I’m chatty today.
Want to talk about things that aren’t fun? Good. I’ll go first.
Coming home from vacation. What.the.heck. Whoever decided that you should leave vacation paradise is out of their mind. Who even coined the word vacation? I’m not their biggest fan. I’d like to pie them in the face. Wait… no… I want to eat that pie and punch them in the face. Much better.
It should have be called something more like A Quick Teaser of What Life Should Really Be Like That Leaves You Sunkissed, Exhausted and Craving Another Week Away. And Hungover. Leaving sun and lobster and waves? I don’t like it. Not one bit. I tried to bury myself in the sand to escape, but I’m a big baby and the crabs started pinching and the sun burned my eyes and everything started to chafe and there was just soooo much sand in my swimsuit and… and…
… I got hungry.
Imagine that. I don’t know why, but those crabs crawling on the actual shoreline don’t taste nearly as good as the freshly steamed ones that took a long, hot bath in a vat of butter.
Sigh. Monday Schmonday.
Guess what I ate a lot of while on vacation? Vegetables!!
I think my current vegetable intake is at negative 27. That’s how many vegetables I didn’t eat.
Oh oh oh but… I made these spring roll thingies before I left. Just like lettuce wraps, but wrapped in rice paper. I like rice paper. Sometimes I like lettuce wraps. Sometimes. But really… I can only consider them a meal if I eat a loaf of bread before and a chunk of cheesecake after.
Kidding! Sort of.
Remember the crispy shrimp tacos I made? I realllllllly liked them. I think we have eaten them almost 20 times since and that is not an exaggeration. These are sort of like those. You know… if you want to subtract the soft, pillowy tortilla and the fresh, crisp salsa and the tangy cheese.
Hmmmmmm. Yeah. I don’t really want to do that either. But the spring rolls are delicious in their own right. I promise. I wouldn’t lead you astray now would I? Plus, since you’re eating all these vegetables wrapped up in lettuce and stuff, you get to eat even more guacamole and chips. <— that’s a secret. See? I knew there was a point to this. I like that. I really, really like that. And I like you. I don’t just share my secrets with anyone.
Crispy Shrimp Spring Rolls
1 pound of raw, deveined shrimp (I also butterfly mine)
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 mango, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1 bunch of bibb lettuce or rainbow chard leaves
2 seedless cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 bunch of cilantro
12 rice paper wrappers (optional)
In a bowl, combine flour with salt and pepper. Dredge each shrimp through the flour to lightly coat. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once hot, add shrimp and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes, just until they develop a light, golden coating. Remove shrimp and set aside on a paper towel.
Cut mango, cucumbers and avocado, and set them in a bowls in an assembly line. Wash and dry lettuce or chard, tearing it into smaller leaves if needed. You can fill the leaves with the shrimp, mango, cucumber and avocado mixture and stop here if desired. If using the rice paper wrappers, fill a 9 x 13 pan with water. Dip each wrapper in the pan for a second and lay on a paper towel to dry. If the wrappers are circular, fold in the left and right sides just until they touch. Layer lettuce, shrimp, avocado, mango and cucumber, then roll the roll rice wrapper up until it seals at the top. Voila!
Cilantro Dipping Sauce
adapted from epicurious
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2/3 cup olive oil
Combine cilantro, garlic, vinegar, chili sauce and lime juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until pureed, then stream in olive oil with the processor on. Serve immediately.
I’m going to buy a sandbox today.