12 October 2009

Fakemosas: What to do When Your Shortening Smells Like Freezer Burn

We've been getting dim sum a whole lot lately. There's a great place on the weekend called Chinatown-Mopac which serves it on Saturday and Sunday and is located above Musashino, my favorite sushi place in Austin. My fervor for dumplings (and dumplingesque items) was so great that one night I went to HEB and got frozen spring rolls, samosas, and chicken potstickers from HEB. It was a lot cheaper than getting dim sum from Chinatown-Mopac, but it was a lot less satisfying.

I decided that I wanted to make my own dumplings and with the tip from April from The Hungry Engineer, bought Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen. I've made three different dumplings from the book so far and they've all been fantastic. The first two were very true to the original recipe, but the samosas are a bastardization of her awesome book. I'm definitely going to try to make samosas the proper way, but discovered that the shortening I had on hand (which is required for making the dough) smelled like it had been sitting in my freezer unsealed for 3 months (because it had), so that just wouldn't work and Colby was sick of running to the grocery store. Since I had the mix already made (because I'm nothing if not disorganized), I decided to use wonton skins instead because it seemed like a better idea than throwing away a bunch of potatoes. The results were pretty good, but I know that the recipe in the book will be far better and much more rewarding. I'll take it as a lesson in learning to get organized, but for now, here's a recipe for fake samosas for the cluttered at heart.

Adapted from Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen

2 medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes (~10 oz)
1 1/2 T canola oil
1/4 c fresh (or frozen and thawed) peas
1/4 c finely chopped onion
1 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala

wonton wrappers
canola oil for frying

boil the potatoes in water until they are easily pierced with a fork. let cool and peel the skins. cube into 1 cm pieces. In a frying pan, heat 1 1/2 T canola oil. Add in the garam masala, coriander, and cumin until fragrant. Add in the potatoes, onion, peas, ginger, and salt and fry until the onions are wilted and the entire mixture is warmed. Remove from pan and then let the mixture cool.

Place a rounded tsp of the potato mixture into each wonton. I'm not a good person to ask about how to do this, but I'll try to explain how to do this through pictures:
Fill a small pot of oil about 1.5-2 in deep and heat it until the temperature reaches ~340 F. Place the samosas in a couple at a time. Cook until they are golden brown on both sides, flipping midway through. This should take around a minute, but watch the samosas closely and make sure that your oil is hot enough (but not too hot.)

Place fresh samosas on paper towel to soak up the oil. Let cool and then enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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