Encornets Farcis (Stuffed Squid)
Veal stock adds richness to these plump stuffed squid.
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, preferably free-range
50 g vermicelli noodles
1 Lebanese cucumber
10 rice paper wrappers
10 small baby cos (romaine) lettuce leaves
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into long thin matchsticks (about 5–6 cm)
Handful of coriander leaves (optional)
1 Tbs crushed peanuts, to serve
Hoisin - Peanut sauce:
70 g crunchy peanut butter
3 Tbs hoisin sauce
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
80 ml hot water
Cut the chicken breast in half horizontally to make two thinner steaks. To do this, place your hand flat on top of the chicken and use a sharp knife to slice through, horizontally. Put the chicken in a medium saucepan and add water to just cover. Place the lid on the pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and leave the chicken to finish poaching in the water for 15 minutes. Drain the chicken, then shred it using two forks.
Meanwhile, put the noodles in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soften for 6–8 minutes, then drain, or cook them according to the packet instructions. Rinse the noodles under cold running water to prevent them sticking together. Drain well, then, using scissors, cut the noodles into shorter lengths and put them in a bowl.
While the chicken is poaching, cut the cucumber in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds using a teaspoon. Cut the cucumber into thin batons about the same length as the carrot matchsticks.
One at a time, dip the rice paper wrappers briefly (for 10–20 seconds) in a large shallow bowl of warm water. Do not leave them in for too long or they may tear.
Place a wrapper on a board and place a lettuce leaf across the middle, one-third up from the bottom closest to you. Top with some noodles, carrot, cucumber and a few pieces of chicken. Top with several coriander leaves (if using). Fold the bottom of the wrapper over the filling, fold in the sides, then roll the parcel up quite tightly. Repeat with the remaining wrappers, keeping the prepared ones under some damp paper towel to prevent them drying out.
For the hoisin-peanut sauce, combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Divide the sauce between one or two smaller serving dishes. Sprinkle the peanuts over the sauce and serve the rice paper rolls with the sauce for dipping.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Dinner Like a Boss by Katy Holder published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $29.99 and is available in stores nationally.
Photo Credits: Benito Martin