I was dragging last Tuesday, really dragging. After a rough morning trying to get the kids ready for school, I’ll admit I was not in the best of moods. All I really wanted to do was to crawl back into bed and start the day again. But when I pulled into Suzy’s driveway for our cooking date, my spirits lifted almost immediately. I hoisted my bag, trekked through her back door and stepped into her kitchen, warning her that I was a bit grumpy. But as I started to unload my stash, her welcoming smile made me feel better almost instantly.
Maybe samosas weren’t the right food to make that day, possibly adding a teeny bit to my crabbiness. In retrospect, I think cooking agendas should be keyed into a person’s mood and energy level. Maybe it should have been a granola day where all we had to do was mix, spread and bake. But we were all set to make something new. So we boiled potatoes and sautéed ginger and onions to create our savory fillings. Then we sat at Suzy’s kitchen table folding the little stinkers.
Suzy said she couldn’t wait for this week’s blog to read how I portrayed our time together. So here it goes. She was really frustrated with the folding. We tried making triangles at first but agreed after the first few that this wouldn’t be worth the effort. We began wrapping our samosas like spring rolls, hoping that the shape wouldn’t turn the kids off, expecting to bite into something Asian only to be disappointed with an Indian flavor. I think I was a bit more concerned about the deceptive shape than Suzy, who was just focused on finishing the job. We grumbled, stuffed and folded, swearing that we’d never make them again. But when I cooked some for us to sample, the savory sensation of ginger, cumin and lime mashed potatoes stuffed into a crispy pocket food, soothed our spirits. It wouldn’t be a disaster after all.
My samosas never made it to the dinner table. I had them waiting on the table for my oldest son and his friend as an afterschool snack. Served with Tamarind sauce, all but 6 of several dozen were devoured. Suzy reported back that night that she ate six and loved them but the kids (who thought they were too spicy) only ate one each. But her kids tried something new on “Taste Tuesday” and that’s the important thing. Maybe next time the spice won’t bother them as much.
Today we’re sticking to granola. And I might bring a bit of empanada filling along to crimp and fold with company.
3 pounds potatoes, peeled, cut and boiled until tender
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, diced finely
2 tablespoons ginger, freshly grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (optional)
Juice from 2 limes
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 cup petite peas, cooked
In a pot of salted water, boil potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sauté ginger, garlic, jalapeno pepper and onions until tender for about 10 minutes. Season the onions with cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper.
Mash the potatoes with a fork and add the sautéed onion mixture. Mix in the lime juice, red pepper flakes and remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Gently fold in the peas.
Stuff mixture into puff pastry, spring roll wrappers or homemade dough in desired shapes, sealing the edges with a bit of water (or water mixed with flour to create a paste).