You can learn more about the best sale of the year by visiting the Girl Scouts of Western Washington website here. And because the Girls Scouts are hip and keeping up with the times (I mean, they are the future leaders of America after all…) there is an awesome cookie locator, as well as an app, that tells you exactly where girls are selling cookies in your neighborhood! They won’t be updated until closer to the sale, but are very good to keep handy! (and to learn about the origin of the Girl Scout Cookie, check out the full history!)
This year, as an added bonus, the Girl Scouts turned to food bloggers in Western Washington to see what we’d do when turned loose with boxes of our favorite sweets. That’s right – a contest – with food bloggers – and COOKIES. It’s dangerous kids, and I’m getting serious….seriously excited. The contest is to use the cookies in a recipe of our own making. And you know I love a challenge. Without further ado, I present to you my savory AND sweet appetizer – Samoa Curry Arancini!
What in the heck is Samoa Curry Arancini you ask? That’s a great question – to which I answer: I made it up.
In “old world” Italy, people would take their left over risotto the next day and roll it into balls, then deep fry it into crispy, heavenly balls of fried deliciousness. I decided to take this old Italian recipe to India, to warm it up a bit. The recipe that follows IS EASY – I PROMISE. If it looks complicated, then take a deep breath, it’s smoke and mirrors, and you can use this to your advantage the next time you have company. This is the perfect appetizer to prepare ahead, and fry up at the last minute:
Samoa Curry Arancini
- 1 Cup White Rice (sticky rice like Niko Niko)
- 1 Cup Coconut Milk
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/2 Tbsp. Yellow Curry Powder
- 1/2 Tsp. Salt (plus more for dusting the arancini after frying)
- 1/2 Cup boiled then chopped chicken
- 1 box Girl Scout Samoa Cookies
- 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves
- 1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves + a pinch of salt
- 4-6 Samoa cookies, pulsed into crumbs in a food processor
- 2 Tbsp panko bread crumbs (or regular bread crumbs – plain)
- First get your rice and chicken prepared, this can be done at the same time. Get a small pot of water boiling and add your chicken breast (I use a frozen one). Boil till cooked through (about 15 minutes). While that’s boiling, get another small sauce pan for the rice.
- Combine the coconut milk, water, curry powder, 1/2Tsp. salt and rice in sauce pan. Put on medium heat and stir constantly, THE WHOLE TIME, with a spoon, till it boils. Continue stirring constantly for 2 minutes while boiling. After 2 minutes, turn heat off, cover with lid and remove completely from heat. Set a timer for 20 minutes and do NOT remove the lid.
- Meanwhile, prep your coating of Samoa crumbs and bread crumbs (I like panko bread crumbs – which are Japanese, but can be bought at any old grocery store). I put this mixture in a bowl and keep it in the freezer till I’m ready to roll the arancini and fry them. This prevents the chocolate from burning in the hot oil.
- Take 4-5 Samoas and chop each into 4-6 chunks, set aside. You’ll stuff a chunk of Samoa into the middle of each arancini.
- When your rice and chicken are done, stir them together and refrigerate until chilled completely. Once chilled, use a tablespoon to create evenly sized arancini balls (“arancini” means “orange” in Italian). As you create each ball, stuff a Samoa chunk into the middle and then roll in the crumb mixture.
- I like to pop the whole batch in the freezer for a few minutes, to chill them down before frying (again to keep the chocolate cold).
- To prepare your dipping sauce, just toss the greek yogurt, basil, mint and pinch of salt into the blender. Puree it and stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
- When guests arrive, get a small sauce pan ready with 1-2 inches of canola oil hot on medium high heat (I set it around 7-8). To test your oil, drop a tiny bit of your rice mixture in and see how long it takes to form a crispy outer crust (this should be no more than 1 minute).
- To fry, drop the arancini (up to 3 at a time) into the oil and let fry for 1 minute max – this will create a brown, crispy crust (that’s right, it’s a SAMOA CRUST).
- Plate them up with a saucer full of your basil, mint yogurt sauce, and serve hot. When you bite into the arancini, you’ll get the added surprise of a warm, melted center!
As the arancini fry to a golden crisp, that Samoa chunk you stuffed into the center is liquefying into a caramely, chocolatey, coconutty surprise. The warm flavors of coconut, curry and salty chicken are wonderfully balanced by the sweetness of chocolate and mint, and refreshing basil and yogurt. Better make a big, BIG batch, because after the first bite, you’ll want to hoard the whole batch to yourself – and so will your guests! Enjoy, and if you have any questions about the recipe, just leave me a comment!
It is such a treat to participate in a wonderful contest that will benefit the Girl Scouts of Western Washington by raising awareness not only of their fundraising activities, but also by keeping the community aware of all the great work they promote in local communities. To find out more, please visit http://www.facebook.com/GirlScoutsWW and https://twitter.com/#!/GirlScoutsWW and the Twitter hash #GSCookieRecipe.