Simple Supper: Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi

On Friday, at the end of a long day (and after it’d been awhile since the grocery store and I visited), I was thankful for the frozen bag of shrimp in my freezer. Within 20 minutes I’d cooked up this light and simple shrimp dish for supper. I used rice in place of the orzo and substituted mixed, chopped fresh herbs in place of the parsley. This meal will definitely be added to our supper rotation. To balance out the meal, add a green salad, or other lightly sauteed veggies.

LEMON PEPPER SHRIMP SCAMPI
(from Cooking Light)
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1 cup uncooked orzo (use rice to make gluten-free)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
7 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp (I actually used medium shrimp)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Place orzo in a bowl. Stir in parsley and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover and keep warm.

While orzo cooks, melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add half of shrimp to pan; saute 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in pan. Add remaining shrimp to pan; saute 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer to plate.

Melt remaining 1 Tablespoon butter in pan. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in shrimp, juice, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done.

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Simple Supper: Cajun Shrimp and Rice

Before I jump into today’s recipe, I want to announce that the winner of last Friday’s Table Inspirations book giveaway is….Amanda! Her favorite summer meal is a BLT and sweet corn. Sounds delicious!

 

I’ve taken to purchasing a package of frozen shrimp about once a month on my quest to teach myself to like shrimp (I’m getting there!). They make a quick supper, which is a huge draw for me at the end of a long work day. I really enjoyed this dish; it’s filled with spice. And aside from researching and mixing up my own Cajun seasoning, this came together super quick. Jeremy was more than happy to take the leftovers for lunch the next day.

CAJUN SHRIMP AND RICE
(from Food Network Magazine, April 2010)
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1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 bunches scallions, chopped
3 cups cooked rice
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat the butter, olive oil, and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the Cajun seasoning and shrimp and cook, stirring until the shrimp begin to curl, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the tomatoes and scallions to the skillet and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the rice and 1/4 cup water and continue to cook until the rice is warmed through and the shrimp is opaque, about 3 more minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Simple Supper: Hawaiian Rice

This recipe is one of Jeremy’s top favorite meals! The original recipe only called for green peppers. I’ve added mushrooms, carrots, onions, colored peppers, and even once a little fresh spinach. So, use whatever veggies you like. If your rice and chicken are already cooked, then this meal comes together super fast!

PINEAPPLE CHICKEN AND RICE
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3 cups cooked rice
1-1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup mustard (yellow or a mix of yellow and Dijon)
1/4 cup white wine, chicken broth, or pineapple juice
1 cup crushed pineapple
1 green pepper seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4-8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, shredded

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the honey, mustard, and wine. Stir to combine. Add pineapple and veggies. Allow the sauce to heat through and the veggies begin to cook for a few minutes.

Lightly grease an 8×8 pan. Spread the rice in the bottom. Top with the chopped chicken. Pour the sauce over everything. Sprinkle with paprika. Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes until everything is heated through.

International Cuisine: Chrov Plov

My oldest two sons were born in Kazakhstan. We feel so blessed to have the chance to celebrate and explore another culture. And we truly love the country, people, and food (!) of Kazakhstan. March 22 marked the Kazakh New Year (Nauryz) and so we enjoyed celebrating with friends and eating some traditional dishes. This was one of my absolute favorites but I will be sharing four different recipes throughout the coming weeks – they were all delicious.

The recipes were adapted from Cooking for Kaz: Meals for Hope, Volume 2 – my mom and I both have recipes in the book as well as many other talented cooks (how is that for a shameless promo! :)). Please feel free to check it out – the fundraiser is put on by Two Hearts for Hope and all proceeds from the sales of the cookbook benefit orphans in Kazakhstan. And the cookbook features many different types of recipes in addition to several Kazakh recipes.

CHROV PLOV
adapted from Cooking for Kaz: Meals for Hope, Volume 2
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1 c. rice, uncooked
¼ c. almonds, chopped
2 T. currants
2 T. raisins
6 dried prunes
3 T. dates, chopped
4 T. butter
¼ c. dried apricots, cut into strips
1 T. honey
2 c. water

Soak dates, currant and prunes in warm water for 15 minutes. Remove and pat dry, mix with apricots and raisins. Melt the butter in a large skillet over high heat and add the fruit mixture and almonds. Reduce the heat to low and stir for four minutes. Stir in the honey, rice, and water. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, serve hot.

*I very successfully made this in my rice cooker by adding the sautéed fruit, almonds, butter, and honey to the rice and water in the cooker.

Weekend Fare: Curried Lentils

I love eating and cooking vegetarian! We probably average 2-3 nights a week of meatless meals. This easy and quick meal (takes under an hour) was popular with the whole family. Lentils are probably my favorite legume and they are quite versatile.

CURRIED LENTILS (adapted from More-with-Less)
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1 c. lentils
2 1/2 c. beef or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt

Bring to a boil and simmer 20-30 minutes until tender.

1/4 c. butter
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
2 Tb. curry powder
2 Tb. lemon juice
chopped parsley

Saute together the butter, onion, and garlic until onions are translucent. Stir in salt and curry powder.  Add cooked lentils with lemon juice and parsley. Makes 4-6 servings.

Serve over rice.

Weekend Fare: Chicken Curry

We love international cuisine – even our kids enjoy ethnic foods. This is one of our favorite recipes. I served it over rice this time but our absolute favorite way is to have it over mashed sweet potatoes (mashed with a little plain yogurt, salt, and butter). Give it a try! The kids love that they can choose their own toppings.

CHICKEN CURRY
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2 cooking apples, unpeeled, cored, and diced
1 lg. onion, finely chopped
1-2 Tb. curry powder (according to your taste)
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 c. chicken breast, cooked and diced (I bake it or boil it)
1 1/2 c. chicken broth

Sauté apple, onion, and curry powder in oil in skillet until tender and glazed. Season with salt and pepper. Add in cooked chicken and chicken broth and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Serve over cooked brown rice or mashed sweet potatoes (try mashing with a little plain yogurt and salt). Top with raisins, craisins, pineapple tidbits, toasted chopped almonds, plain yogurt, and/or toasted coconut.

6 servings

Off The Shelf: May Magazines

Bon Appetit — This month’s issue is labled the “travel issue” and contains a collection of recipes from Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. Each collection is lengthy, filled with beautiful photos and art, as well as stories and recipes. There is also a feature devoted to carrots, which, apparently, are in season just now.

I tried the Chicken with Tarragon for a Sunday dinner and it came out very well. I was skeptical of taking time to roast garlic in a pan, but it was quick and easy and worked well. We paired the chicken with the green rice and cucumber salad (also included in this post) and together it was a scrumptious meal. We ended it with the Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble from Monday’s post.

CHICKEN WITH TARRAGON AND QUICK-ROASTED GARLIC
(Bon Appetit May 2010)
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3 large unpeeled garlic cloves
4 small skinless boneless chicken breast halves or cutlets
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream

Heat small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cover and cook until browned in spots and tender when pierced, turning occasionally, 9 to 10 minutes. Transfer to work surface to cool.

Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate (do not clean skillet).

Peel garlic. Add garlic and wine to same skillet; cook until reduced by about half, mashing garlic finely with fork, about 1 minute. Add broth and tarragon; simmer until liquid is reduced by about half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add cream and simmer to sauce consistency, about 1 minute. Return chicken to skillet with any accumulated juices. Simmer to heat through, turning occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate; spoon sauce over.

Serves 4.

Everyday Food — of interest in this issue is a feature on raspberries (apparently these are in season too? Perhaps at the grocery store, certainly not in my backyard) with some amazing-looking recipes included. Another feature tells what to do with jarred, roasted peppers. The Breakfast for Dinner feature dishes up some very tempting meals that look easy and delicious. As always, there are a number of great, everyday meals, side dishes and desserts included as well.

I made the Green Rice and the Cucumber and Snap Pea Salad. Both were easy to make and turned out well. The salad was so fresh and delightful that we’ll be having it again soon. Honestly, I couldn’t stop eating it. A perfect salad for spring!

GREEN RICE
(Everyday Food May 2010)
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1 cup packed fresh cilantro
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
1/4 white onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 3/4 cups water
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

In a blender, combine cilantro, parsley, onion, garlic, water, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add rice and stir to coat. Add herb mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let sit, covered, 5 minutes. Add lime juice and fluff with a fork. Serve rice with lime wedges if desired.

Serves 4.

CUCUMBER AND SNAP PEA SALAD WITH MINT
(Everyday Food May 2010)
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1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. white-wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
salt & pepper
2 large cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pound snap peas, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal in 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup fresh mint, torn

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Add cucumbers and peas. Toss to combine. Stir in mint just before serving.

Serves 4.

Everyday with Rachael Ray — Once again I am keenly aware that many magazines don’t follow seasonal eating very closely. While this magazine does include a number of seasonal-appropriate recipes (like Asparagus, Ham and Egg Pasta, and Rhubarb Fool), I question the appeal of recipes such as Potato-Leek soup, Chili, and Spaghetti Squash for this spring season. I felt this issue belonged more in fall.

However, there is a large section devoted to parties and weddings, which was fun to look through and might be beneficial if you are looking for ideas along those lines.

I tried the Gemelli with Fennel and Hot Sausage and it was an easy and delicious weeknight meal that is worth repeating.

GEMELLI WITH FENNEL AND HOT SAUSAGE
(Everyday with Rachael Ray, May 2010)
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3/4 pound hot Italian sausage links, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used mild)
1 large bulb fennel, cut into strips
1 large onion, sliced
3 carrots, sliced on an angle
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt & pepper
1 pound gemelli pasta (I used penne)
1/4 cup chopped flat parsley

Preheat oven to 425F. On a baking sheet, toss the sausage, fennel, onion and carrots with the olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Bake until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain, reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking water. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl.

Add the sausage -vegetable mixture to the pasta. Add the reserved pasta cooking water to the baking sheet, scraping up any browned bits; transfer to the pasta mixture. Toss in the parsley; season with salt and pepper.

NOTE: My kids liked this with grated cheese sprinkled on top.

Serves 4.

Cooking Light — While I didn’t get any recipes made from Cooking Light this month, I did bookmark a number of recipes that looked appealing. This issue includes an article on sandwiches, healthy eating while in the DC area, and a great round-up of seasonal recipes in the Dinner Tonight feature.

If you are into homemade ice-cream, you may want to check out their cooking class article on light ice-cream. There is also an article on smoothies.

The longest feature is devoted to pizza, with recipe after recipe of delicious and ingenious combinations for this favorite American food.

Other articles include: Haitian-American food, simple spring recipes, spring risottos, and budget cooking.

If you want a magazine that says SPRING!, this is probably the one for you.

Simple Suppers: Rice and Beans

Many of you know from my profile that I am not a huge fan of legumes. In fact, there are only a few types that I actually enjoy eating, namely red lentils and black beans. During the early days of the recent Haiti crisis I decided to make rice and beans for the children to experience something of what the normal diet is in Haiti. Without realizing it, I discovered a simple supper or lunch that was easy to make and really delicious. We’ve eaten it numerous times since.

BLACK BEANS AND RICE
(Heather)
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2 cans black beans
1 cup salsa
1-2 tsp. cumin

to serve:
cooked brown rice
grated cheese

Get the rice started — I use a rice cooker which means I just throw in rice and water, turn on the cooker and leave it until we are ready to eat.

Dump the beans and salsa into a saucepan. Add cumin to taste and heat through.

Serve over cooked rice with grated cheese on top. If you want to get fancy you can add other toppings such as chopped tomato, chopped onion, sour-cream, chopped avocado, shopped cucumber, shredded lettuce, or sliced black olives.

Serves 4-6.

Simple Supper: Stir Fry

Stir Fry is an easy and delicious meal that doesn’t need to take much time to prepare. And, if you have a rice cooker, this meal is even more of a cinch. (If you don’t have a rice cooker, you might want to seriously consider getting one. You will have rice cooked to perfection each and every time you plug it in!)

Several years ago I came across an article in Real Simple magazine that gave five different recipes for stir fry sauces. I’ve used it ever since. The result is that I always have a stir fry that tastes good and there is always variety so we never have to eat the same stir fry again and again.


(Photo: Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry with Curry-Coconut Sauce)

Here is my step-by-step plan for cooking stir fry:

STIR FRY
(Heather)
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1. Put rice in the rice cooker — our family likes brown rice but any kind will do. If you don’t have a rice cooker, start cooking rice on the stove.

2. Cut up vegetables — there are so many combinations to choose from. I always include an onion and often have broccoli and carrots with that. Other ideas are celery, cabbage, bok choy, green pepper, colored peppers, and zucchini or summer squash. Choose the vegetable combination that your family will enjoy.

3. Cut up the meat —  I usually use two boneless, skinless chicken breasts for our family of six. A pound of round steak, or a few boneless pork chops are also nice options. I cut my meat quite thin (1/4-inch or so). I sprinkle salt and freshly ground pepper on my meat.

4. Stir fry the meat. In a large skillet or wok, heat some canola oil (I prefer canola because it is tasteless). Stir fry the meat until done and transfer to a plate, cover with foil and leave until later.

5. Stir fry your vegetables. Add a bit more canola oil to the pan and stir fry the vegetables, adjusting the heat as necessary, or adding more oil, to keep the vegetables from scorching.

6. Make the sauce. While the vegetables are cooking, prepare one of the sauces listed below. (I make about 2-3 recipes of sauce for our family of 6.) Fresh ginger is such an important ingredient in so many Asian recipes. I buy mine, scrub it and then place it in a ziplock bag in the freezer. When I need freshly grated ginger I simple grate it straight from the freezer (skin and all).

7. Combine everything. When your rice is ready, your vegetables cooked, and your sauce finished, add the meat back to the pan along with the vegetables and heat through. Either plate your rice and stir fry and then top with the sauce, or add the sauce to the stir fry and then serve.

HOT AND SOUR SAUCE
(Real Simple Magazine)

3/4 c. chicken broth or water
5 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

In a small bowl, combine broth, soy sauce, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and cornstarch, stirring until cornstarch dissolves. Place a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes and stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly to prevent lumps, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 1/2 minutes. Pour into a bowl.

CANTONESE LIGHT SAUCE
(Real Simple Magazine)

1/2 c. chicken broth or water
1 Tbsp. dry white wine (I used rice vinegar)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. minced green onions (white parts only)
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger

In a small bowl, combine broth, white wine, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, salt and cornstarch, stirring until cornstarch dissolves. Place a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add green onions and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly to prevent lumps, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 1/2 minutes. Pour into a bowl.

CURRY-COCONUT SAUCE
(Real Simple Magazine)

1 1/4 c. canned light coconut milk
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp. curry powder (I used Thai Red Curry Paste which comes in a jar)
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil (if you have it)

In a small bowl, combine coconut milk, soy sauce, sugar and salt. Place a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add red pepper flakes, lemon zest, minced garlic and curry powder or paste and stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the coconut milk mixture and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add chopped fresh basil. Pour into a bowl.

LEMON-HERB SAUCE
(Real Simple Magazine)

1/4 c. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add fresh basil and cilantro.

GARLICKY HOISIN SAUCE
(Real Simple Magazine)

1/4 c. Hoisin sauce
1/3 c. water
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. minced green onions (white parts only)
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

In a small bowl, combine Hoisin sauce, water, soy sauce and sugar. Place a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add green onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the Hoisin mixture and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 1/2 minutes. Pour into a bowl.

(Photo: Chicken and Pepper Stir Fry with Cantonese Light Sauce)

Off The Shelf: The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook by Jaden Hair is a beautiful and inspiring new Asian cookbook.  Subtitled “101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s Dinner”, the book is a take-off from Hair’s popular blog Steamy Kitchen.

The book is filled with gorgeous photos (taken by Hair herself), and is pleasantly laid out. After the initial section on the “Basics” (such as dipping sauces and stocks) as well as a discussion and description of basic Asian ingredients, the eight chapters which follow include Appetizers & Little Bites, Soups, Salads & Wraps, Seafood, Meat, Chicken, Vegetables, Tofu & Eggs, Rice & Noodles, and Sweets & Libations.

Using Hair’s easy-to-follow instructions and photographs you can make all your favorite Asian dishes at home: Lettuce Cup Appetizers, Crisy Eggrolls, Pork & Mango Potstickers, Crab and Pork Wonton Noodle Soup, Miso Ramen, Thai Beef Salad Wraps, Asian Crab Cakes, Beef Satay, Sweet and Sour Lychee Meatballs, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Asparagus and Crab with a Light Ginger Sauce, Simple Baby Bok Choy and Snow Peas, Coconut Rice, Shrimp Pad Thai, Grilled Pineapple and Bubble Tea.

I chose to try the Vietnamese Summer Rolls and the Simple Ginger and Green Onion Fried Rice. Both recipes turned out well. I did have to obtain the rice paper from an Asian market, but otherwise all the ingredients were easy to come by at my supermarket. The Summer Rolls were light and fresh as well as visually appealing.

VIETNAMESE SUMMER ROLLS
(The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook)
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One 12-oz package rice paper wrappers
1 head soft, leafy green lettuce, leaves separated
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
1 big handful fresh mint
1 big handful fresh Thai basil or sweet Italian basil leaves
1 portion Cashew Nut Dipping Sauce or Peanut Dipping Sauce or Vietnamese Dip

Lemongrass Pork:
1 lb. pork
1 lemongrass stalk, outer leaves peeled until you reach pale yellow leaves, bottom 3 inches of stalk grated, or 1 tsp. lime zest
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. sugar

To prepare the Lemongrass Pork: Slice the pork as thin as you possibly can. To make it easier to slice, place the pork in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.

In a bowl, combine the sliced pork with the rest of the ingredients and marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

In the meantime, prepared the vegetables and herbs for the rolls.

Heat a wok or frying pan until very hot. Add the marinated pork slices in a single layer. You may have to do this in a couple of batches. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, depending on how thin you’ve sliced your meat.

Have the cooked Lemongrass Pork, rice paper wrappers, vegetables and herbs read on your work surface to roll, or arrange the ingredients on your dinner table and have everyone roll their own summer rolls.

To Assemble:

Fill a pie tin with warm (not hot!) water. Dip the edge of a rice paper in the water and quickly use both hands to turn the rice paper so that each side can dip in the water for 2 seconds.

Lay the still-stiff rice paper on a clean, dry surface. Fold the rice paper in half. The paper should be pliable and may still be a bit stiff. If the rice paper is floppy, soggy and too slippery, try using cooler water or dipping the paper in the water for a shorter amount of time.

On the bottom half, lay your lettuce first to create a bed for the vegetables and juicy meat. Layer on your vegetables, meat and herbs. Do not overstuff! Each roll should have only 1 to 2 pieces of meat. If you are too greedy and put too much filling in the roll, they will be difficult to roll up!

Starting from the bottom, roll up. Tuck the ingredients in as you get that first turn to create a tighter roll. Don’t suffocate the poor ingredients, but do make it nice and snug.

Continue rolling and you can make a slight tug back on the roll to make tighter. If your work surface is dry, tugging will be easy. Wipe your work surface dry before rolling your next roll.

Serves 6.

CASHEW NUT DIPPING SAUCE
(The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook)
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1 Tbsp. cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. chilli garlic sauce
3 Tbsp. cashew nut butter
2/3 cup water, divided

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the oil and, when just starting to get hot, add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Add the hoisin sauce, sugar, chilli garlic sauce, cashew nut butter and half of the water, stir well and simmer for 30 seconds. Whisk in the rest of the water if you want a thinner consistency. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If sauce is too thick after storing, whisk in a bit of water to thin it out.

Makes 1 cup.

Cashew or Peanut Dipping Sauce is good on many things, including Lettuce Wraps:

PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE
(The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook)
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2 tsp. cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
3 Tbsp. sweet chilli sauce
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2/3 c. water
3 Tbsp. peanut butter

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When the oil is just starting to get hot, add the garlic and ginger and fry for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the sweet chilli sauce, hoisin sauce, water and peanut butter and stir until smooth. Simmer until thickened. Let cool. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If the sauce is too thick after storing, whisk in a bit of water to thin it out.

Makes 1 cup.

SIMPLE GINGER AND GREEN ONION FRIED RICE
(The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook)
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4 cups leftover, previously chilled cooked rice
2 Tbsp. cooking oil
1/2 c. minced green onions
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
freshly ground pepper to taste

Gently separate the rice grains with a fork, taking care not to smush the delicate grains.

Set a work or large saute pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is just starting to get hot, add the green onions and ginger. Let cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Turn the heat to high and immediately add the rice. Stir well to incorporate the green onion mixture throughout the rice. Spread the rice all around the wok surface area and let the rice heat up, untouched, until you hear the bottoms of the grains sizzle. Use the spatula to toss the rice, again spreading the rice out over the surface of the wok and let cook for 1 minute.

Add the wine, soy sauce and pepper and toss well. Repeat the tossing, spreading, and 1-minute frying until each and every grain of rice is heated through.

Serves 4-6.