Saturday, Harvest Ridge Winery hosted another Wine Pick Up Party for club members. We don’t always make it down to Marydel for every pick up party, but when we can make it we always have a great time.
This month’s wine pack included:
Blue Line White, a crisp, semi-dry, refreshing white wine
Blue Line Blue, a delicious blueberry wine best served chilled
and Merlot, a slightly fruity, dry red wine with an oaky finish
I decided to pack a picnic lunch of chilled fresh summer rolls to take with us, which seemed the perfect compliment to the humid, mucky day. When we arrived at the winery an hour and half late, the place was packed with limited parking spaces and few tables left available. As we stepped through the front doors, the tasting room was electrified with laughter and buzzing with cheerful conversations. We made our way through the tasting room to the member pick up line, with the subtle aroma of sweet wine and the swirling smoke of a charcoal grill inviting us to settle in and stay for a while. Behind the buzzing of the room you could hear the relaxing and oh so familiar tunes of a one man acoustic guitar show. Wine box in hand, we made our way outside to the last table available on the patio, and as we sipped our complimentary glasses of wine we found ourselves most grateful for the spectacularly lush view of the vineyards. The light breeze and ceiling fans felt like little wisps of heaven, and the chilled shrimp summer rolls and free tasting of Harvest Ridge’s new ice creams kept the humidity at bay and our spirits light and carefree. We even managed to enjoy an hour or so visit with a local couple after their chairs were accidentally confiscated by newcomers, while they went to pick up their hot dogs. We offered our two empty seats to them and discussed everything from the life of an American trucker to a mysterious X-file type case of “how did the tip of the cat’s tail fall off?” It was a lovely afternoon of excellent wine and fun conversations. The charcoal smelled fantastic, but I must say that my shrimp summer rolls, and the wife’s amazing peanut sauce, were a fantastic bonus to a beautifully humid day! So next time you find yourself out on a hot summer afternoon for lunch or attending a humid backyard party, give this recipe a try and I hope it is as refreshing for you as it was for us.
Summer Rolls with Lemongrass Ginger Shrimp
1 lb Wild Caught Shrimp, shelled and deveined with tails removed
1 cup Buttermilk
1/4 cup low-sodium Soy Sauce
1/4 tsp Chili Flake paste, optional
2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1 stalk Lemongrass, trimmed, outer stalk removed, minced
1/2″ piece Fresh Ginger, minced
2 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil, divided
1/2 fresh Lime
7 sm Romaine lettuce leaves, cores removed and torn and half
2 cups rice Vermicelli
1/4 Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup shredded Carrot
1 cup Fresh Holy Basil leaves, loosely packed
1 cup Mint, loosely packed
1/4 cup Toasted Onion, optional
7 to 8 Rice Papers
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Shallow Saute Pan, wide enough to fit the rice papers and filled with 1″ warm water
For the Shrimp – in a med mixing bowl whisk together the buttermilk, soy sauce, Hoisin, chili flake paste, lemongrass, and ginger until well combined. Add the mixture to a gallon ziplock bag or container with a tight fitting lid. Place the shrimp in the ziplock bag and complete submerge in the buttermilk. Marinade the shrimp in the fridge a least two hours. Preheat a cast iron skillet over med heat. Carefully rinse the marinade off the shrimp. Add 1 tbsp of Sesame oil to the shrimp, add a small amount of salt and pepper, then toss the shrimp until well combined. Once the skillet is hot, add 1 tbsp Sesame oil and sear the shrimp on each side, in batches, about 1 to 2 minutes. The shrimp is done when it begins to curl into a “C” shape and is no longer translucent. Remove shrimp from skillet and squeeze half a fresh lime over the shrimp. Set aside and allow the shrimp to cool completely before assembling the summer rolls.
For the Summer Rolls – cook Vermicelli according to package instructions. Drain the rice noodles, then in a large bowl submerge the Vermicelli in cold water until completely cooled. Drain then toss with a 1/4 tsp of Rice Wine Vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
In a medium sized sauce pan add warm tap water and set aside.
Set up an assembly line on your kitchen island or counter top. Roll on a cutting board with warm water directly in front of you and arrange the remaining ingredients in order of how you want to layer them on the rice paper.
To begin, soak the rice paper first in the warm water for a few seconds until it is pliable then place the dampened rice paper on the cutting board. Build the roll by starting with the lettuce first at the bottom of the paper followed by seasoned noodles, herbs, toasted onions, shredded carrot, and shrimp. Try not to overstuff the rolls or the rice paper may tear. Once you’ve layered the ingredients on top the rice paper fold the sides first from left to right towards the center of the roll. Then roll from the bottom of the rice paper to the top while continuously tucking the ingredients and sides of the roll in as needed. If you’ve ever rolled egg rolls or a burrito then this process is exactly like that. It helped me when I first started making Summer Rolls to watch other people rolling them on YouTube. Continue rolling until all ingredients are used. Feel free to play around with how you layer your ingredients.
Serve the rolls immediately with your favorite sauce, or wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.