightly salted boiling water for 3 minutes (turn burner off as soon as shrimp are in. Then drain in colander and remove tails.

On a big cutting board with prep bowls if needed:
1 carrot julienned (I have a hand-held Japanese julienne tool thing)
1 cucumber cut lengthwise and seeded. Julienne half. Thinly slice other half and put in bowl with some rice vinegar.
About 2 cups of cabbage finely sliced (Napa, Savoy, green, or whatever)
1 avocado cut in halves and sliced thin
Cilantro leaves and tender stalk
24 or so basil leaves

12 25cm extra-thin spring roll wrappers.

With enough space on cutting board to roll and a 9×9 casserole dish with hot water next to it, rotate wrapper through hot water, place on cutting board and begin to load about a third of the way down the wrapper: basil leaves and shrimp next to each other and then everything else on top. Tuck in sides and roll.

Serve cucumber slices in small dishes topped with toasted sesame seeds and sweet chili sauce for dipping. I usually make sushi rice as a side.

Copyright © 2018 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Cucumber

When a small packet of heirloom cucumber seeds turns into this, you need more cucumber ideas. I have quite a few Asian and Greek inspired recipes so I needed something to go with other foods. This paired well with pasta.

This is best made a few hours before serving. Start with this basic recipe and then see how it tastes. I usually end up adding a little more vinegar or sugar. You can also add chopped fresh dill or red pepper flakes for a different take. Or more garlic.

4 cucumbers, skins removed and seeds scooped out, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons good tasting olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed or put through a garlic press
salt to taste

Copyright © 2017 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Horiatki with Pasta

This is always my first ‘welcome to summer’ recipe. Although tomatoes won’t be in around where I live until July, they are not the star here so I don’t mind using those Kumato ones. This is a definite tiny kitchen recipe: just one pot for the pasta.

Pasta options: After trying penne and some sort of short ziti, I’ve settled on conchiglie. You could try bow ties or rotelle; there’s probably a lot of fun pastas that would work here.

Other options: You could add some oregano or maybe some sliced Pepperoncini.

Time note: I usually manage to get everything chopped and ready to go by the time the pasta is ready.

For this four+ person version, you’ll need:
1 pound conchiglie pasta
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/4 cup of white wine or rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 to 4 or more cloves of garlic put through garlic press
4 or 5 Kumato tomatoes diced small
8 or 10 Kalamata olives diced small
1/2 a small red onion diced small
1 small cucumber seeded and medium diced
1/2 cup or more of parsley chopped
3 ounces or more of crumbled feta
Fresh cracked pepper
Sea salt flakes

Cooking equipment I used:
6 quart stock/pasta pot

Get the pasta water going.

Then get a big bowl, big enough to hold all the pasta and the rest of the stuff. I have three white ceramic mixing bowls that nest together, I use the largest one.

In a two cup Pyrex measuring cup, add the mayonnaise. Slowly add the vinegar while stirring, then slowly add the olive oil while stirring. Run as many cloves of garlic as you like through the garlic press ( I used four big ones) and add to the mixture. Add pepper to taste. Set aside.

Cut the tomatoes into a small dice. Put them in the bowl and sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Cut the olives into a small dice and add this to the mayonnaise mixture. Next cut the red onion into a small dice and add this to the mayonnaise mixture. Skin the cucumber and cut it in half; with a spoon, remove the seeds, then slice into strips and cut into a medium dice. Put these in the bowl around the tomatoes. Finely chop the parsley and add it to the bowl.

When your pasta is done, run it under cold water to cool it. Once it’s cooled, add it to the bowl and mix together. Then add the mayonnaise mixture and combine, and then add the feta and mix until just combined.

Put in your bowls and serve with? In my house it’s water with lemon.

Notes: For olive oil, I use Columela or Nunez de Prado— they have a sort of spicy flavor, for sea salt flakes, I use Maldon, and for pepper, I use the Tellicherry variety. I use table or kosher salt for anything mixed in or cooked and save the sea salt flakes for finishing or roasting. Using these ingredients adds a little extra flavor to the dish and they’re getting much easier to find now.

Copyright © 2016 MRStrauss • All rights reserved