Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cuisine de Misère, Part Deux

Still a day away from payday (may it cometh and that right soon!), so what innovation graced the dinner table tonight? Oddly enough, it was another filled delicacy--a chicken and cellophane noodle spring roll creation. Why, you ask? Because I found half a package of dried Vietnamese spring roll wrappers in the pantry, half a package of thin cellophane noodles, and we were down to the last two chicken breasts in the freezer. So the chicken breasts were thawed and marinated in some teriyaki sauce (Yoshida brand lingering in the fridge...stop hatin'!) for a couple of hours. The noodles were soaked in water for five minutes, and then boiled for just two or three more, then drained and set aside. Half of an onion was finely chopped and sautéed for a few minutes before the chicken, having been cut into very small pieces, was added to the sauté pan along with the remaining marinade and a couple of cloves of minced garlic. I cooked the chicken until just a little pink remained, and then added a chopped red pepper (roasted, from another jar in the fridge), chopped mushrooms (one small can--I know, let it go), a tablespoon of hoisin sauce, a teaspoon of garlic chili paste, a tablespoon of soy sauce, a teaspoon or so of ginger, and quite a few grinds of pepper. I let this cook until the chicken was done. Then I poured off some of the resulting liquid into about a tablespoon of cornstarch and stirred until a slurry formed. I returned this to the pan, and cooked the mixture just until it thickened. I retrieved the cellophane noodles, cut them roughly into two-inch lengths, and tossed them with the chicken mixture. I added a generous tablespoon of parsley and set the filling aside. Next, I soaked each rice paper wrapper in very warm water for a minute or two until sufficiently softened, and then placed a good tablespoon of the chicken filling low down on one side (ok, circles don't have "sides," but the part closest to you), then I folded over the the left and right halves of the circle, and rolled it up away from me, burrito-style. I set each completed roll on a large plate, making sure that they didn't touch each other and accidentally get stuck together. I could have steamed or fried them at this point, but they were quite delicious just as they were (though my roommate called them tasty but "weirdly fleshy"--bah, maybe SHE is!). I wish that I had had something crunchy to add to the filling like water chestnuts or cashews or something, but if wishes were horses, then beggars like myself would ride, wouldn't we? Still and all, I was quite pleased with my Vietnamese-Style Spring Rolls out of odds and ends from the pantry and fridge! Celebrate me!

No comments: