Thai Chicken Springrolls with Peanut Sauce,
Carolyn-Style(*)For this meal, you will need:
wrappers (go see the Asians, as they are not in the supermarket)
chicken (see "Leftovers: Sauteeing Method")
(or some approximation that you won't like as much)
fresh basil leaves
fresh peppermint leaves
fresh sprouts (or some other crunchy
vegetable you favor)
peanut sauce (my recipe, or packaged if you don't mind garlic/onions)
Peanut Sauce For One, Carolyn-StyleTo a small pot, add:
1 tablespoon powdered chicken boullion
2 tablespoons frozen grapefruit juice concentrate (lemon juice or wine also ok)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne or chili pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
3/4 cup water
sugar (optional, 1-2 tablespoons or to taste)
Simmer the mixture gently, stirring occasionally, until thickened (maybe 5 minutes). If the mixture seems too thick to spread or stir, add more water. Taste occasionally (don't lick the tasting implement if serving guests--that's rude). Turn off the heat.
Have a dinner plate as big as your wrapper ready.
Get out one spring roll wrapper and wet both sides of it under running water and do not drain excess water. Allow it to drip onto the dinner plate, and lay it out. If the wrapper doesn't immediately adhere to the plate, add a few more drops of water and press the wrapper to the plate.
Add, in a line near the edge, chicken, leaves, and crunchy vegetables. Your filling line should form an untidy cylindrical solid about 1 inch to 1.5 inches in diameter.
Gently lift the edge of the wrapper and begin rolling immediately--your wrapper should have become pliable in the 30 seconds while you were filling your roll, and it will stick to itself. No need to stretch it or try to make it very neat. If it is so stuck to the plate that you can't lift the edge, you took too long; consider it a learning experience and start over with a new plate.
Once you have rolled up your wrapper like a lumpy little carpet, you're ready to eat. Add spoonfuls of peanut sauce to the end you are about to bite off.
Repeat this process until you are full and happy.
If you have any peanut sauce left, you can store it for 5 to 7 days in the fridge. If you need to store it longer, put it in the freezer because otherwise it will get moldy.
(*) Note: 'Carolyn-Style' in these recipes means that there is some essential modification that I have made to what is probably a fairly common dish. Sometimes I found the recipe in a book and modified it. Sometimes I made it up myself after eating in a restaurant (this recipe is one of the latter). I'm not claiming responsibility for the dish. I'm merely being open about the fact that I have added something or taken away something, or both. With rare exception, I take away garlic and onions wherever they appear. I usually take away complexity and stupid amounts of preparation time and dirty dishes; and always, I add flavor that wasn't there in the original recipe. I am desperately trying to get across to you that you are basically living an Orwellian 1984 existence with respect to food, most probably because someone told you once that cooking is too hard (for you, or for them and hence by implication for you), and that restaurants somehow deserve to charge you money for the crap they are serving you. Lies, all lies. Listen to me. Eat well! Cook your own food once in a while, I beg you!