The New Year is all about possibility, hope, health, and doing things better. That’s why I’ll be deep frying as the ball drops. But I’m not deep-frying just anything. This isn’t the state fair (where everything from butter to kool-aid makes it into the bubbling oil).
I’m in the real world.
This is a Libyan dish – one that combines the best of everything – delicate potato wedges, stuffed with wonderfully spiced meat loaded up with fresh parsley, crunchy breadcrumbs and a whole lot of yum. I can count on one hand the number times I’ve deep fried in the last couple of years, so this is a big deal. And, while it isn’t steamed veggies, it’s pretty well rounded as far as fried food goes.
Eh. Who am I kidding. This isn’t the healthiest dish in the world.
But it is a nod to mixing things up, having little Adventures, getting out of my comfort zone.
And that’s what I hope for all of us in 2012.
Note: Some Libyans like to serve these swimming in a simple tomato sauce, but I prefer to leave them crisp and dip them in the sauce instead. You can prepare this recipe days ahead and freeze them before frying, if desired.
Makes 4 dozen
3-4 large russet potatoes
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 lb ground lamb or beef
1 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 cup water
1 cup parsley, minced
breadcrumbs, as needed to make it pasty, not wet (about 3 Tbsp)
Tomato sauce, as desired [recipe]
This New Year I wish you a new perspective in life.
Today I’ll get there with a bit of stovetop travel.
Write a thank you note while you wait. Or perhaps a letter to an older family member who could use a smile.
You can refrigerate the stuffing for later or use it right away.
Use your fingers to press in the filling and smooth flat. Do this to all the potatoes until the filling is gone.
You can now freeze them on the cookie sheet for a couple of hours until set, then place in plastic baggies and freeze until needed. OR you can deep fry them right away.
Use 375F vegetable oil in a pot and cook in batches. Don’t crowd ‘em… When they are done, they’ll be golden brown, the potato will be tender and the filling hot. If they brown too fast before the potato can cook, drop the oil temperature.
Happy days to you.