Shrimp Summer Rolls

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For some reason, typing summer rolls brings the “Summer Lovin’” musical sequence from Grease into my head. Come to think of it, this summer really has seemed to happen so fast. While I will not lament its passing until it is officially behind us, the cooling temps and shorter sunlight hours are moving us into this direction of summer’s inevitable end, it seems.

You will not hear me protest its demise too much. I sit here though with a window open, and the day’s plans include removing the air conditioner from the window in the bedroom. It took a cardigan to participate in the past two nights roof shenanigans: playing Banagrams and out-Jaggering Davis at Mick Jagger impersonations. I have discovered that the key to Jaggerisms is pumping, not gyrating the hips. Elvis gyrates. Jagger pumps. Although, I have to admit, I come nowhere close to the holy grail of Jagger impressionism, Noel Fielding from The Mighty Boosh.

Back to summer rolls (…those summer niiiiights), you’ll have to get some rice paper roll wrappers from the Asian food section of a nice grocery, or happen to live in an area that just has those things at the normal grocery. You will use 1 for each roll you intend to make. I suggest 2 per person, and this recipe makes enough for 12 rolls. I suggest setting up a fairly structured mise en place before you even start making these – things can start to get a bit hairy if you’re in a cramped space.

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Pan-Seared Scallops with Four Sauces and Roasted Zucchini with Blue Cheese

I would say that I normally stick to less than fancy fare, but this is one of the most fun dishes that I’ve ever made. Sure, it’s a bit showy, but you gotta be decadent sometimes or life can get a bit boring. We ate these tasty little morsels standing up in our kitchen tapas style, interchanging the sauces on the scallops as we went with zucchini as palate cleansers. Still, either dish would be quite nice as a starter for a dinner party; they’re both able to stand up on their own just fine.

The roasted zucchini with blue cheese was put after each scallop to help completely wipe the flavor of the previous sauce before moving onto the next. Especially with the spicier sauces, the flavorful cheese cut the heat. Since Davis and I like our food spicy, we were partial to the Habanero Lime and Jalapeno Cilantro, respectively. However, the Creamy Lemon with Green Onion and Pistachio Crumble stood up to the test. All and all, this is a dish that could give a person a little culinary hubris.

Not going to lie, this might be the fanciest thing I’ve ever made.

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