Here in Sydney, I was thrilled to find I could buy frozen puff pastry. That meant it was now possible to enjoy these little puffs with a fraction of the effort and time involved. Now don’t get me wrong. I am all about cooking and baking from scratch, but everyone needs to be open to a few shortcuts every now and then, especially when life gets hectic. So today, we are going to use the store bought frozen version. That covers the pastry. For a tasty filling I use my Beef mince recipe, but leave out the potatoes. Also you need to make sure that the liquid has cooked out so that you don’t have a runny filling. A runny filling will only result in a soggy pastry.
Now it’s just a matter of assembling the puffs. I cut up each thawed sheet of pastry into 6 portions and place the filling on one side keeping away from the edge. Run a finger dipped in water along the edges and fold over to seal. Apply an egg wash and bake. You can make these in a larger batch and refrigerate them. Just bring them to room temperature and heat them up on a pan or in the oven and you can sit down to a nice little snack. Very often, I have these with some tomato ketchup and I can safely say, nothing beats it.
Beef mince (each puff requires a spoon of filling)
Frozen puff pastry sheets, as many as you need (Each sheet yields 6 pieces)
1 egg, for the egg wash
Preheat the oven to 220ºC (follow the package instructions if you’re using puff pastry).
Place the thawed puff pastry sheet on a flat work surface and cut into 6 potions. Place a spoon of the filling on one side of each puff staying away from the edges like so –
Keep a little bowl of water near your work surface. Dip a finger in the water and run on the edges of each puff.
Flip the empty half over onto the side with the filling and seal the edges. Place it on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Crack an egg in another bowl and beat lightly. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the egg wash over the puffs. This gives it a lovely golden brown glaze.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or till golden brown.
Enjoy them warm.
But today we’re here to talk not about the chips, but this really yummy salsa dip. A while ago, I’d picked up a jar from the local supermarket, that claimed to be ‘Hot’. I love spicy stuff, so I thought this would really hit the spot. What I love about Mexican food is the spice from the chillies and peppers and the tang from the lemon and tomatoes. Much to my disappointment, this store bought salsa was neither ‘Hot’ nor tangy. I knew I had to figure out a way to get my hands on something better. This homemade salsa was fresh, packed full of flavor and you can easily adjust the spice levels to your liking. It was everything a good salsa should be. I sure hope you try it out.
The picture doesn’t do it much justice. It was fairly late in the evening when it was taken. I hope to get a better picture up sometime soon.
Super Fast Salsa
1 clove of garlic
1/4 onion, roughly chopped
2 -3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
Fresh coriander leaves with stalks
Lime juice, to taste
Salt, to taste
Place all the ingredients in the food processor.
Pulse till it reaches the consistency you like and is combined.
Adjust the salt and lime if needed.
Come back tomorrow and I’ll show you how to use these fritters to make another yummy snack.
Chicken on Skewers
250g boneless chicken
1/3 cup plain yogurt
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
11/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
Olive oil, to drizzle over the chicken
Soak the wooden / bamboo skewers in some cold water for 30 minutes to an hour.
Cut the chicken into cubes.
Mix the spices in the yogurt in a bowl and check for salt levels and adjust if needed.
Add the chicken pieces to the spice mix and toss well to coat.
Cover the bowl with some cling film and leave it to marinate in the fridge for about 4-6 hours or overnight. If you are in a rush, try and let it marinate for atleast an hour.
When you’re ready to bake, carefully thread the chicken pieces onto the wooden skewers. Drizzle some olive oil over the chicken.
I placed the skewers on a foil lined baking dish to catch the drip (since I didn’t want to add to the clean up later).
Bake in a preheated oven (about 180ºC) on the top shelf under the grill, for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through.
- Don’t cut the chicken pieces too small else they’ll dry out while cooking.
- You may baste the pieces with a little olive oil when you flip them over.
Mushroom Toast Bites
200g packet of button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thickly
2 onions, sliced
1-2 green chillies, slit
1 tsp olive oil
A knob of butter
3 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed to release flavor
Salt, to taste
Crushed black pepper, to taste
Place the oil and butter in a pan over medium heat.
Add the mushrooms and saute till they’re done. Don’t overcrowd the pan as the mushrooms will just stew in their juices. Do this in stages if you’re using a small pan. Drain the mushrooms and keep aside.
Using the same pan, add a dash more oil / butter, if needed and tip in the garlic and onions and saute them on medium heat till they’re lightly caramelised.
Add the chilies and the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to mix well.
Take off the heat.
You can add some chopped coriander leaves at the end. I didn’t have any that evening, so I just left that out.
Lightly toast slices of bread and cut in halves and place the stir fried mushrooms over it.
Arrange on a platter and serve.
|Aloo tikkis before frying|
A Little Birdie Told Me
Tuesdays at The Table
Hearth and Soul
Recipes I Can’t Wait To Try
Let’s Do Brunch
I must say, I was really pleased with this take on homemade tortilla chips and I know for a fact that this will be my go to recipe in the future. For starters, the process was considerably shorter that the first version. These chips can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container. They don’t absorb much oil and are nice and crunchy. A note of caution, these are so darn good, you won’t be able to stop munching on them just the way they are. We went though half of the quantity without even making a single portion of nachos with them. They make fantastic nibbles.
Recipe from: Soups, Salads & Starters by Nita Mehta
1 1/2 cup corn meal (also called maize flour or makki ka atta)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
Knead into a pliable dough with water.
Make large marble sized portions and roll them out into thin discs.
Prick it all over with a fork.
Cut into wedges.
Heat some oil in pan and deep fry on a medium flame till they turn golden brown in color.
Drain them off on some absorbent kitchen paper.
When they’ve cooled off completely, store in an air tight container.
Use as needed.