Sunday, May 01, 2011

Snacking State-by-State Mashup 3: Berbere Ricotta Dessert Lumpia with Key Lime-Poi Sauce

For my third mashup post, I had to find a way to combine leftover ingredients and dishes from Hawaii, Georgia, Florida (north and south) and the District into one unified recipe. The resulting recipe seemed all throughout as if it was going to bomb big time, but in the end it turned out to be pretty interesting, in a good way.

The mash-up recipe: Berbere Ricotta Dessert Lumpia with Key Lime-Poi Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients (state flag indicates State-by-State post where ingredient was featured. Ingredients with no flag were not specifically used for any one post):

15 - 20 boiled peanuts (ground)

180 mL (1/2 glass bottle) pure sugar ("Mexican") Coca-Cola

1/2 teaspoon Ethiopian berbere spice

1 package lumpia wrappers

Sugar to taste

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 cup grits (prepared)

1/2 snack box (about 1 tablespoon) raisins

Dipping Sauce:

1/3 poi

Key lime juice to taste

1 - 3 tablespoons Kewpie mayonnaise (DC)

Sugar to taste

You also see cocoa powder in the ingredients photo. Along the way I decided not to use it, for reasons that will become clear.

Reduce half a bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola in a pan until you have s thin syrup. Though you may also want to add sugar to taste, the boiled-down Coke will serve as the main source of sweetness for the lumpia mixture.

Coke Minus?

While boiling down the Coke, mix the
ricotta, grits, raisins, ground down boiled peanuts (make sure you wash off the peanuts before you crush them) and berbere spice mix. Please make sure you don't use too much berbere because it will overpower your ricotta-grits mixture. I found that 1 teaspoon was more than enough to leave a strong berbere flavor, and a little kick, but to the point that I couldn't taste the Coke. Half the berbere will still give the flavor and some of the kick without overpowering everything else.

Here I added the Coca-Cola before everything else. Really, it doesn't matter exactly what order you add the Coke to the other ingredients.

One-finger ricotta-grits-Coke lumpia mixture!

Put your ricotta-grits mixture in the freezer for about 15 to 30 minutes to firm up if it is too loose, and in the meanwhile make your dipping sauce. Put the poi in the blender and slowly add your Key lime juice and Kewpie mayonnaise. You will want to add sugar to taste. Trust me on this. Please.

When ready to make your lumpia, put a hefty spoonful on a lumpia wrapper and fold as you would any other lumpia. Fry until golden brown in 350°F vegetable, peanut or canola oil. Serve with dipping sauce.

All the while I was making this recipe, it had the makings of "I know this is not going to work. I know that this is simply not going to work." But of the three mashup recipes I've done, this one by far turned out the best. The filling was not overpowering and was sweet, spicy and tangy all at once. The dipping sauce gave a very nice sweet and sour contrast all its own. If I had to do it over again, I would probably skip the grits, double the amount of reduced-down Coke and halve the amount of berbere I put in the recipe. A little powdered sugar on the lumpia wouldn't hurt either.