Yoghurt, Quinoa, Rice Paper and Tomatoes
For the first-timers, the premise of Paper Chef is that you create a dish using these four ingredients and each month another set of four ingredients are chosen.
Immediately, when I saw Rice Paper I starting thinking along the line of some kind of wrap. Quinoa proved to be a bit of a sticking point, you couldn't just stuff the wrapper with quinoa, it would just dribble out. So I needed to think of something that would bind the quinoa and the solution came in the from of eggs.
I've had rice paper rolls in the past that have used omelets as part of their filling - so for this recipe, I've made a quinoa omelet.
To add a bit more texture and variety I've used two types of quinoa
Red Quinoa and
The rest of the dish came together quite quickly. As a nod to the traditional accompaniment of sweet chilli sauce I've made a roasted baby tomato and yoghurt sauce, gently spiced with roasted chilli.
I do take a minimalist approach with Paper Chef - I try to limit the use of extra ingredients because I want to really focus on the key ingredients. Once again, taking inspiration from mainstream rice paper rolls, I've used crisp iceberg lettuce leaves and fresh picked coriander (cilantro) leaves to complete the dish.
Rice Paper Rolls with Quinoa Omelette and Spiced roasted Tomato Sauce
½ cup cooked Red Quinoa
½ cup cooked Quinoa
3 spring onions, finely sliced, white and green parts
Spiced Roasted Tomato Sauce:
1 punnet Baby Roma Tomatoes, halved
1 small red chilli, halved, seeds removed
Rice Paper Rolls
Rice Paper Wrappers
Iceburg lettuce leaves
Make the Spiced Roasted Tomato Sauce:
Arrange the halved tomatoes and chilli, cut side up, on a baking paper lined tray. Drizzle with a spoonful of oil before sprinkling over with freshly ground sea salt.
Bake in a 150°C/300°F oven until the tomatoes have shrunk and have lost most of their moisture. The time taken depends on the size of the tomatoes.
Let them cool before proceeding.
Place the tomatoes and chilli into a blender and process until roughly mashed. Add in the yoghurt, a tablespoon at a time and process again until it reaches your preferred consistency. I left my sauce a bit of the thicker side.
Set to one side until ready to make the rolls.
Make the Quinoa Omelette:
Break the eggs into a bowl and sprinkle over with a little salt - lightly whisk with a fork. Stir in the quinoa and spring onions.
Heat a little oil and a small knob of butter in a non-stick skillet and when the butter has melted, pour in the egg mixture.
When the bottom has sealed and the top has almost dried, slide out onto a large plate and then return immediately to the pan, flipping it onto the uncooked side. Once this side has browned, slide it out onto a chopping board.
Cut into thick slices.
Assemble the rolls:
You need to have a large bowl of tepid water. Take one sheet of rice paper and place in the water - leave it there until the rice paper has softened.
Remove the sheet and place on a tea-towel, this will remove the excess water. Pat the top side dry with another towel.
Lay a shard of iceberg lettuce on the sheet - place it in the center, it should be about three-quarters of the sheets diameter. Sprinkle a couple of coriander leaves onto the lettuce and then place two large fingers of omelette on top. Drizzle with the sauce and finish with a few more coriander leaves.
Fold over the bottom quarter the rice paper over the filling and then draw in the sides to form a tight cylinder.
Repeat the process until the ingredients have been used - you should be able to make about 8 rolls.
This would be well suited for a lunch - the ingredients certainly do all work together. The tomatoes are upfront, the flavours enhanced by the slow roasting while the yoghurt works to round them out and stop them from dominating. The crunch of the lettuce contrasts with the wrapper and the omelette. The quinoa, though held in place by the egg, still manages to add its distinctive presence.