Savory Pastry with Turkey and Vegetables

Appetizer, Baking

Inspired by Indonesian’s pastel goreng, a savory treat similar to empanadas, I made this easy pastry recently. The wonderful smell of ground turkey, peas, carrots, garlic, and onions baking inside of a pie crust in the oven filled the apartment. Hmm…delicious!  This flaky and savory pastry makes a great appetizer.

Here’s a list of things we’ll need:

  • 2 sheets of pie crust
  • 1 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound of ground turkey (or beef)
  • 1 bag of thawed frozen (mix) peas and carrots
  • 4 garlic (chopped)
  • 1 sweet onion (chopped)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A dash of curry powder

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Heat up a medium pan and add the oil.
  • Add garlic and onion. Cook for two minutes.
  • Add ground beef and let it brown.
  • Mix in the peas and carrots, salt, pepper, and curry powder.
  • Following Paula Dean’s direction on her empanada recipe: I cut out rounds from the pie crust using a small cookie cutter (3-inch), place a bit of cooked turkey and veggies in the middle of the crust, brush the edges with water, fold, and repeat. Place the pastries on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they turn golden brown.

Easy Fruit Pastry

Baking, Dessert

A foodie friend and I had a conversation about baking a few weeks back. Both he and I are cooking enthusiasts who are reluctant to bake. He suggested that our reluctance could have been caused by a “trust issue that we had toward the recipe, measurement, or the oven. I theorized that our disinclination to bake was due to our unwillingness to follow strict orders, which in this case were in a form of exact recipes and measurements. Wherein cooking we felt free to be creative and to use our senses to perfect the dishes we love to make.

After what felt like a little self-evaluation on our issues with baking (or maybe just in general) I thought that I should confront mine. I remembered thinking that maybe there was an art to baking I have yet to uncover. That once I found it I’d enjoy baking as much as I do cooking.

So I started to read more recipes on baking, watched the techniques on Food Network shows, and just basically entertained the idea of baking in my mind. Until one day an easy fruit pastry inspiration came. I think my brain was telling me that it had enough teasing with images of baked goods, that it was time to eat some pastries, and that it did not have the patience to wait for me to bake from scratch. Ha! I remembered the dough sheet I had bought for the topping of my chicken and mushroom pot pie the other day and realized that I had an extra. I also thought of the two fruit preserves that would be perfect to use as the filling for this pastry. So here’s what I did:

(Please keep in mind that this pastry is far from real baking (from scratch). But a girl has to start somewhere. I am planning to like this whole baking thing so I think a simple beginning might be a good idea.)

I prepared:

  • 1 Pillsburry Crescent Seamless Dough Sheet
  • Fruit preserves like Bonne Maman’s Apricot or Four Fruits (Cherry, Redcurrants, Raspberry, Strawberry)or fruit butter like American Spoon’s Strawberry Butter
  • 1 Egg for egg wash (beaten egg with two tablespoon of water)

Steps:

  • Preheat the oven to 375F
  • Spray the oven tray with a non-stick
  • Cut the dough sheet into 10 or 12 small squares
  • Add a half of teaspoon of the fruit preserves to the center of the square
  • Brush the edges with egg wash so they seal well
  • Fold each square’s corner to its opposite
  • Brush the top part of the folded pastry with egg wash
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastries look golden brown

The result was quite satisfying. I hope to try something more complex in the near future. Please let me know if you have any baking-from-scratch recipe recommendation. I’d be happy to receive more inspiration!

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

To Ro who still has to send me his no-knead bread recipe