Summer has smacked Ottawa with her sweaty, humid palms and we have no air conditioning until; the pinnings are poured, the basement floor and the walls are poured, the walls are up on the main floor, the roof is on…you get the picture.  No air conditioning for a very long time.

With the humidex it will be 42 degrees today.

I really want to keep the house as cool as possible and hope that we’ll be able to sleep each night.  The very smart planners who first built my house in 1954 made the main area have terrific airflow and with all of mature trees in the yard we can usually be fine with scary heat for about a week but I still need to do my part.

To this end, I’ll be using the stove as little as possible but I know that there will be a revolt on my hands if I feed everyone salads every night.

Tonight is going to be all about using a bunch of the fresh herbs in the garden and eating as quickly as possible.

We’ll have rice paper wraps with sweet chilli sauce.  This recipe will feed four hungry adults on a hot evening.  You can actually put anything in these wraps.  I’m showing what I have in the house and a really simple noodle salad.  Want something spicier?  Add the flavourings that you really like.  I’m actually a little cuffed with these pictures as the babes was “helping me” make them and photograph by needing to be held the entire time.

1)  Get everything ready to assemble, this seems like a long list but consider this takes the pace of your cooking time too.  Cut into the same size jullienne; 1 carrot, 1 pepper (I didn’t have peppers but I did have a nice zucchinni so that got used instead), ginger (minced) and mushrooms (you can have cucumber too but we have two people in our house that have trouble with cucumber so not for us).  You can use actually ANY vegetables that you would really like.  Bean sprouts are really good but if you read my posting on e-coli and the news you know why I’m not adding them 🙂

Finely chop; handful of mint, lettuce (or just use loose greens) and a handful of cilantro.

Decide what protein you would like; rotisserie chicken, shrimp, tofu, seared tuna and slice or shred it finely. I’m going to use salmon tonight because I can cook it really quickly on the bbq.

2)  Make a noodle salad by taking a 1/2 package of vermicelli noodles

and soaking them until soft in a bowl of boiling water from the kettle (60 seconds at the most),

cooling under running water and chop with scissors (trust me-it’s just easier).

Mix with a sesame dressing (1/2 cup soy sauce, 3 T. sesame oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, pinch brown sugar, 2 T. sesame seeds and a pinch of chilli flakes).

3)  In another bowl with boiled water, dip rice paper wraps until soft (30 seconds).

4)  Lay on a tea towel and start to pile on the toppings in the middle.

I like to start with the herbs so that they can be seen when rolled-up, I end with the noodle salad as it is less attractive.

5)  Fold the bottom ends in

and then roll, tucking in the ends as you go.

If you aren’t eating them right away then place in a dish lined with a damp tea towel.

6)  Serve with a bowl of sweet chilli sauce and a cold bottle of beer. 

During the summer I practically drink sweet chilli sauce-don’t know why.