Monday, August 18, 2008

A new beginning

Once in while life throws us a curve ball and we get a chance to reinvent ourselves, but too often when this happens we’re afraid because usually we’re put in this situation not of our own choosing. So we’re afraid, afraid of the unknown. I’m afraid, but I will ride the fear and know that I will arrive safely on the other side. Be in the moment I remind myself. At this moment my mind wonders about all the possibilities. One thought that won’t go away is---Should I do the farmers' market? I’m not eager to do the market again, I’ve been there, I’ve done that. I’ll have to come up with a different product so I wouldn’t feel like I was going back to something old and stale. It’ll have to feel new, fun and exciting. Not much to ask, but maybe if you don’t ask you don’t get.
People love the spring rolls and I can sell them as fast as I can make them but I’m so tired of making them, it’s like Billy Joel having to sing Uptown Girl over and over again. So I need a new angle on the food. I want my new food to be mostly local ingredients and organic.
Here’s the spring roll recipe for you to try and see what the fuss is all about.

Spring rolls with Chicken sate at Bellows Falls Farmers' Market

Everybody’s Favorite Spring Rolls
Filling:
1 lb ground pork
¼ lbs onions, chopped
¾ lbs carrots, grated
¼ lbs. bean sprouts
1-8 oz can water chestnut chopped
2 TBS oyster sauce
2 TBS dried cloud ears, soaked in water until soft and chopped
50 grams cellophane noodles, soaked and cut into short lengths
2 eggs
1 lb package rice paper
Peanut oil or canola oil for frying
Mix all ingredients together except rice paper and oil. Immerse a sheet of rice paper in warm water and immediately put on damp kitchen towel, repeat until you have five sheets of rice paper between damp towels stacked one on top of the other. Flip over so the first sheet of rice paper is on top. At this point the rice paper should be perfectly hydrated and pliable.
Center about 2 TBS filling mixture on the bottom 2/3 of the paper, leaving 2” border. Fold in the right then the left edges over the filling, roll to top edge, wet rice paper will stick to itself forming a tight seal. Transfer seam side down onto a platter.
When all the filling have been rolled, deep fry in hot oil until golden brown. Serve with spicy fish sauce. .Makes 30 to 35 spring rolls.
This recipe doubles easily and cooked spring rolls can be frozen. Reheat directly from the freezer, in 450 degrees oven until deep brown and crunchy.
Spicy fish sauce with peanuts
½ hot water
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup fish sauce
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
2 TBS dry roasted peanuts , ground
Hot chiles to taste, thinly sliced
Mix all ingredients, except peanuts and chiles, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Garnish with peanuts and chiles before serving. Makes 1 ¼ cup.
This sauce can be doubled or tripled and refrigerated will keep almost indefinitely. I always have it around. It’s good on a lot of Asian salads and for dipping dumplings and such. More on this handy sauce in future posts.
Let me know what you think of these spring rolls and would love to hear about your experiences making them.

5 comments:

Ric said...

I've had these at the BF Farmer's Market and they are the best!!! Tingfood rocks!

Emily Porschitz said...

I love this blog already! If you need taste testers for new recipes, you know who to cook for on Tuesdays :)

buddhagirl said...

HI TIIINNNNNGGGGGG! love your blog! especially this post. i can imagine you riding your fear on the back of a hummingbird (in my whimsical illustration style) until you are on the other side with loads of fun new things to sell at the farmers market. i bet if you do something that is easier than spring rolls - the fun will surely follow. people will love whatever you cook - and they will love talking to you - it's the whole experience and you could sell your baskets too! just a thought... i am sending this to will, he's gonna love it too:) even if you don't do the market, you are so on the right path with just allowing things to happen - and being in the moment, thanks for the reminder! peace...jennifer

Flat Eric said...

Ting,
I love your blog and am happy that you put recipes in with the stories! I will have to try to be Ting Jr. when football season ends and attempt to make one of the recipes. Keep up the good work - I've bookmarked you and will be checking back!
Love,
Adrienne

Ting said...

Thanks Adrienne. Good to hear from you, I'll keep writing.