Tuesday, April 17, 2007

some of my favorite things

I'm not quite sure where the cross over began.

The flavors of these scrumptious snacks hail from Thailand, to me, but there is some yellow curry also in the Chinese cuisine. So, I took the best of both worlds and served these with sweet Thai chile sauce. I've always ate these beef and potato curry puffs which my mother's friend used to make from complete scratch. Turns out, that my strategms of making food fast which keeps it fun, but still delicious, extends to buying store bought pastry dough. There are times when you just want to eat a curry puff prontissimo.

This recipe also relies on having leftover potato. Hopefully, either steamed/boiled potato, or even mash. Yes, indeed, you can use mashed potatoes for this recipe.

I used yellow curry paste ready bought from the Thai grocery store, but I'm sure curry powder will also do the trick. The Thai yellow curry paste is a bit spicier than the usual powder I use.

Joy's Lazily Made Curried Beef and Potato Puffs

250 g minced beef
1/2 large onion minced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 heaped T of yellow curry paste (or powder)
2-3 cooked, peeled potatoes small diced
1 package of defrosted frozen pastry dough
1 t vegetable oil/olive oil

leftover corn or peas

First, take out the dough and separate the sheets so it defrosts faster. Or, if you're super prepared, leave it in the fridge for a bit before you start.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

I cannot emphasis this part enough. Fry the curry paste/powder before you add the rest of the ingredients. Why? Apparently this makes the essential oils come out from the paste/powder and makes for a more flavourful curry.

Over medium high heat, heat the oil and then add the curry paste or powder. Fry until fragrant, and be careful not to burn anything. Mash up the paste/powder for about a minute or two. Add the minced onion until the onion is translucent (and will be, of course, rather yellow), and add the garlic for a minute or two. Add the minced beef breaking it up well. Add the cooked potato to the mix. I added a 1/4 cup of water at the end to make it a bit saucy. (If you added mashed potatoes, you'll get more of a soupy like filling, but it still is quite delicious). Taste the mix to make sure that it has the right flavor. Adjustments that can be made are adding a teaspoon of sugar, or a bit more curry paste, or a bit more water if your mix looks dry, and of course you can add those leftover cooked corn kernels or green peas.

Taking triangles of pastry dough cut to whatever size you'd like the curry puffs to be. I suggest making them smaller because they do end up being pretty filling fare. Pinch all the edges. As evidenced in the above picture, I'm no curry puff maker extraordinare, but mine ended up looking rather samosa like. Heap as much filling as you can possibly get into a triangle and seal it all the way around. Perhaps do something artistic with the edges.

Place puffs on a baking parchment sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until you see that they've turned a nice golden brown. Let cool, and serve with sweet Thai chile sauce. These taste great out of the oven, but also can be a particularly satisfying experience eaten cold for a tasty snack!

You will probably have leftover filling, but I can vouch that it makes for a very delicious lunch with some steamed white rice. Lunch, and curry puffs. Perfect.

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