Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Curry Puffs or Let's make some fairly complicated for dinner on Tuesday...

 Don't let the post name fool  you, these actually aren't all that complicated. In fact considering how limited my patience is for teaching people stuff, I 98% totally enjoyed making these with Wub and only got slightly impatient once my back started hurting. And sure you could judge me for using paper plates for dinner but I don't care. I made Curry Puffs, on a Tuesday. That's all the fancy I have for one day.
  I looked at several different recipes for Thai/Malaysian Spiral Dough Curry Puffs and in the end sorta made up my own thing. The flaky pastry is super easy to make and kind of seems like a magic trick.

 You make two, very easy doughs, let them rest while you make your filling. (I made a fairly classic chicken curry type. The general consensus in my house was you could stuff these with cat hair and chocolate sauce and they'd be pretty tasty. Don't though. Seriously.) While the filling cools you divide each dough into eight pieces, stuff one inside the other and then the magic begins, but I'm getting ahead of myself, first the recipe....

Disclaimer: I am neither Thai nor Malaysian so maybe these aren't just like your Nan's Curry Puffs. I'm okay with that. If having to be 100% authentic were a prerequisite for making a new dish, no one would ever try anything new.

Spiral Curry Puffs

 Water Dough:
300 grams of all purpose flour (roughly 2 1/2 cups, but if you have a scale weigh it)
1 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 egg white lightly beaten
3/4 cups (ish) warm water

  In a large bowl combine the flour and salt. Rub the butter into the flour until thoroughly combined. Add the egg white and most, but not all of the water. Stir to combine adding more water if needed to form a soft but not sticky dough. Knead until smooth. Cover and lest rest for half an hour.

 Butter Dough:
150 grams of all purpose flour (1 1/4 cups)
100 grams of softened butter (7 1/2 Tablespoons)
pinch salt

 In a medium bowl mix together until a smooth cohesive dough forms. Cover and set aside.

The Curry Filling I Used:

8 oz chicken breast cut into small cubes
2 large potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 large carrots peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion 1/2 inch dice
8 oz button or crimini mushrooms in 1/2 inch chunks (See a pattern here?)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed, grated, chopped, whatever
1 cup of frozen peas, still frozen
2 Tablespoons of a good brand curry powder. (I am particularly fond of Ship's)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon White pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
2  Tablespoons each butter and coconut (or vegetable) oil

 In a large saute pan over medium high, heat the butter and oil until sizzling. Add the onions and mushrooms season with salt and pepper and saute until mushrooms are just beginning to brown. Stir in the garlic and cook for a minute or so until fragrant.
 Add the curry powder, garam masala and white pepper. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes to lightly toast the spices. Add the chicken season with salt and pepper and stir to cover chicken in spices.

 Add the potato and carrot and a couple of cups or so of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender and slightly broken down.

 The sauce should be thick and almost nonexistent almost like a potato puree as opposed to gravy. If too runny cook longer to evaporate the liquid. If too dry add more water.

 Once the mixture has reached the right consistency remove from heat and stir in the frozen peas. Set aside to cool while you work on the dough.

I forgot to take a picture of this part but you will want to separate each into eight pieces of roughly equal size. Roll into balls and cover.

 Take a piece of the water dough and flatten it out slightly. Place a piece of the butter dough in the center and fold the water dough up and around to completely enclose the butter dough. Pinch the seams closed and place seam side down, cover and repeat with the remaining dough balls.

 Next using a light dusting of flour flatten one of he dough balls into a rectangle. Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a long thin rectangle. Roll the dough up into spiral tube.

Flatten out this tube and roll it into a rectangle in the opposite direction. Roll up again. Place roll seam side down on the counter and cover. Repeat with each ball of dough until you have eight dough roll.

 Cut each of your rolls in half. Place cut side up, flatten with the palm of your hand then roll into a thinnish, roughly circular disc. You should be able to see the spiral. Repeat until you have sixteen discs.

Take one of the discs and place the prettiest (most swirly side) face down on your palm. Place a generous spoonful of the cooled filling in the center.

Fold up the sides, pinching and pulling to form a lip. Fold and crimp the edges to seal. Repeat with all sixteen pieces.

 Heat oil in a large heavy pan over medium high heat. Fry a few at a time until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm or cold.
 The pastry on these is A-MAZ-ING. So easy to work with, it is simultaneously stretchy but also sticks to itself quite well making the crimping a breeze. (To be honest crimping is never a breeze for me, arthritis and carpal tunnel makes for very clumsy fingers. Wub however zoomed through the crimping and hers were waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay prettier than mine.) All the stretch would lead you to believe to believe these are going to be chewy or tough but no, these are crisp, tender and flakey.

 We almost can't wait to make these again. Some other filling ideas would be cat hair and chocolate sauce, mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese, cream cheese with tuna, grated onion and jalapeno, caramelized onions and Swiss cheese, English style sausage, Cornish pasty type filling, bananas and chocolate chips, coconut jam, apples with cinnamon and sugar and so on...

 In many of the recipes I read they said these freeze well uncooked. We just cooked them all with plans of eating them for lunch etc. over the next day or two.  So I can't vouch for that but I do know it works well for knishes. If we ever do manage to freeze some I'll let you know how that goes.