Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just a Couple of Things

Ok, you guys read about my dream Mother’s Day, now I’m going to give you a post-mortem on my REAL Mother’s Day. It started off innocently enough with a lie in for an extra 30 minutes or so. Since it gets light at 5 am these days that means that I was able to sleep until 5:30. I got up, had a cup of coffee and read my normal loop of info on the web, and took my shower. After getting all clean and shiny and banging around loudly enough, I was able to finally wake up everyone in the house so they could join me in a proper celebration. I decided to make my family breakfast and got started. Just about the time the bacon started to sizzle, I remembered that forgotten bottle of Mrs. T’s Bloody Mary mix that I had seen a couple of days ago. Mmmmm, a Bloody Mary for mama! Now that’s what I’m talking about! I filled my goblet (red pimp cup to my children) with ice and eyeballed an appropriate shot of vodka in perfect proportion to compliment the Mrs. T’s I topped it off with. After drinking about half of it I came up with the most brilliant idea for a hysterical blog story but I had such a good buzz that I really can’t remember what it was. Oh well, maybe if I replay the whole thing this weekend, it’ll come back to me. Anywho, by the time breakfast was served my sweet buzz had turned into a bit of headache and a touch of nausea. To make a long story short, I did get that Mother’s Day nap after all and my family did clean the kitchen just like I planned but not for the reason I planned. I’ve always been a happy hour lightweight. When will I learn?

The other thing on my mind is this oil well blow out in the gulf. Ok, I know first hand about marine disasters. I've had containment and clean up duty a time or two after my baby pooped in the bath with his sister and a couple hundred toys in there with him. It’s not easy clearing up what you want and getting rid of the muck, so I’ve given BP a bit of latitude in all of this but three weeks later they are still working on it! Please!!! Don’t tell me that they never had a contingency plan if this were to ever happen. My goodness, I keep an extra pair of panties and a toothbrush in my purse when I travel “just in case.” The least they can do is get in there and stick a cork in it. I already can’t afford shrimp in this economy. I think they should be made to subsidize gulf seafood prices so those of us who love to cook can still enjoy a little gumbo every now and then. I may just have to start a movement. Since I feel I might not be able to afford shellfish much longer, I thought I’d cook a little up and share the recipe with you.




Mexican Technicolor Summer Salad Rolls With Spicy Chipotle Drizzle

This is very similar to the recipe that won me the Committe's Choice Award at last year's Gilroy Garlic Festival. What a blast! I hope you enjoy it as much as they did.

Chipotle Drizzle, Dip or Dressing:
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
½ chipotle pepper, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
¾ cup light olive or vegetable oil
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon mild chili powder

Technicolor Salad Rolls:
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup jasmine rice
½ teaspoon mild chili powder
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1/2 pound medium size shrimp, peeled and devined then chopped into small bite size pieces
2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup canned yellow corn
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
1 large avocado, sliced into 16 thin slices
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced into rings and sliced into quarters
1 small bunch cilantro, stems removed, coarsely chopped
12 – 8” round rice paper wraps
1 large bowl ½ filled with warm water

Place red wine, honey, lime juice, adobo sauce, chipotle pepper, salt, black pepper, cilantro, oil, garlic and chili powder in a blender. Blend for approximately 15 – 20 seconds or until contents are smooth and emulsified. Set aside until ready to use.

Place chicken broth in a saucepan to a medium high heat and bring back to a simmer; add the ½ cup of rice, chili powder and granulated garlic; stir. Cover and cook until all water is absorbed, approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool until ready to use.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium size non-stick frying pan. When the pan is hot, add the shrimp and saute for a few minutes or until they just start to turn opaque. Transfer to a plate and cool.

Before assembling wraps, set out all ingredients in the following order; lettuce, black beans, corn, red cabbage, cheese, avocado, red onion, cilantro, cooked rice and shrimp.

Place the bowl of warm water next to a clean work surface. Submerge one rice paper wrapper into the bowl for approximately 5 seconds or until it starts to soften. Remove it from the water, shake off residual water, and place onto the work surface. To assemble, working quickly, place two heaping tablespoons of the lettuce in a thin strip down the middle of the wrapper leaving 1” border on each end. On one side of the lettuce, place one heaping tablespoon of black beans in a strip, then on the other side, place one heaping tablespoon strip of corn, leaving the same 1” border on each end. Follow the same procedure with the red cabbage (1 heaping tablespoon), cheese (1 rounded tablespoon) and avocado (2 slivers end to end), placing them in strips on alternating sides. Vegetables should appeal to be in stripes when done. Follow this with 2 rounded tablespoons of each of the cooked rice, approximately 2 tablespoons of the sautéed shrimp, carefully sprinkled a bit of onion and cilantro over the top without disturbing the stripes. To roll up, bring the 1” borders on the ends towards the center, up to the ends of the ingredients. Holding the ends in tact with your middle, ring and pinky fingers, pull the sides up with your thumbs and fore fingers, and tuck the ends under as you roll the contents up “cigar” fashion. As you roll, gently compress the filling to “tighten” the rolls and make them slightly firm. The rolls will easily seal themselves at the end. Place each roll side by side on a serving plate until you have 12 rolls. Serve immediately or, if desired, cover the rolls with a damp paper towel and then with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Cut in half diagonally and serve with equal amounts of sauce for drizzling into the cut ends as they are eaten.

Serves 6 people, 2 rolls each as a meal or 12 people, 1 roll each as an appetizer.
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