Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Summer Rolls!

I was lucky recently to be joined in the kitchen by Su Lin Lewis, a Latitudinal Cuisine pro with some serious knowledge of all things south east Asian under her belt. On the day we were blessed with beautiful sunshine adding an extra layer of pleasure and authenticity to our summer rolls - here's the menu.
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Prawn Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce & Crispy 'Seaweed'
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Singapore Yu Sheng / Raw Fish Salad
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Thai Red Prawn Curry with Red Rice
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Coconut Panacotta with Lime & Lemongrass Syrup
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Homemade Lime-ade
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£11 a head
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I urge EVERYONE to have a go at making their own summer rolls for they are deceptively easy and even better than the ones you get on Kingsland Road. All you need is rice papers (from any oriental supermarket), cooked prawns, vermicelli noodles, and all or a selection of the following, nicely shredded; spring onion, carrot, cucumber, holy basil, coriander, mint, bean sprouts, iceberg lettuce. METHOD Soak a rice paper in luke warm water, brush off the excess then put a neat pile of your filling in the middle. Fold in the sides, then roll the whole thing up from bottom to top. See below for an approximation of Su Lin's fantastic, addictive dipping sauce - you'll have to wait until she writes her book for the real deal.
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Yu Sheng is a dish most commonly served to celebrate Chinese New Year in Singapore. The components - raw salmon, raddish, carrot, cucumber, various nuts, seeds, and herbs - are placed into a large bowl, but not mixed together. The bowl is presented to the table, and everyone must get their chop sticks in the bowl and mix while a tangy dressing is poured in, and chant Lo Hei which means good luck and prosperity. Fresh and zingy, this was perfect for the summery afternoon.
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Though I have eaten many, I had never before made a panna cotta, and they are so spectacularly simple that I'm tempted to make them for every dessert from this moment on, for ever and ever and ever. For the sauce I used Violet's Curds' Lemongrass and Lime curd as a base, which I simply lengthened with a bit more lime juice and a smidge of water.
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Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce, enough for 4-6
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Olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 red chilli
1/2 jar crunchy peanut butter
2-3 tbsp hoisin sauce
3tbsp tamarind water
4tbsp vegetable or chicken stock
Squeeze of lime
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Fry the garlic and chilli in some oil until it starts to soften, then add the remaining ingredients and let it all bubble for a few minutes. Taste, and add a little more of what you fancy.
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Coconut Panna Cotta - makes 4-6
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400ml double cream
250ml full fat coconut milk
Sugar, to taste
5 leaves of gelatine
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Soak the gelatine leaves in a couple of tablespoons of cold water.
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Heat the cream and milk until simmering point, then add sugar to taste - the finished pud will taste pretty much as it does now once set, though if ummming and ahhhing about whether it's sweet enough, add a touch more sugar as it's slightly less so once chilled. Add the gelatine mixture to the hot cream and mik, whisk vigorously, then pour into individual moulds - proper dariole moulds are best if you want to turn the panna cotta onto plates. Chill for at least 6 hours.
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To serve; dip the moulds into hot water for 3 seconds - no longer - and invert your pud onto a plate. Devour!

3 comments:

  1. I love Panna Cotta - so easy and delicious - now I want some !

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  2. They are the perfect dessert! I am a FAN.

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  3. It was all very nice, thank you and I owe you money

    ReplyDelete