Dee was the recipient of the President’s Award from her employer which included an all expense paid trip to Florida. This was a very prestigious award and the company provided 4 days of the royal treatment. The best part… I was invited as Dee’s guest! Yes, I am one lucky sister!
We had the luxury to select two excursions as part of our experience in Miami. My top choice was to enroll in a culinary class at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, a beautiful and historic landmark in Southern Florida. The cooking class was a kick and exceeded my expectations. I love cooking and hoped to learn a new trick or two. Our fabulous teacher and chef was Jeannette Stefan-Ozga… here she is with my sister Dee!
There were about 15 of us present for the class and we were divided into 4 groups: Team Spring Roll, Team Crab Cake, Team Asparagus and Team Tuna. I really wanted to be on Team Spring Roll as I had never cooked anything using spring roll wrappers. Plus, I was intrigued by the recipe!
For those of you on a gluten free diet or low FODMAP diet, these rice spring roll wrappers are a wonderful way to enjoy an Asian style spring roll without wheat.
Team Crab Cake made an amazing crab cake, which was crispy on the outside and light, fluffy and flavor-infused on the inside. To create this great texture, the crab cake mixture was dipped in flour, egg and finally the breadcrumb mixture and then cooked up in a skillet with oil. [Unfortunately not FODMAP friendly 🙁 ]
Team Asparagus made a delightful phyllo dough asparagus dish with parmesan and prosciutto. Here the rolled asparagus awaits their trip to the oven.
My sister Dee and her teammates did a wonderful job plating their phyllo dough rolled asparagus…beautiful, right?
One of the little tricks we learned in class was how to curl up sliced scallions and turn them into little curly-Q’s.… cut scallions in small strips and drop into ice water. The small green threads curl right up. Adding the curly-Q’s onto your plate for decoration looks very cute!
NOW that I am back home with my family (Yay, I missed everyone!) and I now know how to use rice spring roll wrappers, I thought I would create a heartier spring roll. My daughter Chelsea was home thankfully so she gave me a hand with this project.
First we used this little gadget to julienne cut the veggies, this is simply called a julienne peeler. I learned how to properly use one of these gadgets at my cooking class!
I cut up some carrots, cucumber and summer squash. To infuse color into the spring roll, use primary the julienned skin of the summer squash and cucumber rather than the mushy white center. [I learned this trick at my cooking class too!]
Then I briefly marinated some chicken breast and cooked it up with some Asian seasonings and sesame seeds. Whipped up some rice stick noodles and then hydrated the spring roll skin in hot water which just takes a minute. Here Chelsea is about ready to roll the cooked chicken, noodles and veggies…
How deelish does this spring roll look?….YUM!
Here’s my recipe!
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced in 10 even strips
- 2 TB and 1 tsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1-2 tsp sesame seeds (I used a mix of black and white)
- 1 TB peanut oil
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and ends trimmed
- 1/2 English cucumber, end trimmed
- 1 medium yellow summer squash
- 3 TB fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 3 oz rice sticks (about 1/3 of 8 oz container) [I used kitchen scissors to cut out portion of noodles I needed and reserved the rest for another recipe.]
- 10 spring roll wrappers
- Marinate chicken by placing strips in small glass bowl and drizzle with 1 TB reduced sodium soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp ginger and sesame seeds. Set aside to marinate for about 15 minutes.
- Julienne carrots, cucumber and summer squash keeping each vegetable separate-slicing primarily outer skin, not mushy center using julienne peeler.
- Add peanut oil to medium skillet over medium heat. Lift chicken out of marinade with fork to allow marinade to fall back into bowl. Add chicken carefully to skillet. Cook until chicken is cooked through about 6-8 minutes. Set aside.
- Make dressing for carrots by mixing 2 TB cilantro, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp rice wine vinegar and 1/2 tsp sesame oil. Drizzle over julienned carrots in small bowl.
- In large saucepan, boil water in preparation for rice sticks. Cook according to package directions.
- Drizzle 2 tsp. sesame oil over noodles and set aside.
- Hydrate spring roll wrappers by adding individually to large bowl filled with very warm-hot water. Remove from water when fully pliable and place on plastic cutting board.
- Place chicken, noodles and veggies near edge of wrapper and roll up burrito-style.
- Create light dipping sauce with remaining 1 TB soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp rice wine vinegar and sprinkling of cilantro to taste.
- Cut spring rolls on diagonal and enjoy.
- (Recipe based on the Biltmore's Vietnamese Summer Roll recipe)