Day Five: Pork Spring Rolls

25 Oct

After the heavy truffle dinner and lots of celebrating for the Giants win this weekend, something light sounded real good to me. Of course, it was going to involve pork shoulder – who says pork shoulder can’t be associated with something light?! I opted for spring rolls, filled with fresh ingredients to counterbalance the pork, which I had planned to crockpot for this dinner and another for tomorrow.

There’s no recipe with today’s post. Spring rolls are so easy, which is why I love them. Yes, rolling them can be sort of challenging the first time, but once you get the hang of it, it is simple. All you do is soften the rice paper wrappers (I do this one by one) in hot water for a few minutes and then transfer them to a board, fill them, and roll them up like a burrito.

My rolls were a sort of mix between Vietnamese and Thai, with clean and simple flavors. I filled the wrappers with the shredded pork, fresh basil, fresh mint, cilantro, green onions, carrots and shredded green cabbage. I whipped up a dipping sauce made from peanut butter, soy sauce (wheat free), chili garlic sauce, a dash of rice wine vinegar, a little fish sauce, fresh lime juice, minced fresh ginger and some sugar. I don’t know the quantities since I usually just figure my sauces out as I go.

One of my favorite things about spring rolls is that they are not a laborious or complicated thing to prepare. The slow cooked pork in a crockpot makes it so easy because you can do all your prep well ahead of time while that is cooking. Then when you are actually ready to eat, all you have to do is assemble them. The do ahead prep plus the relatively minimal cooking associated with them makes for very easy clean up.

They are also versatile – good for dinner with a big salad, good for a light first course, and really good as a party appetizer. The latter situation is emphasized by the fact that they can be made well in advance (I’d say about 6 to 8 hours) – just put them on a tray or baking sheet, cover them with some damp paper towels so they don’t dry out, and keep them in the refrigerator.

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