So this is the last in the Nom Nom Nom '09 trilogy of posts. That means it the last chance for us to grovel and say... go on! Vote for the Go Go Gin Girls. Please? After all, we got drunk and we set things on fire. Voting is open until the end of this week, and if we win we might even just do a victory dance.
To complete our 3 course menu, we decided on cherry samosas. These are derived from a Gordon Ramsey recipe which I have made before to great success, but we simplified it somewhat in the execution of it for Nom Nom Nom (i.e. we left the lemon out).
Cherries are really in season at the moment, and the ones we bought from the farmers' market were ripe and juicy. We made quite a mess in stoning the cherries; my hands were stained red.
It's also quite a labour-intensive recipe. Not only do the cherries need to be stoned an halved, they are then flambé'd, and cooked down into a jammy compote. Filo pastry is then layered on top of each other, and this is all folded into a samosa-like shape before being baked. But it's well worth the work, as you get a crispy hot parcel of juicy, cherry goodness, accompanied by apple scented mascarpone.
Cherry Samosas with Apple Mascarpone
1 box of filo pastry
A small handful of mint
A pack of unsalted butter
1 tbsp sugar (to taste)
A good glug of brandy (I guestimate at 100mls)
A tub of mascarpone
Half an eating apple
Pit and halve the cherries, reserving a few for garnish. In a non stick frying pan, melt a knob of butter until foaming, and then add the cherries. Add the tablespoon of sugar and cook on a low heat until the juices are released. Pour over the brandy and carefully bring a lit match towards it - it should catch fire and flambé the mixture. Simmer on a low heat until thickened and syrupy. Taste it and if needed, add more sugar. Take off the heat, throw in the mint, chopped finely, reserving one leaf. Leave the mixture to cool.
To fold the samosa, take out the filo and slice into three lengthways. Melt the pack of butter and pour off the clarified butter, discarding the white bits. Using a pastry brush, brush one lenghtways layer of filo with the butter, then lay another on top. Brush again with butter and lay another one on so that it's 3 sheets thick. Spoon a tablespoon's worth of the cherry mixture onto the bottom corner of the sheet, then fold the sheet carefully into a triangle, pressing down the seams. Butter the rest of the sheet and carry on folding until you've run out of pastry, sealing the seams as you go along. Repeat until you have 8 samosas (2 per person). When you come to baking them, brush both sides with butter (no one said it was a healthy recipe...) and bake in a hot oven, around 200 degrees C, for 10 - 15 minutes or until browned. Meanwhile, grate the apple into a clean tea towel and squeeze a little of the juice out. Mix with the mascarpone.
To serve, dust the samosas with icing sugar and place two on the plate with a quenelle of the mascarpone. Garnish with a mint leaf and a couple of cherries.
If you're in a generous mood, Action Against Hunger have teamed up with Nom Nom Nom and are holding a charity raffle; prizes include a meal at Le Gavroche... Click here to donate.