Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Curried Pumpkin Samosas

At our recent Holiday Open House I served these delicious little phyllo triangles filled with a sweet-and-spicy curried pumpkin (well, hubbard squash, actually) filling.

Perfect for keeping on hand in the freezer, these little treats can be made fiery or very mild. They bake up in about 30 minutes straight from the freezer, so you can have impressive snacks for even the most surprise drop-ins.

It is a bit of work to make these, but oh-so-worth it!

Curried Pumpkin Samosas

3 cups pumpkin (or hubbard or butternut) puree
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
dash cinnamon

1/2 package phyllo pastry (8 ounces), or 20 sheets of phyllo, approximately 9 x 14-inches
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter

Defrost phyllo pastry in the refrigerator or at room temperature; cut sheets in half lengthwise to make two long stacks, about 3.5 x 14-inches. Keep stacks covered with a damp tea towel.

Mash together filling ingredients.

Take one sheet of phyllo and brush with melted butter. Place one heaping tablespoon filling at the end of sheet and fold up, flag-style, until almost at the end. Use melted butter to seal the end closed. I didn't take photos of the folding process, because my hands were covered with melted butter... so here are some flag-folding illustrations to give you an idea.

Hopefully that isn't too confusing.

Now butter the entire outside of your packet of curry goodness and either place on an ungreased cookie sheet for immediate baking or in a container for freezing. I freeze them in layers on aluminum foil so I can pull them out on their foil and bake right on the foil on a cookie sheet.

Repeat process until all filling is used up, or you run out of phyllo, or you have enough, or you're just tired of making them.

Hints: If some of your phyllo tears, you can glue it back together with melted butter. If it's really messed up, just take another phyllo sheet and put your ugly one on it and start folding more. You can do this in smaller sizes, which would be good, too, or even with any other kind of filling.

Baking directions: Bake fresh samosas in a preheated 350*F oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden. Bake frozen samosas in a preheated 350*F for 30-45 minutes, or until outsides are golden.

Can be served hot, warm or at room temperature. If eating hot, be careful! That filling is HOT. I like them best warm.

These are so good. I can't tell you how many times I've burned the roof of my mouth because I knew they were too hot but couldn't resist them.

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