Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Peanut Sauce, and Lemon Berry Meringue Trifle
Here we are, another ten episodes with all of you, dear listeners. This time, we’re celebrating with cool as a cucumber summer rolls in a peanut sauce you’ll want to eat with a spoon. Dessert is a berry delight with layers of cake, lemon curd whipped cream, berries, and a meringue topping. We couldn’t be happier to have you along for the ride. Hope you can join us for ten more.
Pile shrimp, pork belly, rice noodles, herbs, and leafy greens into rice paper and have a taste of summer. We loved this dinner party because everyone can make their own special combo, sharing in the fun. Plus, everything is cool and refreshing. No need to heat up the kitchen with this meal.
- Clean the herbs and lettuce and make the shrimp and pork belly the day before. Then pile it on a platter for an instant party.
- Pork belly and shrimp are a starting point. We saw recipes for this that include tofu and chicken.
- Unfortunately, these are best the day they’re made. If you’d like to have them a second day, put the ingredients in the fridge and make them when you need them.
We agree with Vicky Pham that restaurant peanut sauces can be a little weak. Her version has plenty of peanut taste, with the richness of hoison sauce and sauteed garlic. A word of warning- don’t lick the spoon if you don’t want to just eat this on your own. Take it from one who knows.
- Halve the recipe for smaller crowds- this still makes 2 cups. But it will keep in the fridge for a while.
- Thin out any extra peanut sauce with a little vinegar and warm water for an amazing salad dressing or grain bowl dipper.
- If you do keep this in the fridge, take it out at least a half hour in advance so it can loosen up. Not enough time? A couple 10 second zaps in the microwave (don’t over do it!) will do the trick. Only microwave what you’ll need.
We admit it, this recipe may not be for the faint of heart. But we couldn’t turn down layers of pound cake, creamy lemon, and berries. The meringue crown sealed the deal. Make this for a party and see the crowd’s eyes light up. Better be a crowd, by the way. This is one large trifle.
- If you have other things to do besides make everything from scratch, you can always buy the poundcake and lemon curd. Skip the meringue if you don’t feel like it. (But it sure is special if you include it.)
- Homemade might be best tackled in stages. Make the pound cake and curd a couple days ahead. Cake can stay fresh if well wrapped on the counter and the lemon curd will be good for a few days in the refridgerator. You can also make the whole thing, aside from the meringue, the morning of the event. The meringue, however, is a last minute kind of thing.
- You don’t need a torch to brown the meringue. Just make sure you use an oven safe dish and don’t put it too close to your broiler. Set a timer if you think you’ll walk away. Burnt meringue is very sad.
- This will keep another day in the refridgerator but will be a little worse for wear after you dig in. Much longer and the berries and cream will weep. Not bad for you, but not the tastiest.
From the Smorgasbord:
We picked our favorites from the last ten episodes: