An American take on an Asian dish.
Step 1: Beef!
5 lbs. seasoned beef
3 tsp. salt
2 Tb. mild chili powder
1/4 c. dried basil
2 Tb. oregano
2 Tb. dried coriander
2 tsp. black pepper
Knead seasonings together with beef (by hand) in a large bowl. Pat down firmly into a large pan, squeezing out as much air as possible. Pack it tight! Gaps and holes will make it crumbly, like meat loaf, and you will want it to slice smoothly, like pepperoni.
Step 2: Cooking the Beef
Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Step 3: Cool the Beef
Slice the beef into smaller segments and remove from the grease to cool on a pan or plate.
Step 4: Slice the Beef
Let the beef cool until you can handle it comfortably, and then cut into smaller pieces to continue cooling.
Step 5: Other Ingredients
Green leaf lettuce, torn into sections and washed
Mushrooms, sliced (about 4 ounces per person, if left raw, and 8 ounces per person if cooked)
Swiss cheese, grated or thinly sliced
Step 6: Rice Noodles
Heat water in a large pasta pot to boiling, add noodles and remove from heat. Stir frequently until noodles are about halfway done, to keep them from sticking. Make sure you do not let the noodles boil over the heat -- they will turn to mush if you do.
Step 7: Stirring Noodles
Step 8: Noodles Done
When noodles are soft but not mushy, remove from heat and drain in a colander over another large pot., and SAVE the cooking water.
Step 9: Save Your Noodle Water
The noodle water.
You need this water for preparing your spring roll wrappers. It contains starch from the noodles, which will cause the wrappers to hold together.
Step 10: Rinsing the Noodles
Run the noodles under cold water until they are just slightly too hot to handle. Allow them to cool in the colander, separating them with your fingers from time to time so that they dry to a sticky consistency.
Step 11: Getting Wrapper Water Ready
Heat the rice noodle water over low until it is just steaming slightly. If it becomes so hot that it overcooks the spring roll wrappers, add a splash of cold water before placing them in the water.
Step 12: Spring Roll Wrappers
Use two wrappers per spring roll. Slide them into the water quickly, one after the other. Allow to soak in the hot water for 10 to 20 seconds (you will need to experiment), and then slide a spatula underneath them both, and drop onto a smooth, clean surface. Straighten them out quickly, before they start to clump up.
It is helpful to have a clean, folded kitchen towel to wipe your rolling surface in between spring rolls.
Note: Different brands of wrapper behave very differently. Some will fall apart very easily, and others will seem to be as tough as a rubber glove. Also, some have added salt, and others are salt-free.
Step 13: Ready to Roll
Place ingredients on the wrappers. Start with the lettuce on the bottom, and then layer the other ingredients on. You may want to put the noodles on second, or add them last, since they tend to slide around less when you're trying to do the rolling.
Once your wrappers are laid out on your rolling surface, you have about a minute to layer your ingredients and start rolling before the wrappers start to cling desperately to your rolling surface.
Step 14: Roll 'er Up!
Roll burrito-style, starting with the bottom. Fold the bottom up toward the middle, and roll forward slightly. Next, fold the sides toward the middle, and then roll the spring roll forward. You can use your fingers to pull the ingredients badk toward the middle as you roll.
Step 15: Rolled
Finished! If you want the cheese melted, wrap one spring roll in a damp terry wash cloth and microwave for approximately one minute.
Step 16: Your Lunch....EAT It!