Friday, November 19, 2010

A Cooking with Dr. Monkey Two-fer

Today's episode: Vegetarian pasties and Brussels Sprouts a la Monkey.

I saw Rachel Allen, the fairest lass on all of Irish TV, make some pasties the other night and I decided that I should make some as well since they looked so good and easy to make. They're a cross between pasties and samosas. She made hers with ground beef and Indian spices and the first batch I made were the same except I used ground turkey. This time I wanted to make a vegetarian version, so here's what I did:
I mixed 1/2 tsp each of turmeric and cayenne pepper with a dash of cumin into two cups of all purpose flour. Then I sifted it all together.
Next I cut up six tbl spoons of butter and I put it in with 3/4 cup of water and I brought it to a boil. After it came to a boil I took it off the heat and let it cool for a moment. I whisked an egg into the flour and spice mixture and then I added the buttery water and I mixed my dough together.Then I patted it out onto a floured cookie sheet and I refrigerated it for about a half an hour to cool it down.
As my pastry dough cooled I cut up 2 dozen small Cremini mushrooms and one medium sized white onion. Then I sauteed them. I also chopped up one third of a red pepper and sauteed it in with the other veggies. And then I added about 1/2 cup of finely chopped up cauliflower and about 3/4 cup of leftover mashed potatoes that I had in the fridge. (Next time I'll use diced up red skinned or Yukon Gold potatoes.) Once all the filling had cooked and and was mixed together nicely, I put it in a small bowl and put it in the freezer to cool a bit.

While the filling cooled I proceeded to roll out my by now cooled pastry. I rolled it out on a floured surface. I rolled it out to about the thickness of a compact disc. I then cut my pasties out of the dough, I made them four inches in diameter. I got 16 pasties out of my pastry dough.
After I got my pasties cut I took my filling out of the freezer and I mixed in 1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
After I put some parchment paper down on my cookie sheets I laid out my cut pastry and I filled them with the filling.
This is the trickiest step, deciding how much filling to put in. You want to put in enough so it's filling but not too much that you can't get it closed when you fold the pastry back onto itself. With this mixture I should have made sure that all of them were folded and closed properly, but alas I did not and some of the pasties leaked a bit, but it was okay.
After I got them filled and folded I put them in the oven which I had pre heated to 425. And I baked them for 20 minutes.

As the pasties baked I washed and sliced in half one dozen big Brussels Sprouts.

Then I melted one tbl spoon of butter in a small saute pan and I added about a teaspoon of pure sesame oil, a pinch of sea salt, and two small roughly chopped cloves of garlic.
I then put the Brussels Sprouts in the small saute pan, put a lid on it, and cooked them on medium heat. After they had been infused with the butter/sesame oil mixture I put just a bit of water in the pan and I cooked them with the lid off. The water cooked off and they sauteed nicely, some got a little brown with was what I was going for.

When my timer went off I took my pasties out of the oven and they looked like this:
I made a little bit of gravy out of Not Chick'n bullion, cracked black pepper, and paprika.

I served up the pasties with a ladle of gravy over them and the Brussels Sprouts on the side. And I'm pleased to say that the pasties weren't just good, they were hella good. So were the sprouts.

This type of pastry dough is simple to make and it's easy to work with, which means I'll be adding pasties to my arsenal of regular things I cook. Make yours with any type of ground or shredded meat and veggies you like. They're a great way to use up things like leftover turkey, pot roast, chicken, what have you. The sky is the limit, use your imagination when you make yours. And of course you can leave out or add any spices and herbs you like in your dough and filling mixture, and you can make yours bigger than I did if you like. If you make some, let me know what you put in yours and how they turned out.


Anonymous said...

HELLA. Heck yeah.

Also, sesame oil with brussels sprouts! You are clearly a genius, and I'm going to try this tonight.

Devilham said...

I love love love brussel sprouts!! I know you have a heart condition doc, so maybe a substitute would be in order, but I cook mine in bacon. Brussel sprouts and bacon are like best friends. I think any flavorful cured meat would work, like a low fat ham or something though, just needs that smokiness.

Mnmom said...

Devilham - shoe leather with bacon would be good. ANYTHING works with bacon. And I loves me some deviled ham.

Dr MVM - I'm doing to do these soon! I picked up some great meat pasties in Duluth MN for my NYC family to try. They just didn't appreciate the magic that is pasties.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Those look really good! I may have to make those over the holidays. They'd be great with leftover turkey, I'll bet.

GETkristiLOVE said...

I got some pasties for ya. ;)

Anonymous said...

Mushrooms and onions... the start of any great recipe as far as I'm concerned. I found some pulled pork I stashed away in the freezer, it would be perfect for pasties.

gmb said...

Looks great. If you split the brussel sprouts, you can saute them in olive oil, throw in some garlic and hot pepper flakes. When the brussel sprouts are cooked to your liking (let them brown a bit) put in a bowl, drissle with lemon juice and toss. Excellent.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Or gmb, I can fix the Brussels sprouts the way I said I did in this post.

Kulkuri said...

When I make Pasties, the crust is more like a pie crust than pastry. The filling is meat, potato, rutabaga, and onion.

I like to say Pasty rhymes with nasty, not hasty as that would be a nipple covering and usually not edible.