Monday, November 22, 2010

East Meets West... and Begets ‘Mozzarella in Samosa’ with a Spicy Tomato Sauce

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A few months ago, I saw an appeal from a fellow food blogger for a decent Mozzarella in Carrozza recipe. Doesn’t it sound delicious – Moz-za-relllllllla in Carrr-rro-zza! What a great name for what is essentially a fried mozzarella sandwich.
Naughty? No, just really, really nice!    
For me, the original version - sealed in squishy bread and fried - has never quite lived up to its promise. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong. It just seemed too much: too much bread; too much oozing mozzarella; too much fat from frying. Too much!
There was a horrible storm a few nights ago and I couldn’t sleep.  Embarking on a samosa recipe at 3am seemed like a sensible thing to my sleep-deprived brain. I fell into the soothing rhythm – fill, fold, fold, fold and seal. Repeat 24 more times.  It was like Strictly Come Dancing for hands. While my hands were busy with the samosa production line, my head was busy thinking... can this work for Mozarella in Carrozza, (errr... Mozzarella in Samosa?) As samosa aficionado, Barack Obama, might say... Yes! It! Can!

Mozzarella in Samosa at the start of its career...  
These little pastries stuffed with mozzarella, Parma ham, and pesto are a delight. Not too much of anything and just enough of everything.

I’ve given two methods for cooking: oven baked for the low(er) fat option that doesn’t taste ‘low fat’, or deep fried for the “I might as well be hung for a sheep, as a lamb” option.
If you’ve never folded a samosa before, I suggest you print out the diagram and practice with that first!
For approximately 10 you will need...
250g strong white flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
Approximately 150mls cold water

Spicy Tomato Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
500mls pasata
½ teaspoon mild chilli powder
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

1 ball mozzarella, patted with kitchen paper to absorb excess moisture, then finely chopped
1 tablespoon pesto
3 slices Parma ham, shredded

1.       First make the dough: Mix together the flour, salt and sunflower oil. Mix in the water, a little at a time, using just enough to bring the mixture together in a ball, leaving the bowl clean. Refrigerate for an hour.
2.       Make the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion has softened without colouring. Add the rest of the ingredients and allow to bubble gently over a medium heat until the sauce has thickened (about 20 minutes). This can be served hot or cold and keeps for a few days in the fridge.
3.       Now make the filling: Mix together all the ingredients for the filling.
4.       Divide the dough into two pieces. Lightly sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle about 2mm thick. Cut the dough into strips approximately 8cm x 20cm. A pizza wheel is perfect for this job.
5.        Place a teaspoon of the mozzarella mixture about 1cm from the narrow edge nearest you. Moisten the first 5cm of the right edge. Then take the left corner (corner 1), and fold it diagonally over the mixture (to corner 2), pressing to seal the edge you’ve just moistened. Fold diagonally twice more as in the diagram – folding corner 3 to corner 4, then corner 5 to corner 6. (You’re allowed curse while making the first one but you’ll soon get the hang of it). When you have made the third fold, cut away the dough strip, leaving a 1cm border (7 in the diagram). Moisten this flap and fold over the triangular parcel you’ve just made.
6.       Place on a lightly floured surface, while you make the rest (or place them directly on a non-stick baking sheet if you are going to bake them).

Practice makes perfect... (ignore the one on the right!)  
To bake pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
Place the triangles on a non-stick baking sheet, brush lightly with a little beaten egg, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot with the tomato sauce.
To deep fry, pre-heat your deep fat fryer to 190°C (375°F)
Gently lower one of the parcels into the hot fat followed closely, one-by-one, by as many as will comfortably fit in the fryer without overcrowding. You may have to do this in batches. Keep the temperature at 190°C (375°C), turning the parcels after 4 minutes.  When they have had 6 – 8 minutes and are golden brown, remove from the fat and drain on kitchen paper.
Caution: however tempted you are, do not stuff the hot pastry into your mouth – the filling is like molten lava! Serve with that warning, and the spicy tomato sauce.
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  1. Oh my god - yum yum yum. Thanks for another simle and delicious suggestion. People are beginning to think I can cook :-)

  2. Just finished making your Mozzarella in Samosa recipe. You are a culinary Goddess.

  3. I might just have eaten a fleshy rare steak but I still get a ghastly case of the munchies every time I log onto this damn blog. No wonder the pounds are piling on to my mentally obese pleasure cells!!!


  4. That second photo is so mouthwatering

  5. Hehe - I love your "molten lava" warning. I'm the type of person who burns myself on hot food because I'm so eager to get it in my mouth.
    I've never been a fan of samosas but a baked version sounds much, much better!

  6. Wow, these sound (and look) amazing!

  7. These looks fantastic! I love your new take on an Eastern classic!

  8. These look absolutely delicious! I've never attempted to make samosa at home before, and they definitely look like quite a lot of work, but certainly worth the effort. Thanks for sharing the recipe

  9. Wowww delicately executed! This looks absolutely AMAZING and I love it when east meets west, you just might be surprised at how well they go together!

  10. What a delicious idea.. I will have to try them, thank very much for sharing. I like your style of cooking... Luna :) .. I'll be back.


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