When we moved to Michigan I didn't know a single person here. I'm no stranger to moving to a new city, so I got right down to friend-making business. I joined several meet-up groups, my sorority alumni group, a great church, and gained friends as I began working. After a few months I became good friends with a woman I met and we decided to start a book club. After a few more months of collecting new friends and inviting them to join, we created a great group of 5 - soon to be 6 members.
After chatting over email we discovered that in our group there was a vegan, 2 vegetarians, a gluten-free woman and 2 omnivores. We knew we wanted to have our book club meetings at each others homes and make it a pot-luck, so we all had our work cut out for us with regard to food choices. Then one woman suggested we theme each book club so the food matches the book! It's been a culinary challenge that I am happy to take on!
For the last meeting we read my selection, The Martian, which I highly recommend. So obviously for the theme, it had to be potatoes! My first instinct was baked samosas with wonton wrappers... but they're not vegan or gluten free! Then I saw gluten-free prepared dough at the store, but that's not vegan! So finally I decided to buy GF flour and use Earth Balance and olive oil in my dough. Sadly, the dough was a bit brittle and I was unable to mold it, so we had samosa tostatas.
With a few pounds of potatoes left and a strong craving for more samosas it finally hit me - samosa patties! I wish I had the idea before book club, but I'm glad it occurred to me because these were delicious! The filling is all that really matters in a samosa, so the absence of a wrapper was no big deal. They're also much healthier without the dough and being fried. We topped these with a bit of leftover mango chutney and served them alongside some crispy chickpeas and roasted cauliflower.
Our next theme is "heavenly food" - and vegan/GF suggestions?
Baked Samosa Patties
2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 c. cauliflower florets
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 small yellow or red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
1" of fresh ginger root, grated
3 tsp. curry powder (I love TJ's)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. groud turmeric
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 c. frozen peas
1 lime, juiced
Fresh black pepper1-2 tbsp. earth balance buttery spread (optional)
Preheat oven to 425*
Place potatoes in a pot of cold water, salt generously, cover and bring to a boil.
Uncover and cook for 5 minutes, add cauliflower and cook for another 5 minutes.
Drain in a colander and set aside.
While potatoes cook, add 1 tbsp. olive oil to a saute' pan over medium heat.
Add onion, garlic and serrano pepper, season with salt and cook for 5 minutes, until onions begin to brown.
Add drained potato/cauliflower mixture to a mixing bowl, mash with a potato masher until vegetables are all slightly broken down.
Add onion mixture, ginger, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, fennel seeds, peas and lime juice, gently fold ingredients into potato mixture.
Taste and adjust seasonings, adding pepper and if desired, earth balance.
Mixture should be a bit pasty but still have small chunks of potato and cauliflower, mash with a spatula as needed.
Line a cookie sheet with foil, grease with remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil.
Form mixture into about 8 patties, shaping into discs with hands (if it's still too hot to handle, refrigerate for 10 minutes), place on cookie sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes, then flip patties gently and cook for another 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, serve with chutney or raita.
*Another option is to pan-fry the patties in a bit of oil rather than bake