My niece, Natalie, and her friend, Justine, came over yesterday to cook. We made (Bill, me, and the girls – Alex and Julia were too busy playing outside to cook with us) an assortment of Chinese dishes: Cold Sesame Noodles, Homestyle Bean Curd, General Tang’s Chicken, and Egg Rolls.
The egg rolls were my favorite. I ate five. Yes, five. There, I admit it freely. Five. But they were really yummy and I was helplessly in their thrall… or just really hungry and weak of will.
Anyway, I didn’t take any pictures. I know, I’ve become the Queen of Slackerhood around here. But my camera needs repairing and until that gets taken care of, I’ve been kind of avoiding picture-taking.
But I can still tell you about the egg rolls.
We used second-harvest kale from the garden, first of all. We tend to leave our kale out in the garden through the winter, even after we’ve picked the last of the leaves. Why? Well, the first time it was because we were lazy, I think. But now, it’s because come springtime, we get a second harvest. The leaves are smaller, and they look kind of like the original stalk wants to shoot out baby kale stalks. But they’re kale, and edible, and good. So the other day Bill picked all the leaves and he and the kids (plus a friend and his two kids) used the long, curved, denuded kale stalk for a rousing game of Kaleball. Yes, the kale is the bat. It’s lots of fun. Alex hit a couple of balls over the house. I think they use whiffle balls, though. Or tennis balls. Regulation baseballs would do a number on the kale bat.
Anyway, the egg rolls began with a chiffonade of this kale. Well, that was the first part we prepped. I minced garlic and ginger, sauteed them in some oil with a little Sriracha and a drizzle of sesame oil. I let those cool, then mixed them with the kale, some scallion trimmings from the garden, and shredded sweet potato. Yes – raw shredded sweet potato. Looked like carrot. It added some crunch. Oh, and I also used up the last of our dehydrated wood ear mushrooms, which were julienned in the bag and then rehydrated before I added them to the mixture after it had cooled.
So that was the eggroll filling. And, as I said earlier, it was really good. I’ll make them again.
We had two egg roll wrappers left after all the filling was used up, so I wrapped slices of ham around two asparagus stalks from the garden, then wrapped them in the egg roll wrappers, and fried them up, too. Very tasty.
My sister came up for the meal, too, and it was such a nice evening, just hanging out and cooking and eating…
Oh, and dessert! I melted some brown sugar and butter together, brushed them onto slices of pineapple and grilled them, then I sliced them into smaller pieces, added them (still warm) to vanilla ice cream, and topped with crispy chocolate-covered Chinese noodles. Okay, the Chinese noodles are probably totally American, but they were crispy and worked really well with the other components. All the dessert plates were cleaned. Well, except Julia’s – she didn’t like the pineapple. But still – 6 out of 7 dessert bowls is still good.
That’s about all I’ve got time to write at the moment.