By GALTime's Camilla Saulsbury of Camilla Cooks
1. Samosa Cigars with Chutney-Lime Dipping Sauce
1 and 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
1 teaspoon salt, divided use
2 cups Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 pound) - cooked, peeled, and diced
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
16 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
3-4 teaspoons cumin seeds
3/4 cup mango chutney
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Preheat oven to 350° F. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, then add the onion; cook and stir 3-4 minutes until tender. Stir in the ginger, curry powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt; cook and stir 45 seconds. Add the potatoes and mash lightly with a fork. Stir in the peas and the remaining salt and cook until the mixture is warmed through, 3-4 minutes. Remove from stove and cool.
Place phyllo sheets on a clean, flat surface. Cover with a dry, thin dish towel, then a damp tea towel (this will prevent it drying out). Spray 1 phyllo sheet with nonstick spray. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoonful of samosa mixture along the centre of 1 narrow edge. Fold in the sides and roll up to create a cigar shape.
Lightly spray with nonstick spray and sprinkle with cumin seeds. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo, spray, filling and cumin seeds.
Bake in 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes (still on sheet) to cool. Process chutney and lime juice in blender until smooth to make dipping sauce. Serve warm cigars with dipping sauce. Makes 16 servings.
2. Enlightened Deviled Eggs with Lemon & Smoked Paprika
With proper technique, deviled eggs are ambrosial: tender whites cradling a velvety, golden yolk filling, spiked with just enough pepper and spice to earn their devilish eponym. But when the technique is off, tough and stinky is the hapless consequence, lending a new connotation to the diabolical name.
To keep a good egg from going bad, arm yourself with a push pin, a timer, and a large bowl of ice. Use the pin to make a small hole in the egg. Make the hole on the rounded (not pointed) end of the egg. There is an air chamber at the rounded end. Making a hole in the egg allows air to escape, eliminating the possibility of air pressure cracks in the shell and, subsequently, rubbery egg whites.
I should add that, while the freshest eggs are best for baking and scrambling, the best hard-boiled eggs are a few days old. The reason is the peeling. If you've boiled eggs more than once, you've likely peeled a few specimens whose whites adhered to the shells with barnacle-like tenacity. Blame it on too-fresh eggs (I, for one, am always happy to pass the blame for my culinary gaffes).
Use the timer to prevent overcooking. Preparing a hard boiled egg is like applying perfume: an easy enough process, but if overdone, the whole house stinks. The malodorous culprit in eggs is sulfur. When the eggs cook in boiling water, the sulfur in the egg moves away from the heat toward the yolk. If cooked too long, the sulfur in the white will react with the iron in the yolk, producing a strong smell, pale yolk, and an unattractive gray-green yolk coating.
Eliminate all of these problems as follows. Place the eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan and cover with 1 inch of water. Some people like to add a splash of white vinegar and a pinch of salt to aid the peeling once cooked. I've done it with and without, and cannot discern a difference. But if you would like to be on the safe side (and why not?), try the briny option.
Bring the water to a boil, then immediately move the pan to a cold burner and let sit, covered, for 11 minutes. At the 11-minute mark, drain the water from the pan, and shake the pan, vigorously, to crack the shells (this is one of Julia Childs' great tricks; I love the old clips of her doing this). Plunge the eggs into the bowl of ice water and keep them there for at least 20 minutes. The ice water bath further prevents the sulfur in the whites from reacting with the yolks.
When ready to devil, remove the eggs from the ice water bath, peel, and slice lengthwise. (You can also refrigerate the eggs for 3 to 4 days until you are ready to use them). The yolk will be everything you hoped for: golden and creamy (bye bye dry and chalky), ideal for incorporating all varieties of ingredients. I'm all for letting the relaxed rules of summer cooking-imagination, creativity, spontaneity-take over.
The recipe for Lemon & Smoked Paprika Deviled Eggs!
A Toast to ToastThe choice of bread is important, but snobbish-ness is disallowed when it comes to toast. If your taste leans towards the tenderness of a slice of toasted Wonder bread, feel no shame.
But do give a variety of breads a try, for different reasons. On certain occasions, comfort will be derived from a compliant piece of white bread, but there will be other days when ripping into a crusty-chewy piece of sourdough toast is instant therapy.
The true artistry of toast occurs with the coalescence of perfectly matched toppings to bread: sturdy toasted multi-grain bread, slathered with natural peanut butter; prim squares of pumpernickel toast, spread with a veneer of cream cheese and topped with smoked salmon, cucumber and capers; a crunchy baguette, split lengthwise and toasted under the broiler with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of Parmesan; and weighty walnut-raisin toast, glistening with honey.
Or then there's the all-time ultimate: pillow-y white bread, crusts removed, and cut into "fingers" after being drizzled with butter and dusted with butter, sugar and cinnamon. (Well-worn slippers, a pile of good books and a mug of tea are my favorite accessories.)
If you cannot convince yourself that toast is more than a light breakfast or snack, break out the olive oil and call your toast "bruschetta." Bruschetta is toast's fashionable Italian cousin-it is grilled (over flame, gas burner or under broiler), drizzled, brushed or misted with olive oil and often (but not always) rubbed with garlic.
Save your jelly for "toast" and pile warm, savory toppings onto your bruschetta to create a light or hearty meal. Use a crusty, rustic style bread (or baguette) and cut the slices about 1/2-inch thick (to prevent collapse under weight of the toppings).
Think of the following bruschetta recipes as guidelines: both bruschetta and toast are best when they are free-form creations. Embellish your toast and bruschetta according to your state of mind, refrigerator or wallet and let the art of comfort begin.
3. Sun Dried Tomato Bruschetta with Shaved Pecorino
These bruschetta recipes are my lunch today. I used shaved Pecorino Romano, but Parmesan cheese or Manchego work perfectly.
3 1/2-inch-thick slices sourdough or any Italian country-style bread
1 large garlic clove, sliced in half
1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, whole (or chopped if a bit tough)
About 1/2 ounce Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
Position oven rack 4 inches from broiler element. Preheat broiler.
Place bread slices directly on oven rack and broiler, until golden, turning once (about 30-45 seconds per side). Remove from oven and rub the toasts with the cut garlic on one side and brush the same side with the oil. Place the sundried tomatoes atop the bread and sprinkle with the cheese shavings. Makes 3 toasts.
Nutrition per Serving (1 large toast):
Calories 179; Fat 9.4g (poly 1.3g, mono 5.5g, sat 2.0g); Protein 5.3 g; Cholesterol 3.2mg; Carbohydrate 19.4g; Sodium 300mg)
(Note: I did the nutrition analysis using Diet Analysis Plus 7.0.1)
4. Check out this great alternative recipe: Bruschetta with Sauteed Greens & Manchego
More from GALTime.com: