One of the classic Vietnamese dishes that gets some attention and play in the U.S. is summer rolls–a wonderful appetizer, kind of a salad rolled up in a rice paper wrapper called banh trang. The cool thing is that–unlike Vietnamese and Chinese spring rolls–the summer roll does not get fried.
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Just in case summer ever comes, after this bizarrely chilly spring!—boy, am I ready.
In fact, I’ve been ready every June, since time immemorial…because, without doubt, my favorite gastronomic thing to do in summer is sit around a table piled high with cooked whole crabs…sucking on an electric bottle of dry Riesling!
Here’s a great recipe I created for my upcoming Wine Manifesto (you’ll be hearing about this soon!). I developed it to go with elegant Champagnes that have yeasty-toasty character…but I’ve been making it at a million dinner parties now that I’ve got it! It is easy, elegant…a quick path to modern three-star food coming out of your kitchen! You will need to go to a Japanese grocery to put this one together…and make sure to find a super-elegant smoked salmon, such as a good Scottish one.
In the 1970s, the Italian-American restaurant dish that announced “we have moved beyond red-sauce Italian” was Pasta Primavera, a combination of pasta, cream and vegetables. It was when your local Italian restaurant became a “ristorante.” Le Cirque in New York City made the dish famous, but it became a nation-wide menu staple soon after that.
Tacos on the street in Mexico are one of that country’s great gastronomic delights. Most typically, each taco is made from 2 soft and warm corn tortillas, folded together, filled with a little meat and salsa. A little further north, in the world of Cal-Mex, predictably, things change. The tacos are stuffed a little fuller, they’re less greasy and more salad-like.
About David Rosengarten
Journalist, television personality, and cookbook author, David Rosengarten has covered great food products, restaurants, wines, gastronomic travel destinations, and related subjects for over 25 years...
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