A little background on my husband: He’s a very honest man. Not only ethically and morally, but romantically. If he thinks an outfit looks bad on me, he’ll tell me. I can state for the record that I have never asked him if I look fat in something because I can’t handle the truth.
The flip side of this coin is that when Nathan says something is good, it’s practically a rave. Last night’s recipients of the “Mmm!” award were my improvised vegetable samosas. I was very happy to see a smile stretching Nathan’s full cheeks, because my other test recipe for Meatless Monday could have been retitled Joyless Saturday. (I won’t go into details; better to focus on success than failure.)
Samosas are one of my favorite parts of an Indian meal. In fact, I’ve often said that I’d be happy with just a double serving of these yummy appetizers, hold the dinner. And that’s exactly what I did last night. These are also great if you happen to have leftover mashed potatoes hanging out without a protein to co-star with, as I did.
Thaw 2 sheets store-bought frozen puff pastry. (Yeah, I cheat like that.)
Sauté 1 diced onion in a little butter or olive oil until onions are translucent and golden, about 10 minutes over low-to-medium heat.
Stir in 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (available in the ethnic section of your supermarket; careful, it’s spicy!); 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon cilantro, juice of 1/2 lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
Stir 1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes** to onion mixture.
Thaw 1/2 cup frozen peas in a little water and add peas and water to potato-onion mixture. Mix, remove from heat, let cool.
Cut puff pastry sheets into triangles that can hold about a tablespoon of filling. Add that much filling to each, pinching edges shut.
In a non-stick pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 1/2 cup peanut or canola oil (I used a combo of both). Make sure heat is high enough to fry but not let oil get violent toward you. Gently place samosas in oil and let fry for about 3-5 minutes, then turn over and let other side sizzle for 3-5 minutes.
Remove samosas with tongs or other safe implement and drain on paper towels for a few minutes. Serve with big dollop of mango chutney (also available in ethnic aisle–as are inexpensive spices. Did you know that spices in the ethnic section average $2-3 less per bottle than in the baking section? And that you get, like, twice as much? It’s true…)
Bon appetit, my sweets!
* With apologies to Gabriel García Marquez.
** No leftover smashies? Cut 2-3 medium-sized potatoes into chunks, boil in salted water, mash with 2 tablespoons butter. Quick, easy, painless.