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Nothing like doing it yourself

It is not really difficult to run to the supermarket and grab a boxed variety of our favourite dishes. From freezers full of appetizers to crème caramel in the dairy isle, everything our hearts desire can be purchased.  The problem with these conveniences is the loss of the art of cooking and the loss of control in exactly what we are eating.

The beauty of cooking can come in its simplicity. Using a few local ingredients, applying a technique correctly (in this case the correct temperature of the oil when deep frying), we are left with the pride and satisfaction of preparing a very tasty meal.

This week’s recipe is pork spring rolls with a lime dipping sauce. They were the first course of Jody’s June menu at Entertaining Elements “dinner with a chef” in St Jacobs. These tasty little morsels can be made ahead of time, frozen and reheated in the oven, giving you the convenience of your boxed variety. But let’s be honest, nothing tastes better and is more rewarding than freshly made!

Pork spring rolls

  • 2 lb ground pork
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 puck palm sugar
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 package spring roll wrappers (available at Chinese market)

Lime dipping sauce

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp white sugar

Combine lime juice, fish sauce and white sugar. Set aside;

Combine pork, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, onion and ginger;

To roll spring rolls start in one corner (turn the square so that a corner is pointing towards you). Place a small amount of filling in one corner, roll once to cover the filling, fold in both sides to cover the filling and continue to roll. Seal the end by brushing the corners with water. Using two wrappers per spring roll will yield a much crispier spring roll;

Heat some canola oil to 350F and fry spring rolls until golden brown and cooked through. Fry the spring rolls in smaller batches to avoid the temperature of the oil dropping too much and the spring rolls absorbing too much oil. When frying in batches you can hold them in a 350F oven on a baking rack;

Serve with dipping sauce.

Chefs Kirstie Herbstreit and Jody O’Malley are both Red Seal certified chefs. Together they run the company YouCanCook2, specializing in interactive dinner parties. You can also find them cooking at Entertaining Elements in St. Jacobs, where they hold private dinners for eight people. To contact the chefs, visit their website www.youcancook2.com.

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