Hot summer days call for quick meals with as little actual cooking as possible. I say, save “oven roasted” and “slow-simmered” for sweater weather! Today, I’m sharing a 20-minute meal that is cool, crisp and will keep you from breaking a sweat on even on the busiest, most blistering nights - Chicken BLT Summer Rolls with Creamy Avocado Cilantro Dip!
You now have permission to linger an extra half-hour at the pool or park knowing that meal time is literally and figuratively wrapped up. Or, better yet, pack a few of these summer rolls in a cooler and make it a picnic party!
As a fearless food and fitness blogger who loves to try new things even if I fall flat on my face, it cracks me up that I was coincidentally wearing my “Hope, Don’t Worry” inspirational bracelet in this backyard photo. I HOPE the recipe turns out flawlessly for photography, but DON’T WORRY if it doesn’t because it still tastes so yummy!
Even though rice paper sometimes wants to self-adhere before ready seal off (like a mess of unrolled tape) or can rip if over-packed with fillings, it’s still a fun and low-cal vehicle for delicious ingredients – in this case, shredded rotisserie chicken, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce and microwavable bacon. Plus, you can’t go wrong dipping or drizzling ANYTHING with OPA by Litehouse Avocado Cilantro Greek Yogurt Dressing.
A package of rice papers is inexpensive and has more sheets than you ever need, so there is plenty of wiggle room for practicing. But, if you do mess up, don’t worry – everything tastes the same going down, right?! And, you can always toss the worst ones to the dog – haha! But, here are few things to mention about rice paper wrappers if you are striving for the oh-so elusive, impeccable presentation.
- To prevent self-sticking, only soak rice papers in water for a minute, give or take, until moderately pliable and tacky (like a Post-it Note). Any longer and the papers become too gummy to work with. That’s why I have (now) learned just to soak one at a time and complete each roll start to finish!
- To prevent ripping, don’t stuff the papers with sharp, jagged, or overly-lumpy fillings. That means taking the spines out of lettuce, herbs and such as well as cutting up vegetables into smaller pieces. As, for the bacon in this recipe, it works best if you crumble it.
- For extra durability, you can also stack rice papers and use two for each roll, but the final effect won’t be quite as translucent.
- To fold efficiently, neatly pile up ingredients in the center of the rice paper circle, lining up longer pieces in the same direction, leaving an inch or so clearance at the north and south edges. Wrap the top and bottoms up like the beginning of a burrito and then fold a remaining side over the top of ingredients and roll fairly firmly while compacting and pinching up to make a tight package.
- A final note, make sure you are buy wrappers or “skins” made out of rice, not wheat. Those wheat ones are better for oven-baking and frying and won’t provide that signature “see-through” experience.