By popular demand, I have decided to blog my recipes for 3 titbits that I've made recently for 3 different parties (2 for mothers and 1 for my son's class) : 1) Moroccan Briouates with Minced Meat, Spices and Herbs, 2) Mini Tartelets with Cherry Tomatoes, Cheese, Bacon and Onions and 3) Fusion Samoussas with Curried Potatoes and Eggs.
Filo pastry sheets (easily found in Greek groceries)
Melted Butter and Kitchen Brush
400g Minced Meat (Beef or Lamb)
1 Onion chopped
Fresh Coriander Leaves
Fresh Mint Leaves
Fresh Parsley Leaves
Raisins or Sultanas
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tsp Ground Coriander
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp Ground Paprika
2 Eggs beaten
Icing Sugar and Ground Cinnamon mixed together (for icing the pastries)
First prepare the meat filling. In a hot pan, brown some chopped onions and the chopped herbs (coriander, mint and parsley), then add in the minced meat. Stir frequently to brown the meat evenly. Stir in the spices, raisins and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the beaten eggs, stirring all the time. Squeeze some lime juice over it and set aside.
I usually make my pastries in cigar shapes as they are easier to handle. Triangles are easier with crescent-shaped pastry sheets but to save time I usually just use square ones.
Prepare the filo pastry sheets by cutting them up into e.g. 12 x 12 cm squares. With a brush, butter the surface of one sheet and then place another sheet over it. Place a little bit of the meat filling at the bottom part of the sheet, fold in the left and right sides of the sheet (over the meat) and just roll the whole thing from the bottom all the way to the top.
You could fry the pastries in hot oil to have a crispier shell, but I usually just put them in a hot oven (200ºC) for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle the icing sugar and ground cinnamon mix over them before serving.
Grated Cheese (e.g. Emmental, Gruyere, Comte, Cheddar...)
Cherry Tomatoes cut into halves
Red Onions finely sliced
Bacon 3cm slices
Fresh Basilic Leaves
Salt and Pepper
Mini Tartelet baking tray and round biscuit cutter
Heat up the oven to 190ºC. Roll out some puff pastry and cut them with a round biscuit cutter (e.g. 8cm in diam.). Place each pastry sheet on a buttered mold. Fill it first with the cheese, then the bacon, place 2-3 cherry tomato halves on it, some of the sliced onions, a small Basilic leaf, a pinch of salt and pepper and finally pour some olive oil over it all. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.
Filo pastry sheets
Potatoes cubed and cooked in boiling water
Eggs hard boiled
Fresh Coriander Leaves
Fresh Mint Leaves
Curry powder (e.g. with ground turmeric, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, garam masala, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, black onion seeds...)
I would start by browning some diced onions in some oil in a frying pan. Followed by the curry spices (the 1st 4 are the most important, the rest is optional) and the herbes (chopped finely). Then add in the cooked potato cubes, give everything a good stir for a few minutes, add in some coconut cream (we're not making a curry, it's just to make sure that the potatoes are not too dry), the peas and the curry leaves.
When the potatoes are well-curried and just nicely moist, remove from the fire and fish out the curry leaves. Remove from the pan and put the potato filling in a mixing bowl. Add in the hard boiled eggs (roughly sliced) and mash up everything roughly. Roughly because we're not making a puree here, just a chunky mash with the pieces of potatoes, peas and eggs still visible.
I call this Fusion Samoussas because I have chosen to use filo pastry and will bake them in the oven instead of the traditional thicker pastry that goes into the oil for frying. The latter is tastier, but the former finer (and less oily). The filo sheets are prepared as for the Briouates above, filled the same way (just make sure that there are potatoes, eggs and peas in each portion) and goes into the oven for a similar amount of time. And as the result will be drier than the traditional fried samoussas, I have also decided to go the Moroccan way and sprinkle an icing sugar-ground cinammon mix over them before serving. A chilli sweet and sour dip could also be made to go with the Fusion Samoussas. The result was surprisingly tasty.
I have quite a bit of backlog where blogging my recipes is concerned and will have to try to catch up after my return from Florence. In the meantime, happy Summer holidays!