Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 311- Festive Food

I'd tell you what I ate for x-mas last year, but I think RM & I just had wine...

The year before (I think...) we had a feast!

spring rolls, delecata squash, wine, maybe even cupcakes.

I'm pretty sure everyone here can figure out how to roast squash (right?), and the wine and cupcakes are easy, too.

The spring rolls? That's tough.

If you eat eggs, you can cheat, actually, and pick up a couple packages (or just one) of egg roll wrappers at the store. If not, you either need a really well stocked import store (with egg-less eggroll wrappers) or a pasta machine.

This is about a three step process. After any major step you can package everything up and stuff it in the fridge. Or you can freeze them between rolling and frying.

Step 1- Pasta

  • 1C flour
  • 2T corn starch or rice flour
  • 1/3-1/2 C water
  • salt
Mix the water in, starting with the smaller amount. This needs to be a pretty dry dough. If you can't get all the flour in, and the dough is too dry to go through the pasta machine, add a bit more water, a tsp at a time. If your dough will hold together, but not all the flour is in it, don't worry. Send it through the pasta machine, at the widest setting, a couple times. Flop in the left-over flour, fold in half, and roll again. repeat until the dough feels mixed. Then roll one position thinner on the machine with each new pass, down to about 5 or 6. You don't want them super thin. Cut into squares- about 6x6 inches, or however wide your machine rolled the dough.

If making ahead, store the wrappers stacked between sheets of lightly dusted (with cornstarch) wax paper. Ok for about 5 days.

Step 2- The Filling
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1 medium or large onion
  • 1 lg carrot
  • 1 lg zucchini
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, about 1inch cube.
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • vinegar
  • soy sauce
  • oil
  • salt
Cut the cabbage off the core and slice it into thin ribbons. Put it in a large bowl as it gets sliced. add salt and vinegar, about 2T, to the cabbage and mix well. Slice onion in thin strips from top to bottom, and toss with the cabbage. Peel carrot and grate it and the zucchini into the bowl with the cabbage and onion. Mix well.

In a large wok or huge frying pan, add about 1/4C oil, and heat to about med-hi. Whne oil is hot, add veggies, until wok is about half-full. Cook veggies down, adding more fresh veg until the bowl is empty. The veggies should cook down a lot. add diced garlic and a bit more vinegar, soy sauce, and salt to taste. Cabbage should look kind of waxy all the way through, as should onions. Can store at this point in fridge, in covered bowl, about a week.

Step 3- Wrapping

Put a wrapper down in front of you like it's a kite- pointy corner toward you and away from you, and one pointing at either side. About an inch in from the corner closest to you, put a heaping tablespoon of veggie filling. You may need to go a bit further in, even, but you want it on the near side of the middle. wet the far point. Flip the point closest to you over the stuffing, then roll it forward a bit, to about the middle. Then fold in the two side points, and roll the rest of the way, over the wet point. It sounds tougher than it is. Ah, Video!!

You can freeze them at this point, if you don't want to bother frying them, or you're making them ahead.

Step 4- Frying

I've always shallow fried, but you can deep fry if you have a deep fryer, or bake if you're feeling brave. To deep fry, just drop them in and pull them out a couple minutes later, when they're golden brown all over. If they're been frozen, test one to make sure they're not still cold inside...

To shallow fry, just put some oil in your pan, turn it to about medium, med-hi, and put 4 or 5 rolls in. Turn them when the bottom gets golden brown, and pull them from the pan when all sides are browned. Maybe 10 minutes each- less for a really hot pan.

You can try baking, too, but I haven't tried this one, so it's more of a guess. Preheat the oven to 400F, spray rolls with oil, space evenly on baking sheet, and bake for about 25 minutes, flipping once (if fresh), or 35-40 minutes, flipping once (if frozen). Again, baking times are just guesses, so keep an eye on them.

To reheat, just toss them in the oven at about 400 until warm. Magic!

Clear as mud?

Well, it's cheap, anyway. Dip finished rolls in soy sauce or sweet chili sauce. Try not to eat them all. I usually make about 18 rolls from a 3lb cabbage.