Posted By: Tom Caceci (VIEW COUNT: 5065) PRINT
(*There is, of course, no such unit as "a squirrel," in a standardized sense. The size of the critter affects how many you need. I'm assuming you have three medium-sized, toothsome and tender grey squirrels, say about one pound each on the hoof, and half that skinned and dressed. If you're using fox squirrels, which are nearly the size of rabbits, either cut down the number of squirrels or increase everything else in proportion.)
1 large baking potato - cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup of shelled green peas (Preferably fresh, but frozen will do. Don't used canned peas, they're already cooked to death.)
2 large carrots, cut as for the potato
Garlic (at least 2 cloves, more is better)
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1/2 tsp fresh ground ginger
Salt to taste
Ground pepper to taste
Curry powder to taste (or, if you can find it, genuine "garam masala" that is available in specialty Asian grocery shops)
You can prepare any standard unsweetened pie crust dough, enough for a two-crust 9" pie. I prefer to use won ton wrappers, which work just as well and puff up even better, and are far less trouble to fill.
This is an adaptation of a classic Indian dish ("Indian" as in India, not as in "Native American"). I guarantee even people who "don't like game" or who are horrified at eating "...those cute little squirrels" will like it. It's complicated and time consuming and WELL WORTH THE TROUBLE. METHOD:
First, put the squirrels in a pressure cooker for about 15 minutes, and cook until the meat flakes from the bones but it isn't mushy.
Reserve the liquor from this process.
Flake the meat off into a bowl, and mince coarsely.
To the squirrel meat, add the rest of the ingredients, except the curry powder.
Put enough of the pot liquor in to just come up to the top of the mixture (if you haven't got enough, add a little chicken broth).
Simmer uncovered until the vegetables are cooked and the liquid has evaporated. You want a mixture that's stiff and not watery.
Add the curry powder salt, and pepper, and let sit at least a couple of hours to cool.
Use circles or squares of pie crust dough or pre-cut won ton wrappers. If you're making these as a cocktail appetizer the final pieces should be bite-sized. 2-3" squares will give you triangular puffs, circles will make crescent-shaped ones.
Put a blob of filling (about 2 teaspoons, but the best amount will be obvious with practice) on the wrapper.
Wet the edges of the wrapper, fold over, and seal. The seal has to be tight or the stuff leaks out and makes a mess in the fry pot!
DEEP FRY the puffs in small batches in hot (350-375 degree) shortening.
Transfer to a piece of paper towel to drain.
They can be served hot or at room temperature, though most people prefer them hot. They can be held uncooked in the refrigerator at least two days if covered. Cold puffs shouldn't be re-heated in the microwave, it makes them soggy. A few minutes in the oven is preferable.