Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tight Ass Tuesday: October's Bastardization

Because I'm still broke and always up for a challenge, I'm doing another Tight Ass Tuesday for Thursday Night Smackdown. I mean, I won the damn thing last month, I can't leave TNS hanging now! Yep, I won! Woo! So, I got to pick the cooking 'prompt' for October. Feeling incredibly uncreative, here was my idea:

"It’s time to bastardize your two (or more) favorite cuisines! The ever popular, mostly outdated fusion cooking style is the challenge. Be creative or play it safe (Indian-Thai), just don’t be a jackass serving falafel in a taco shell."

So what the hell did I come up with? Err, I'm not even sure, but I'm calling it ConFusion Curry Raviolis. Having quite a bit of leftover lamb curry and cooked basmati rice from the Lamb Takedown, I really wanted to use them up in some creative way. Plus, the lamb was FREE. Making this perfect Smackdown material! And thus, we have the rice and curry ravioli/dumpling/potsticker. I got stuck on the idea of using the rice in the way pierogi and gnocchi dough uses potato, and just winged it along the way. I yoinked Mario Batali's potato ravioli recipe, attempting to puree rice in my measly baby blender. Warning: pureed rice, egg, water is really. Fucking. Sticky. While I only added 3/8th cup to the rice in the bowl, during the course of trying to knead the dough, and then make each little dumpling thing, I used a lot of flour. It sticks to fingers and counters really easily and needed the flour. The curry recipe I used is made from two pounds of lamb, but I probably only used about a cup of filling, if that. That recipe is also really delicious, and I recommend making it next time you're craving curry.

The "recipe" for ConFusion Curry Raviolis
1-2 cups delicious curry (frozen peas added to recipe)
Rice 'ravioli':
3ish cups cooked rice
1 egg
3/8th cup (1/4 cup + 2 tb) flour
salt, pepper, etc

If you have a real food processor, life will be easy. Add rice and egg to processor, and process just a little bit. It doesn't have to be completely pureed, but it can be; it just tends to get stickier the more it's pureed. Put the puree into a bowl and mix in the flour, salt and pepper. Flour your counter liberally, along with your fingers, and put the dough on the board. Carefully knead for five minutes and let rest on a floured plate.

Once rested, divide ball in half, and then into equal size pieces - I got 20 in the batch. If you're good with a rolling pin, you may be able to roll out the ravioli by hand. I simply floured my hands and board well and patted each chunk out by hand until it was thin and big enough to put some filling in. Put 1-2 tsp of curry (slightly mushed up if your curry was 'rustic' like mine) in the middle and squish closed. The rice is generally sticky still so you shouldn't need egg wash or water to close it up.

Heat a large pan with a little bit of oil. Once hot, fry each ravioli thingy until browned on each side. I'm sure you could steam/boil them, but the textural difference, with the crisp outside, creamier second layer of rice and curry inside is pretty delicious. To fill out the meal and play with more "non-Indian" flavors, I made very simply garlicky greens, dry roasted corn and browned butter. Greens are made simply with olive oil and lots of minced garlic, quickly cooked in a frying pan. Put some greens on the plate, a few raviolis, top with corn and a bit of the browned butter.

This recipe is all about leftovers; that's really what makes them easy, if not finicky to actually make. They're very easy to cook, and actually travel really well. They're also surprisingly filling. With the veggies and everything, 20 raviolis made three meals (for me!).

As for a price breakdown, that's easier said than done. I cooked that curry recipe times eight when I was cooking for the competition, so calculating what it costs for maybe 1-2 cups of curry was fun. I just counted it as 1/3 of the original recipe.

Price Breakdown:
rice - 3 cups cooked - $0.70
1 egg - $0.15
flour, oil - pantry staples
garlic, ginger, spices! - pantry staples [investments]
lamb - FREE!
1 onion - $0.25?
1/3 can tomato paste - $0.20
1/3 can (5oz) diced tomato - $0.30
frozen peas - maybe 1/6 bag? - $0.15
greens & corn - 1/5 CSA share - $2.00

Total: $3.75, or $1.25/person (should feed about three people, I think).

1 comment:

Kenia Soares said...

I saw on your profile that you read "Fall on your knees", this was the best book I've ever read in my entire life! What do you think about it?

I love the way Ann-Marrie MacDonald's writing, it seems to be talking to our hearts, she is talented!

I love Frances ahahaha