My Signature Dish
The NBC cooking competition has finally started filming. I must admit I was really nervous going into it. Once it was underway, I was able to relax and everything just flowed.
The first challenge was “Your Signature Dish.” I decided to go with my famous summer rolls and my simple broiled salmon recipe. Summer rolls are a great unique treat. They can be eaten by hand and dipped into a wide range of sauces. Even better, they are easily gluten free and really healthy too. Let’s hope it’s a winner 🙂
4 (4oz) Salmon Cuts
4 TBS Hoisin Sauce (Gluten free) (Asian BBQ Sauce)
2 Tsp Ginger Powder
2 Tsp Garlic Powder
2 TBS EVOO (Olive Oil)
Place fish on an oiled baking tray. Sprinkle all pieces of salmon with equal parts ginger, garlic, salt and pepper. Next, coat each with a thin layer of olive oil. Then, top each piece with a TBS of hoisin and spread it around. Finally, put the tray in the broiler for about 4 minutes. WATCH THE FISH and DON’T LET IT BURN.
This dish also works well with a simple watercress salad. Simply trim the watercress and dress it with vinaigrette of lime, salt, pepper and a touch of EVOO.
Ten (4 inch) Rice Papers
2 Cups cooked Rice Noodles
1 Bulb Fennel with top
1 Piece Celery
1 TBS Rice wine vinegar
1 TBS Brown Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 C Fresh Basil
1 C Fresh Cilantro
1 C Mint Fresh Leaves
The first step is to prepare the filling. Grate the carrot, celery and fennel bulb into a bowl (I know this is a pain but the effort will pay off). Chop ¼ of the fennel top and add it to the bowl along with the salt, sugar, vinegar and lime. Stir the mixture well and then put it to the side. Next, wash, dry and chop the mint, cilantro and basil and place into a bowl.
Now to assembling. The first thing to do is make sure you have a clean, dry non-stick work space (a clean plate or board is great for this). Spring rolls involve no cooking but the rice paper needs to be re-hydrated in order to roll. It’s important to do one at a time and be patient; it may take a few minutes before you get the hang of it. To re-hydrate the paper, fill a medium bowl or a high sided pot with very warm water. Submerge each paper in the water for about 5 second. Remove paper and lightly dry off access water and lay it on a flat surface. Begin to layer the fillings on one end of the roll starting with a 1/8 cup of rice noodles, then 2 TBS of the fresh herbs and then 3-4 TBS of the fennel and carrot mixture. (Hint: Filling the rolls well and not allowing the paper to become too wet will help the final product hold shape). Roll the filling into the paper just like you would roll a lunch wrap or as many would say a cigarette. Fold in the sides and keep the roll snug as you roll. Place the finished rolls on a plate and allow 10 mins for them to dry and become more firm.
Use your imagination on the filling. Summer rolls can be made to fit any dish. Adding a protein like shrimp, chicken or tofu can really make this dish a great summer meal all on its own.
2 TBS Peanut Butter
Juice or ½ a Lime
1 TBS Brown sugar
1 TBS Sriracha (Asian Hot Pepper Sauce)
1 TBS Hoisin Sauce (Gluten Free) (Asian BBQ Sauce)
1 TBS Soy Sauce (Gluten Free)
1 TBS warm water
Put all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Adjust ingredients depending on how spicy you like.