Monday, June 1, 2009
June Joust: Carolina Perloo Samosas
Nuria of Spanish Recipe, and Winner! of last month's Royal Joust, (congratulations, Nuria!!) chose a wonderful trio of ingredients for this month's contest: rice, bacon, and tomato. (Y'know, I think it is really the June Joust!) How could any dish combining these marvelous ingredients not be a winner? This month's Royal Foodie Joust is presided over as always by The Leftover Queen.
This combination made me recall with fondness the "Spanish Rice" my mom used to fix for us when we were growing up. It was one of our favorites. I really have no idea why it's called Spanish Rice, as it is unlike either Mexican red rice or the classic saffron rice dishes of Spain. It is, however, one of the best things you could ever put in your mouth, dubious origins aside.
Truthfully, Mom's Spanish Rice has more in common with Low Country dishes like perloo ( a kind of rice pilaf similar to jambalaya) than anything from Spain. Because of this, I thought it would be fun to play with Mom's recipe to create my own version of Carolina Perloo.
Taking things a step further, even more fun to add a multucultural twist to the whole thing by using the perloo to fill some Indian Samosas.
It has been quite a while since I made homemade samosas and it was a lot of fun! Since it was lying around, I used a deep-fryer that I seriously don't know if I've used in the past decade! I guess it was worth dragging with me to all the places I've lived over the years!
As I was working, I recalled that I once made 80 samosas for my friend Sarada's retirement party. ( In August, in a non-airconditioned kitchen, too!) I finished the golden-fried samosas off with a lemon-mint parsley drizzle. Both the samosa dough and the sauce are adapted from recipes by total culinary goddess, Nicole Routhier.
And while the Joust is a blast and I look forward to competing each month, I feel like this time, I've already won: DS pronouced the samosas "really, really, really yummy." And if there is one thing DS knows, it's great food! :P
I hope you enjoy my fusion-inspired creation! This is my Joust entry for June. Please don't forget to vote. Polls are open from June 3-8.
Besides tasting fantastic, the wonderful thing about this perloo is it is very versatile-- just the thing for using up leftovers. In fact, it's one of the best uses I can think of for leftover white rice. I flavored mine with some ham I had left in the freezer along with some shrimp.
You will have lots of perloo leftover, so feel free to serve the extra along-side each person's samosa.
8 slices bacon (I used some applewood smoked bacon)
3 med. onions, chopped
1 lg, green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt black pepper to taste
3 1/4 c. tomato juice
2 14 1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 heaping t. sugar
2 1/2 c. cooked white rice
1- 1 1/2 c. diced ham
1/2 lb. med. shrimp, shelled
For the samosa dough:
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. sugar
4 T unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c. ice water (plus more, if needed)
1. Cook the bacon until crisp and dry, reserving all bacon fat. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.
2. Cook the onion and green pepper in the hot bacon fat in a large, deep skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes or so, until tender and fragrant. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
3. Add the tomato juice, diced tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and cook at a low simmer, with the lid cracked, for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes or so. The mixute should be somewhat thicker.
Here is my perloo base, just starting to simmer:
4. Add the white rice and the diced ham, and stir to combine.
Simmer, covered, over very low heat for 50 minutes. Check every 15 minutes to make sure rice is not getting too dry, adding a little water if needed.
5. Add the shrimp, cover and cook and additional 10 minutes. Crumble the bacon over the top, and stir into the mixture. Remove from the heat and cool.
Here's my perloo, all done!
(Mixture can be prepared 1 day ahead and brought to room temperature for stuffing the samosas.)
Make the samosa dough:
1. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process briefly to combine. Pour the melted butter over the flour mixture, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. Turn the processor on and with the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube. Process until the dough begins to come together. If the dough is too dry, add a bit more water. If too wet, add a teaspoon or two of flour to make a soft but workable dough.
3. Place the dough on a lightly-floured work surface and knead gently until all ingredients are incorporated.
4. Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Shape into balls and then flatten each ball into a disc.
Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet or plate, sprinkle lightly with flour, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll and Fill the Samosas:
5. After 30 minutes, work with 1 piece of dough at a time, leaving the rest in the fridge. On a well-floured surface, roll each disc out into a 10" round.
6. Cut each round in half with a sharp knife. Moisten the straight edge of the dough with water and fold the dough into a cone, overlapping the dough (one side will have a double thickness of dough). Pinch the seams together, leaving the top open.
7. Fill each cone with about 1/4 c. of the perloo, and pinch the top securely shut. Place the filled samosas on a plate and refrigerate as you make them.
Cook the Samosas:
8. Heat 2-3 inches of vegetable oil in a large sauce pan or use a fry cooker and fill according to manufacturer's instructions. Heat the oil to 375F.
9. Cook the samosas in the hot oil for 4 minutes, turning halfway through if needed.
Place on a paper-towel-lined plate, and keep warm in a low oven until all samosas are cooked and you are ready to serve. Serve with sauce, below.
Lemon-Mint Parsley Sauce
Juice of 2 fresh lemons
1/2 c. Italian parsley, leaves only, chopped
1/3 c., packed, fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 sweet white onion, minced
1/2 t. salt
cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
Mix everthing together in a bowl, and drizzle on the hot Samosas. It's delicious on just the perloo, too!
DC's plate before:
CLICK to enlarge image