Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fresh Rolls, Potato Skins, Samosas with Chutney, and Pinepple Cream Cheese Carrot Cake

I had the girls over for Splurge Night last night, and spent a good portion of my day making these appetizers! It was well worth the trouble though - everything turned out great (at least I think it did... my friends ate everything, so it was either really good, or they are just extremely considerate of my feelings!)

I made my absolute favourite recipe for Fresh Rolls, served with some store-bought peanut sauce. (Superstore's Schezwan sauce is the best.) I discovered it's so much easier making these rolls if you buy the large rice papers instead of the small ones. I used shrimp instead of pork this time, still in the same marinade (1/4 c. each of soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, and honey, plus a little garlic and chili flakes.) This recipe makes a huge batch... I think I made 18 rolls, and I still have some leftover so I can make more rolls tomorrow for lunch.

Next I made Potato Skins adapted from a friend's recipe blog:

POTATO SKINS
8 baking potatoes
1/3 c. oil
2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Smoked Spanish Paprika
2 tsp. Garlic Potato Topper
salt & pepper
16 slices of bacon, crumbled
4 green onions, sliced
3-4 c. cheddar cheese, grated

Scrub potatoes and pierce on all sides. Place in oven and bake at 400 F for 1 hour, turning once. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides. (Save some for your samosa filling!) Mix together oil, Parmesan, paprika, garlic, salt & pepper, and brush over the inside of each potato. Bake at 475 F for 8 minutes, then fill each potato skin with bacon, green onions, and cheddar cheese. Bake for another 5-8 minutes, and serve with sour cream.

Now I was ready to make Samosas with Mango & Saskatoon Chutney. The samosa recipe came from Rachael Ray's website, but I first heard of it on Sook's blog, My Fabulous Recipes. The filling is easy to make, and tastes heavenly! The pie crust was a bit of an obstacle for me... it was dry and cracking, and it took me a while to start making pretty samosas. The first ones looked like they had seen better days. But they tasted wonderful, and I would definitely make them again. Here's my slight adaptation of the recipe:

SAMOSAS
1 tbsp. oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp. ginger paste
1/2 tsp. garlic paste
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp. Curry Dip Mix
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large potato, cooked (I diced up one of the potatoes that I used for potato skins)
1/2 tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 c. frozen peas
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 package (2 9-inch rounds) store-bought, raw pie dough
1 egg, beaten
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. In a small dish, combine jalapeno, ginger, garlic, coriander seeds, curry, cumin, Pumpkin Pie Spice, salt & pepper. Add to onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add potato, tomato, peas, and cilantro and cook for couple minutes. (If the filling looks too thick, you can add a splash of vegetable stock, but I didn't need to.) Allow filling to cool.
Roll out each pie crust on a floured surface, and cut into 8 wedges. (Next time I might do 6 wedges so I could make bigger samosas and have better luck with rolling them.) Put 1 tsp. of the potato filling on each wedge. Brush the edges of each wedge with egg. Fold the pointed end up over the filling so it touches the wider end, then fold the two sides over top and pinch it closed. Place samosas on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and brush with egg. Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes, then turn them over and bake for another 5 minutes.
CHUTNEY
1/2 c. saskatoons
1/2 c. mango, chopped (I used frozen mango, and last time I made this recipe I used rhubarb instead)
3 tbsp. raspberry vinegar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. onion, diced
1/8 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. ginger
dash of chili pepper flakes

Put everything in small saucepan and bring to a simmer for 20-30 minutes. Cool before serving.
For a sweet treat, I cracked open a box of carrot cake mix and made 2 round cakes. Then I made a delicious icing and slathered it between the two cakes and all around the outside, and topped it with a few pieces of Crystallized Ginger.
PINEAPPLE CREAM CHEESE ICING
1 container (8 oz.) spreadable cream cheese
1 single-serving container of pineapple yogurt (or whatever flavour you like)
1 1/2 - 2 c. Cool Whip
1/2 c. icing sugar
Beat ingredients until smooth. Add more icing sugar if it's too thin, or more Cool Whip if it's too thick.This icing was awesome. (And the cake was pretty good too, thank you Betty Crocker!)
And that's what we ate last night. Enjoy!
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3 comments:

Denise :) said...

I love fresh rolls but I am way to chicken to try to make them... next time I am in Regina I need a lesson... (or you could just make them and I could eat them!)

Sook said...

You did lots of cooking this week! :) Those spring rolls look amazing!

Kathy said...

They are easy to make! And soooo worth it. Talk about healthy. Can't wait to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.