Homemade Samosas

I love Indian food. I am not Indian, but it truly is my comfort food. If I’ve had a bad day, I crave tikka and naan. I’m not sure what it is, but it makes me incredibly happy.  I usually shy away from making it at home because, let’s face it, I’m not very good at it. Indian food just isn’t the same at home.

That being said, I did make these delicious samosas at home and I’m pretty impressed with myself. Samosas are probably the most popular of Indian snacks, because who doesn’t like spiced potato and vegetable in a flaky crust? No one, that’s who.  Now I know my samosas look like empanadas. That is because I used pre-made empanada dough to cheat. We’ve been through this, I am not good at making dough. Besides, I didn’t want to slave all day over these.  I need my delicious samosas now!

This is a Delectable Endeavors original! Meaning I didn’t adapt it from anything! Pretty awesome, I know. Essentially, I tried to used what I already had to make something as close to traditional as possible.  These aren’t the real thing, but the certainly do the trick in a comfort food emergency.

 

Empanada wrappers (I used Goya discos)

1 cup of cubed russet potato

1 1/2 cup of cauliflower florets

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 jalapeno, finely diced

2 tsp of minced garlic

2 Tbl butter

1 Tbl canola or vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin seed

1/2 tsp fennel seed

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric

Salt to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add cauliflower and potato and boil until tender, then drain. Roughly break up into smaller pieces.  You can do this with a potato masher or, if you don’t have one, use a pastry cutter like I do!

Heat oil and butter together in a pan on medium heat. Add fennel seed and cumin seed. Add garlic, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander and heat until fragrant (only a minute).  Add onion and jalapeno. Cook until onion is translucent.

Add potato and cauliflower mixture and mix. Take off the heat and allow to cool.

I filled the empanada wrappers just like empanadas.  As you can see, I simply wetted the edges, folded it over and used the tines of a fork to seal it. Voila!

Start a Revolution

I am gonna start my own little revolution.  I’ve never done anything like this before, but a recent trip to a new brewpub has persuaded me to share my thoughts on a restaurant.  So I’m giving Revolution Brewing Company in Logan Square my first full review.

I went to Revolution on a total whim.  I was out with some friends who suggested we grab a bite to eat.  Someone chirped that they had heard Revolution had some good food.  Plus, he added, it came from the same people who own Handlebar.  If you are not from Chicago, Handlebar is a great vegan-friendly restaurant.  I was intrigued, so I agreed to go.

Wow am I glad I did.  Revolution is a pretty darn good brewery and an impressive restaurant.  First of all, the this is a hidden gem.  The outside is quiet and undiscerning, but the inside is stunning.  The large open space is essentially a prodigious loft.  Oddly airy, yet inviting.  The staff is warm and knowledgeable.  The beer, from what I gathered, was tasty and refreshing.  I had a Hard Working Woman and it was indeed the beer for me.  Then, there is the food . . .  Oh the food.  This is NOT your normal bar food.  This takes bar food to a whole different level.  I mean solidly, unreal.  I was really floored, maybe because I hadn’t expected or anticipated anything terribly spectacular.  I mean, after all, you go to a brewpub for the beer, not the food.

This is one brewpub I would revisit just for the food.  Their menu is creative and trendy.  There is the obligatory duck confit pizza and goat cheese salad.  However, they also have the more exciting testaments you would expect from someone who owns Handlebar, like italian seitan pizza and beluga lentils, quinoa, and winter vegetables.  And the taste and professionalism will blow you away.

That’s exactly what you think it is.  Bacon.  Parmesan.  Sage.  Popcorn.  Not only that, but the popcorn is cooked in bacon fat.  No joke.  This is a serious appetizer.  Not surprisingly, it also seems to be their most popular appetizer.  I’m not even sure how to explain it.  The word most people at the table seemed to agree on was, addicting.  Its salty, crunchy, and I dare you to stop eating it.  No really.  I dare you.

This is what they called “Sweet potato cakes”.  They take an Indian twist on latkes.  They are deliciously savory little sweet potato cakes seasoned with some lovely spice.  The dipping sauce is a roasted red pepper yogurt sauce.  Its cool and sweet.  I actually preferred this appetizer to the popcorn, but that might have something to do with my affinity for Indian food.

Yes, this is as delicious as it looks.  I love pulled pork.  I have tried to make it at home several times, but I just have not perfected the art yet.  So, I often order it when I go out to eat.  This was not your average pulled pork.  The pork was moist, tender, and slightly smokey.   But the slaw on this was amazing!  They call it a honey-jalapeno slaw and it has exactly what you would want and expect.  It’s creamy; it’s crunchy; it’s spicy; it’s sweet.  And it complements the meat perfectly.  And those fries!  They are incredible!  I don’t know how they make them, but the sprinkle them with coarse salt and they are more addicting than the bacon popcorn.

Needless to say, I highly recommend this place.  And the cherry on top of this calorie-laden sundae is that all of this food is . . . affordable.  Not just for Chicago, but generally affordable.  The bacon popcorn is only $4!  (Just to give you an idea.)  Its such a rarity to get not only good, but great, food at such a reasonable price, you better get moving.  The revolution isn’t going to wait for you.