burnt toast

Tag: puff pastry

Potato and Pea Samosas

samosasYeah. Samosas. Right up there on my list of favourite snack food. But then again, anything coming from the beautiful country of India gets top marks in my book. In my oh-so-short life I have been there three times already, and you can take my word I’ll be going back there again.

Top three random memories of India:

Playing hide and seek as a nine year old in the hotel’s 5-day old algae-tinged pool. Endless hours of fun. Other experiences included pools almost opaque with chlorine your eyes stung just by looking at it. These did not include hide and seek, or me, for that matter.

The after effects of my first sips of my mum’s gin and tonic making a 12-year old me walk dizzily into a rubbish bin next to our tiny hotel room situated right on the beach in Goa. Don’t laugh. That’s just mean.

A cook in the green hills of Kumili showing my 16-year old self how he made his beetroot malai kofta. They were insane guys. Served in a coconut cashew sauce spiced with star anise. You know you’re jealous.

a bite of samosa

I don’t think I have to tell you how much I love these little guys. I mean, deliciousness wrapped in pastry? Right? Give ‘em a go please. Right now.

Potato and Pea Samosas

 

4 medium (floury) potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes

2 Tbsp each of vegetable oil and butter

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 fat garlic cloves, crushed

1 knob of ginger, grated, giving you about 1 Tbsp of grated ginger

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

1 ½ tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp chili flakes

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp lemon juice

splash of soy sauce

salt

1/2 cup (65g) frozen peas

½ bunch coriander, leaves roughly chopped

4 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

Place your cubed potatoes into a pot and cover with water from a recently boiled kettle. Boil until soft, but still holding their shape. Drain.

In the meantime, melt the oil and butter in a wide fry pan. Add your onions and gently cook over low heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, and turn up the heat a little. Stir until everything takes on a little colour. Add the turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, chili, cinnamon and lemon juice, give it a stir, then add the potatoes. Let them hang out together for about 10 minutes. Season with a little soy sauce and salt. Remember, the potatoes will soak up quite a bit of flavor i.e. salt, so you may need to adjust your seasoning later again. Once the potatoes have gone a little mushy, remove from the heat. Stir in the peas and coriander, and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 220°C. To make the triangles, cut each sheet into 9 squares. Place a scant tablespoon of filling on each and fold over a corner. Pinch the edges together – if you can get a fancy twist going all the better – and lay them on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden.

Serve hot with coriander and coconut chutney.

Triangles

spinach and cheese triangle

Ah life. It is all quite vague and unclear at times, especially mornings. All of that “Why am I up? Should I eat or go back to sleep? And if I did choose to eat, what other than chocolate is there to choose from? Or indeed go for a run or dedicate more time to hating your neighbours because they’re up at six renovating again?” – business.

What is not unclear though, not in the least, is the incredible awesomeness of these little triangular parcels of tasty goodness. Ever feel as if that spinach and cheese triangle you’ve just bitten into hasn’t quite reached it’s full potential? Like not even near it? There has got to be more to it than that hot wet lump of mossy cardboard, really. Or is that what is to be expected? Don’t let them lower your triangular standards, never. There is so much deliciousness out there, and I have taken it upon myself to find it for you. I know. After all these years of suffering I come forth and save your taste buds’ world again – disgustingly romantic really.

Without further ado, I introduce you to my latest fling, the seductive herb, spinach, and cheese triangle.  What clearly defines its unmistakable tastiness is the combination of parsley, dill, coriander, mint and spring onions, as well as the spinach. The bland ricotta is replaced with some creamy Philadelphia, rounded off with a hint of cinnamon and cardamom.  Sound good? I know. Go on lover, go impress someone with these.

triangle bite

Herby Spinach and Cheese Triangles

 Makes 36 triangles

For the filling:

2 Tbsp each butter and olive oil

1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped

200g (about 4 cups firmly packed) baby spinach, chopped

2 cups (one of those massive bunches you can get these days) parsley, finely chopped

1 cup (about 1 bunch) coriander, finely chopped

½ cup dill, finely chopped

½ cup mint, finely chopped

splash soy sauce

2 tsp vegetable stock powder

a big pinch of chilli

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

¾ tsp ground cardamom

250g Philadelphia cream cheese, cut into 2cm chunks

about 4 sheets of frozen puff pastry

Melt the butter with the oil in a large fry pan over medium heat. Add the spring onions and cook till softened. Next comes the spinach. Give it a bit of a stir for a few minutes until it’s wilted, and there’s enough space to add the rest of the herbs. Give them about 5 minutes, before adding the soy, stock powder, chilli, cinnamon, cardamom and cream cheese. Reduce the heat to low and stir continuously, until the cream cheese is nicely incorporated into the mixture. Done! Now, let it cool.

In the meantime, Preheat the oven to 220°C and take out your frozen puff pastry to let it thaw. Working with one sheet at a time, cut it into nine equal squares. Place a scant tablespoon of filling on each, fold over a corner and seal by pinching the edges together, so that you’re left with a pretty little triangle. Continue with the rest until all the mixture’s used up. Place the lovelies on a prepared baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.

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