Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Summer Rolls into Town!

Today is definitely one of my favourite days of the year. And if you don't know what day it is, look outside and then check your clock.

Did you do a double take? I might have if I hadn't known it was the first day of summer and the longest day of the year today. 

The weather outside in Victoria BC is so perfect, it just makes everything even better. The sun is shining, it's warm and lovely, and there are tons of flowers blooming. 

And since I took my allergy pills this morning, I can honestly say I am happy about the flowers too!

So in honour of summer rolling into town, I decided to whip up a new fresh take on summer rolls. But before I show you the recipe I have to let you in on how this recipe came to be. 

I entered a few original recipes in the Real Women of Philadelphia and while I wasn't chosen as one of the top 16 finalists, I did really enjoy the competition. I met some lovely women and still enjoy going on the website to see what people are talking about and to join in on just-for-fun competitions. 

One of the women thought it might be fun to try a Chopped style competition and I love that show, so I jumped on board with both feet. 

If you are not familiar with Chopped, it's a television show on the Food Network and chefs receive baskets containing about five unknown ingredients and they have to cook meals with them. The first round is the appetizer round, then then last least impressive chef gets 'chopped'. The second round is the entree round, another basket of unknown ingredients is given out, and again the least impressive chef gets 'chopped'. Finally it's the dessert round and we go through it again to see who wins after the last round of unknown ingredient competition.

Well this was the appetizer round and the ingredients were chicken, mustard, spinach, quinoa, rhubarb, and of course Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Here's what I came up with.

Surf and Turf Summer Rolls with a Sweet Chili and Rhubarb Jam Sauce 

1/2 cup quinoa 
3/4 cup chicken broth 
1/2 cup frozen spinach, chopped 
1/4 cup Philadelphia Light Cream Cheese 
1 cup ground chicken
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon mustard 
1 teaspoon ground ginger 
1 pinch of salt and pepper
2 cups lettuce, chopped
1 chopped cooked shrimp
12 rice paper wrappers 
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons rhubarb jam 

1. First start by cooking your quinoa. Wash it before you cook it, like you would with rice, and then bring your chicken broth to a boil. Bring it down to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Turn off your heat and let sit on your stove for another 5 minutes. Fluff it with a fork and it's done. 

2. Combine ground chicken, hoisin sauce, mustard, ground ginger, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Form into small flat patties and fry until cooked through. Set aside. 

3. Cook spinach in your microwave and then add with your Philadelphia Light Cream Cheese to your quinoa. Mix to combine. 

4. Slice your shrimp and chicken patties down the middle so they are quite thin. 

5. Combine sweet chili sauce and rhubarb jam in a small bowl for dipping. 

6. Take a pie plate and fill it with warm water. Lay a rice paper wrapper in it and submerge. Only keep it submerged for about 30 seconds or until it's flexible. 

7. Now you're ready to make your Surf and Turf Summer Rolls. Lay your moist rice paper wrapper down and first put a layer of shrimp or chicken patties down. Lay the pretty side down so you will see this through the wrapper. Top with some crunchy lettuce on top and cover your lettuce with a little of your quinoa mixture. Bring the sides over top of the quinoa mixture and wrap it like a burrito. The extra layers of the wrapper around the quinoa will help hold it together and since there is only one layer around the shrimp or the chicken, your friends will see the meat clearly. 

8. Repeat until all your Surf and Turf Summer Rolls are finished and enjoy!

Don't feel guilty enjoying extra food today because since it's the longest day of the year, you'll be extra hungry. :)

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