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Asian style SPRING rolls into WAKEFIELD Quebec


The versatile spring roll depends on its reliable rice paper wrapper to maintain a perfect bite.
Any smooth dipping sauce is welcomed, however, creamy peanut butter sauce is devoured.



During a past Spring getaway...
Mom and I went to a place that had once caught my attention while leafing a magazine.

For the longest time, Wakefield had been on my bucket list of places to visit in Quebec.

    On the western shore of the Gatineau River, this small gem of a village is...
located within the municipality of La PĂȘche in the Outaouais region of Quebec.

A truly postcard setting along the calm river awaits visitors to join in with their friendly locals.


One of the main reasons we headed out there was to be charmed by...
its captivating historical Wakefield Mill Inn and Spa.      



Located right above a jaw dropping scenic splendour...
the 'Chutes MacLaren' offer eye candy for the nature lover in you.  












Utilized as a flour mill in 1838, the rushing waters of the MacLaren Falls powered it full force.

Today's railway that has now been converted to the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield steam train...
was then utilized to transport the mill's grains and other products to Ottawa by train.


Later, the site was expanded to include a sawmill, woolen mill, and a general store.

Devastatingly, in 1910, the mill was ravaged by a horrible fire, later to be re-built.

Much later, the Gatineau Historical Society turned into a heritage museum in 1980.

In 2000, an extensive conversion was to take place and the Inn and Spa was born.
They painstakingly succeeded at maintaining the historic integrity as well as...
the magnificence of the original building and its surroundings.


Peaceful serenity warmed our souls and got us ready to head back and confront our daily routines.

Since I shared this place with Mom, I'll share with you one of her favourite non-Italian dishes...
Asian style spring rolls served with cooked creamy peanut butter sauce.



Although, I have not perfected the technique of rolling these delicious roll varieties...
it never stops me from making them when ever I have a chance.
Just give them a try, have fun and above all enjoy every bite.

Asian style Spring rolls
...with creamy Peanut Butter dipping sauce

makes 6 rolls
(serves 3 entrées or 2 meals)




INGREDIENTS:
(American measures)
Note: only a weight measuring cup was used in this recipe

. 1/2 (6oz./ 170g) pkg. Mung bean thread vermicelli or Rice noodle vermicelli
Preparation: Simply pour boiling water over the dried noodles and cover them for 10 minutes until pliable.  Once done, rinse and strain them very well.  Set aside.
...
. 6 x (8 inch) round Rice papers

Pick any 4 to 5 ingredients to go into a roll:
. Fresh herb leaves of choice: Basil, Coriander, Mint or flat Parsley
. Cooked protein of choice: chicken, crab, lobster, salmon, shrimp, tofu
. Vegetables of choice: small, delicate lettuce, sliced avocado.  Julienned cucumber or bell peppers.  Carrot juliennes, peels or shreds.
. Pickled vegetables: bamboo shoots, carrots, ginger
. Fruit: mango, peach, strawberry, orange.



PREPARATION:
1. Prepare the noodles and your choice of dipping sauce.  Set aside.
2. Set up a station to assemble the rolls: all other prepared ingredients,  a clean, damp cloth stretched out onto the counter as well as a large bowl of warm, kettle boiled water.


3. Soak one rice paper at the time, just until pliable, but not too soft (not more then 10 seconds).  Carefully place it flat onto the damp cloth.
4. Leave a small space on the side bands along with the band nearest you.  On the lower third and right after the initial band, place and make a small row of the herb leaves and/or lettuce topped by a small amount of protein, then the noodles, vegetable and/or fruit.  Tip: try finishing with a vivid color ingredient to top it.  This pile should not be over-done, otherwise, it will fall apart.
5. Flap over the band nearest to you and snuggle the ingredients together as you roll once.  Hold while flapping over the side bands. Continue to tightly roll to the end.  Place sealed side down.  Set on a serving platter.  REPEAT.
. Either serve the rolls whole or diagonally slice them in two units.  Serve with accompanying sauce of choice.


Peanut Butter Dipping sauce
(cooking required right before preparing the Spring rolls)
Note: only a weight measuring cup was used in this recipe

yields about 1 cup

INGREDIENTS:
. 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar), lightly packed
. 1/4 cup smooth Peanut butter
. 1/2 cup water
. 1 Tbsp. Rice vinegar
. 1 Tbsp. fresh Ginger, finely grated
. 2 Tbsps. low-sodium Soy sauce
. 1/8 tsp. sea salt
slurry:
. 1/2 tsp. arrowroot (or cornstarch)
. 3 Tbsps. water


PREPARATION: 
1. In a small pot, whisk together ALL the ingredients and bring it to a boil on MEDIUM-HIGH heat.  Whisk once and a while.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot and water to make the slurry.
2. Once the mix has come to a boil, immediately add the 'slurry' and lower the heat to LOW-MEDIUM for no more than 1 minute.  Close the heat and remove the pot to have it come to room temperature.  Whisk once and a while before pouring the sauce into the serving containers.

***

other delicious Dipping SAUCE choices

No-cook Sweet and Sour dipping sauce
(also great with lettuce wraps)
Note: only a weight measuring cup was used in this recipe
yields a little more than 1/2 cup

. 1 Tbsp. coconut sugar (or brown sugar), lightly packed
. 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
. 1/8 tsp. sea salt
. 1/4 cup low-sodium Soy sauce
. 1/4 cup Rice vinegar

PREPARATION: 
In a small-medium bowl, whisk ALL the ingredients and set aside until ready to serve.  
This sauce can also be made ahead and refrigerated.

***
No-cook Peanut Butter Dipping sauce
(also great with lettuce wraps)
Note: only a weight measuring cup was used in this recipe
yields about 1/2 cup

. 1/4 cup smooth Peanut butter
. 1/8 cup boiled water (use only when warm)
. 1-1/2 tsps. low-sodium Soy sauce
. 1-1/2 tsps. Rice vinegar
. 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
. an inch piece fresh ginger, grated
. 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
. pinch of sea salt
. pinch of Cayenne pepper

PREPARATION: 
In a small-medium bowl, whisk ALL the ingredients and set aside until ready to serve.  
This sauce can also be made ahead and refrigerated.

***
No-cook Orange Peanut Butter sauce
(also great with lettuce wraps)
Note: only a weight measuring cup was used in this recipe
yields about 1/2 cup

. 1/4 cup smooth Peanut butter
. 2 Tbsps. frozen Orange concentrate, thawed
. 1/8 cup boiled water (use only when warm)
. 1 tsp. Maple syrup
. 1 tsp. low-sodium Soy sauce
. 1 tsp. Rice vinegar
. pinch of sea salt

PREPARATION: 
In a small-medium bowl, whisk ALL the ingredients and set aside until ready to serve.  
This sauce can also be made ahead and refrigerated.







Hopefully, the enthusiasm about sharing my version of Asian style spring rolls will capture your curiousity.  Let your creativity spring into action and get those rolls dip to your tummy's contentment.

Wakefield captures a wonderful setting which gives access to a variety of activities.
Shop for unique items to satisfy the sweet tooth to the art lover in you.
Watch the steam train being turned around right in front of restaurants and cafes.
Walk their trails and don't miss out on its eye-catching red colored, covered bridge.

Flavourful wishes,
Foodessa

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.





Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.