Thursday, January 8, 2009

Barley Beef Spring Rolls with Cocoa Chili Vanilla Sauce


I am participating in Paper Chef after all. After Ilva left a comment in my blog - I decided to run out, buy the ingredients and after some thought - I came-up with this East/West concoction.

Ingredients:

20 Small Spring Roll Wrappers

1/4 Cup Barley Grits
400g Ground Beef
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Leek
1 Cucumber
1/4 Red, Green & Yellow Bell Peppers
A bunch of fresh mint leaves

1/2 Cup Pedro Ximenez 1927 Sherry
1/5 Vanilla Pod
Ground Dried Red Chili Pepper <---Use as much as you dare!
1 Tsp Pure Cocoa
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
A Pinch of Salt<---I use unrefined salt so it's more like 1 Tbsp, but you know what I mean.

Step 1: Prepare the barley grits according to the instructions but make sure they don't get too mushy. You want texture. I boiled mine in water with a bit of salt for 7 minutes. I used 1 part barley grits to 3 parts water.

Step 2: Chop up the garlic cloves finely and braise it in extra virgin olive oil. Then throw in the ground beef and braise it until all the liquid is gone. You don't want your spring rolls to be soggy.

Step 3: Mix the barley grits and ground beef in a bowl and leave it to cool down.

Step 4: Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a sauce pan and dissolve the cocoa powder in it. Then, pour in the sherry and 1/5 vanilla pod and let it simmer for 10-15 min. or until it's become a nice thick sauce. Salt to taste.

Step 5: Clean the leek and cut it into fine slivers resembling toothpicks. The finer you can cut them the better. They should be around 5.5 cm long or 2.15 inches but this is just an approximate so you don't have to get your ruler out and measure anything. Cut the cucumber and bell peppers in the same way. When you're done set these aside.

Step 6: Now you're ready to start preparing the spring roll wrappers. Pour hot water into a shallow dish and lower one wrapper at a time into it gently and let it soften. Remove it carefully without letting it tear onto a damp tea cloth and pat it dry.

Step 7: Put some of the ground beef & barley grit mixture on the wrapper, then put some leeks, cucumbers, bell peppers and top it with 1-3 leaves of mint leaves depending on the size of the leaves.

Step 8: Dip the spring rolls into the Cocoa Chili Vanilla Sauce and enjoy!

This turned out to be surprisingly delicious, because chili and vanilla marry well with cocoa and the fresh mint leaves provided the bridge between the sauce and spring roll.

5 comments:

Shiraste said...

It does look delicious and the vanilla, cacao, chili combination sounds very intriguing.
I'll have to try it out! :)

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Please give it a go. The sauce in surprisingly delicious. :)

T J said...

Oh man, this sounds amazing! It's my favorite, for sure. One question though: what would be a good sub for sherry in the sauce? (Don't keep much alcohol in the house, so don't have a stash to use in cooking and don't know the characteristics that need to be replicated!)

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Hi TJ :)

hmm maybe you could puree some raisins (because dark aged sweet sherry tastes like raisin juice) and then add a tiny bit of brandy to it?

People who love balsamic vinegar might try to use balsamic vinegar + sugar instead of my dark sherry (although the sauce would come out tasting pretty different :p) but who knows - it might taste even better!

T J said...

Thanks for the suggestion - I'll keep that in mind for this and any other time I need dark sweet sherry :^)