ILHAN OMAR'S SOMALI SAMBUSA
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: Sambusa are fried pockets filled with beef and onion from Ilhan Omar of Columbia Heights, who found that prepared egg roll wrappers worked well as a shortcut to making her own dough from scratch. From "One Big Table," by Molly O'Neill.
• Vegetable oil
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (85 percent lean)
• 2 tbsp. dried parsley
• 1 tsp. curry powder, plus more to taste
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 tsp. kosher salt
• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 1 pkg. egg roll wrappers
• Water, for sealing
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Stir in beef, parsley, curry powder, garlic, salt and pepper, and cook about 5 minutes, stirring to break up lumps, until meat is no longer pink. Taste and add more curry powder if you want.
Transfer meat mixture to medium bowl and cool to room temperature. Wipe out skillet.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut each egg roll wrapper in half diagonally. Working with one triangle at a time, lightly brush edges of wrapper with water. Fold long side of triangle in half, pinching edge to seal and form a little cup.
Place generous tablespoon of meat mixture into cup, then pull open flap of wrapper over cup, pressing to seal. As each sambusa is finished, place it on baking sheet. When sheet is full, cover sambusas with another piece of parchment paper and continue layering with finished sambusas.
Line a platter with several layers of paper towels. In skillet, heat about 1 inch of oil until a deep-frying thermometer reads 365 to 375 degrees, or a pinch of flour bubbles and sizzles in the oil. Add half of sambusas to the oil and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Using tongs or a skimmer, transfer sambusas to paper-towel-lined platter to drain briefly. Repeat with remaining sambusas and serve.
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: From "The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook," by Richard Hetzler.
• 1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 c. honey
• 11/2 c. canola oil
• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
• 2 c. white or yellow quinoa, rinsed
• 5 c. water
• 1/2 yellow onion
• 1 rib celery, cut into 3-in. pieces
• 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 3-in. pieces
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 plum (Roma) tomatoes, finely diced (1 c.)
• 2 cucumbers, seeded and finely diced (2 c.)
• 1/4 c. minced fresh cilantro
• 4 to 5 green onions, including some green parts, chopped
For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and honey. Gradually whisk in the oil until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
For the salad: In a large saucepan, combine quinoa, water, onion, celery, carrot and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until quinoa grains are translucent and tender.
Remove from heat and drain in a fine-meshed sieve. Remove and discard vegetables and bay leaf and let quinoa cool.
In large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro and green onions. Toss to mix. Add vinaigrette to salad and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
YIN YANG BEANS
Note: Pickled ginger comes in jars or plastic containers in the refrigerator section of most Asian markets. From "Stir-frying to the Sky's Edge," by Grace Young.
• 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
• 1 lb. green beans, ends trimmed (about 6 c.)
• 1 tbsp. soy sauce
• 1 tbsp. Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
• 1 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
• 1 tbsp. minced garlic
• 1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger root
• 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
• 2 tbsp. ground pork (about 1 oz.)
• 1 tbsp. minced pickled ginger (see Note)
• 1/4 c. chopped green onions
In a 3-quart saucepan, bring 11/2 quarts water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil over high heat. Add the beans and cook 1 minute or until they are bright green and the water almost returns to a boil. Drain the beans in a colander, shaking well to remove all excess water. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce and rice wine.
Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil, add the garlic, fresh ginger and red pepper flakes, and stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant.
Add the pork and, using a metal spatula, break up the pork and stir-fry 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the pork is no longer pink. Add the beans, pickled ginger, and green onions and sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Swirl the soy sauce mixture into the wok and stir-fry 1 minute or until the pork is cooked through and the beans are crisp-tender.