26th January 2008

    Vietnamese Summer Rolls

    Jeremy and Autumn came over for dinner one night this week — Lisa made these fresh rolls, which filled us up much more than the tiny seafood salad I made. The peanut sauce was also really, really good.

    Chris says:

    Yay, I love these; we haven’t made them in a while…

    Lisa says:

    I’m glad I made as many as I did. That dinner you made was barely enough for one, let alone four!

    Autumn says:

    How’d you get the tofu to not get all mushy?

    Lisa says:

    Apparently the trick is to roll it in a bit of flour first. It works really well!

    Jeremy says:

    These are tasty, thanks!

    Chris says:

    Um, did the four of us just eat 17 of these things?

    Vietnamese Summer Rolls
    12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
    3 ounces rice noodles/sticks
    4 Ounces firm tofu
    1/4 cup flour
    1 tbsp oil
    16 round rice paper sheets
    1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
    1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and julienned
    1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
    1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, preferably Thai
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Add shrimp; cook until pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Slice cooked shrimp in half lengthwise. Set aside. In a medium bowl, cover rice noodles with hot water by 2 inches; let soak for 15 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Set aside. Cut tofu into sticks, roll in flour and lightly fry in oil. Place on paper towel to drain.
    Fill a shallow dish with warm water. Working with 1 rice-paper wrapper at a time, soak in water for 30 seconds; immediately lay flat on a work surface. Place 3 reserved shrimp halves, cut sides up, on bottom third, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Place 1 piece of tofu over shrimp. Top with 1/4 cup assortment of rice noodles, carrots, cucumbers, mint, basil, and cilantro. Fold bottom of wrapper over fillings; roll over once, tuck in sides, and finish rolling.
    Place finished roll on a plate; cover with a damp paper towel. Repeat process with remaining ingredients. Serve with peanut dipping sauce.

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    posted in Appetizers, Asian | 2 Comments

    22nd November 2007

    Borani (Spinach and Yogurt Dip)

    The first dish of the day for our Thanksgiving feast was Borani, a Persian spinach and yogurt dip. This recipe comes from The Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home cookbook.

    Lisa says:

    This is delicious! And even better after it’s been chilled.

    Chris says:

    Yeah I really like this — next time we have people over I’ll have to make it again, but double the recipe. Hey, I’m thirsty.

    Lisa says:

    Good thing I made Sangria!

    1 bunch fresh spinach, well rinsed, stemmed, and chopped
    1 cup chopped onions
    3 scallions, chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 tbsp minced fresh dill
    1/3 cup feta cheese
    2 tbsp light plain yogurt
    salt and ground pepper to taste

    After rinsing the spinach, cook for a few minutes over medium heat in a covered sauce pan until wilted but still bright green. Drain the spinach and press in a colander or sieve to squeeze out the excess moisture.
    Saute the onions, scallions, and garlic in the olive oil. When the onions are soft and translucent, stir in the spinach and dill and heat for about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to press out any extra liquid and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the feta and yogurt and add salt and pepper to taste. Chill for at least an hour.
    Serve with bread or pita.

    Makes approx. 2 cups

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    posted in Appetizers, Moosewood Cooks at Home | 9 Comments

    12th July 2007

    Plantain Spiders

    Our friend Carrie came over for dinner tonight and we planned a nice, outdoors-because-it’s-too-hot-inside three-course feast! All the recipes come from Healthy Latin Cuisine, and tonight was the first time making them — they were all a hit!

    For our appetizer, Lisa made these Plaintain “Spiders”:

    Extremely easy to make, and really flavorful — shredded plantains, garlic, and ginger! We served it with some extra chimichurri sauce.

    Plantain Spiders
    2 large green plantains, peeled
    6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced and cut into thin slivers
    1 piece (1″) fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced and cut into thin slivers
    salt and ground pepper
    1 tbsp olive oil or nonstick spray

    Preheat the oven to 400F. Coat a nonstick baking sheet iwth nonstick spray.
    Grate each plantain on the coarse side of hand grater. Transfer to a bowl, add the garlic and ginger. Season with salt and pepper, toss to mix.
    Using your fingers, shape the mixture into 1″ balls. Flatten slightly (don’t pack tightly). Arrange the flattened balls on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the balls with olive oil or coat generously with nonstick spray.
    Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a platter and season with more salt and peppers, if desired.

    Serves 4 (24 pieces)

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    posted in Appetizers, Healthy Latin Cooking | 0 Comments

    7th June 2007


    Hooray, everyone loves hummous! Here’s the way Lisa’s family makes it. Goes great with pita bread, baked pita chips, or… anything, really.

    3 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
    1/2 cup tahini (we use 1/3)
    3/4 cup lemon juice
    6-7 cloves of garlic, crushed
    1 1/2 tsp salt

    Drain two of the cans of chickpeas, leave the third can 1/2 undrained. Set aside 6 or 7 chickpeas. In a food processor, add the cans of chickpeas, including the liquid from the third can. Puree. Add the tahini, and continue to blend. Finally, add the lemon, garlic, and salt, and puree until desired consistency. Top with reserved chickpeas.

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    posted in Appetizers | 0 Comments

    20th May 2007

    Tostones with Guacamole and Bean Dip

    As an appetizer for the International Potluck, we made these bake-fried plantains. It was super-simple, just slice the plantains length-wise, place on a baking sheet with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt, and bake in a 350 degree oven until brown and crispy. We also made some guacamole (with tomatillos) and attempted to invent a black-bean dip. The guac worked out well, but the bean dip consistency just wasn’t what we were looking for. The plantain and guacamole recipes can be found in Healthy Latin Cooking.

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    posted in Appetizers, Healthy Latin Cooking | 0 Comments

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