Ok fine, one more snack food post, and then I’ll make something healthy. This time I have a good excuse: poker. I had to bring food to a boy’s night poker game and we needed junk food. I was looking to do something interesting and the standard chips n’ dip thing didn’t really get my heart pumping. Plus, since I am a crappy poker player I needed to distract my opponents as much as possible.
Sidebar: You know how they say that the hardest poker opponents are the ones who don’t know how to play? Because they make stupid decisions and play erratically? Yeah, that’s me. I’m the dude making outrageous bets with no cards, no bluffing ability whatsoever, and I usually end up talking too much and forgetting about the actual game. And perhaps drinking. Which brings me to my second line of defense: the bottle of Jim Beam Yellow Label that I brought along with my curried beef dumplings.
I am not a big fan of deep frying at home – I find that no matter what I do, the place ends up smelling like oil. I use the cast iron, I use the thermometer to monitor the temperature, and I use clean oil, but still every time I get that smell. Perhaps there is no way to avoid it and I just don’t have the ventilation to deal with it. Regardless, making these suckers is pretty easy and they are very tasty. I used wonton wrappers because that’s what I could find, but I bet these would be tasty using dumpling wrappers and made like pot-stickers or even just straight up steamed. I also love curry, so I up’d the amount of curry by 25% from the original which I think really added to the deep flavor.
Curried Beef Dumplings
Adapted from Gourmet, May 2009
1/2 cup finely chopped scallion
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups plus 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil (estimate)
1/2 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
30-35 dumpling or wonton wrappers
Heat 1.5 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add in the scallion, onion, curry powder, and thyme and cook for five or six minutes until the onions and scallions are soft. Add in the ground beef and bread crumbs, stir until coated with the onion mixture and cook until the meat starts to brown. Add hot sauce to taste, being careful not to add too much to overpower the taste of the curry. Remove the filling from heat and let the filling cool.
In a deep, heavy bottomed (preferably cast iron) pan heat one inch of oil to 350 degrees. Line a edged baking tray with paper towel, and put a rack on top of the paper towel. While the oil is heating, spoon one teaspoon of the filling onto a dumpling or wonton wrapper. Wet two edges and fold over each wrapper, sealing the edges with your fingers. Once the oil is heated, cook each dumpling for 15-20 seconds on each side or until golden brown. Wonton wrappers cook very quickly, so monitor carefully. Remove the dumplings from the oil and allow them to drain on the rack. Serve as soon as they are cool enough to handle or reheat on a low oven for a few minutes. Serve with hot sauce for dipping.
Ok, enough with the junk food. Salads for everyone. Maybe.