Ena, dio, tria…mini pasties!

The most famous of all pasties are those made in Cornwall.  This little trio of pasties is a far cry from the giant Cornish beauties, but they are delicious!

I was ill last weekend and felt so rough, that I didn’t even cook.  It’s left me feeling eager to cook and write this week.  To begin with, I needed to use up some puff pastry in my freezer to make a little room.  I had such a great time making pasties last year that I thought it would be a good starting point for something new.

One of my favourite ingredients is Chorizo, so I thought that a nice chicken and Chorizo pasty would be fun.  Some peppers, some onions and some potato for substance.  Having bought the chicken, I then started toying with the idea of another filling and soon I’d made my mind up to try making a pesto chicken pasty.

Before I knew it, I’d added a third idea; a cheese and onion pasty.  Cheese and onion pasties are popular in these parts and I thought it would be good to add a veggie option to the gang.

The idea is simple enough: choose some ingredients to make a filling for a little parcel that can be baked in the oven and then eaten hot or cold.

With my decision made, I spent time preparing each filling and began my mini pasty experiment.  I was excited to see which one would turn out best.  Deep down, I knew the cheese and onion would work, but what of the other two?  I’m happy to say that my productive afternoon ended with smiles and I’ve been feeling very satisfied since.  My favourite was definitely the chicken and Chorizo pasty, but see what you think.

Mini pasties- chicken & chorizo, pesto chicken, cheese & onion

500g puff pastry

1 egg (beaten)

For the chicken & Chorizo filling

2 potatoes (cubed)

125g Chorizo sausage (cubed)

1 cooked chicken breast (cubed)

1 onion (diced)

1 red pepper (diced)

handful of chopped fresh coriander

salt

For the pesto chicken filling

2 potatoes (cubed)

1 cooked chicken breast (cubed)

A dozen mushrooms (diced)

1 tblspoon pesto

3 tblspoons grated Grana Padano

1 tblspoon olive oil

salt

For the cheese & onion filling

2 potatoes (cubed)

1 onion (diced)

5 tblspoons grated Cheddar

2 tspoons Dijon mustard

To make the chicken and Chorizo filling, I boiled the cubed potatoes for ten minutes and then drained them and set them aside to cool.  In a frying pan, I heated a little oil and fried the onions, Chorizo and pepper until the onions had cooked through and the Chorizo had released a beautiful red oil.  I stirred in the potatoes and the chicken along with some salt before finally sprinkling in the coriander.  The first filling was done!

For the pesto chicken, it was even easier.  I boiled the potatoes and drained them.  Next I put the potatoes, chicken, pesto and cheese in a bowl and stirred thoroughly.  I fried the mushrooms and stirred them in.  A little salt to season and some pepper finished the job.

Finally, the cheese and onion filling was made by boiling the cubed potatoes and letting them cool before putting them into a bowl with the Dijon mustard and cheese.  I fried the onions and then added them to the bowl.  All that was left to do was mix it all together gently and season everything.

I rolled out the pastry until it was very thin and made use of a small saucer from an espresso cup to cut a circle.  A couple of tablespoons is all that is needed to fill the pasty and it’s important not to overfill it (tempting as it is).

Brushing the edge of half the pastry circle with egg wash helps to seal the pasty when you bring the edges together.  Just crimp the edges with a fork or fold and press them to stop the filling oozing out in the oven.  Place the pasties on a baking tray lined with baking paper and use a pastry brush to add the egg wash to each one.  This will give the pasties a lovely golden glaze.

Pop the little beauties in the oven for about twenty minutes at 180C or until they are golden.  You’ll know exactly when to take them out.

These make a great little snack and can be eaten cold.  If you make mini pasties as I did, you’ll be able to get about forty by making all three of the fillings.  Obviously, if you decide to make just one type of filling, you will definitely not need 500g of pastry!

I think I might make giant pasties next time and have them as part of a main meal.  I’m so happy with how these turned out.  Let me know if you decide to give them a go!

120g Chorizo sausage (cubed)

Advertisements

I want the moon on a stick!

I just wanted a fun recipe that would bring together chicken and Chorizo.  That’s not a tall order.  I came up with the idea of combining the two in the simplest of forms- meatballs!  As I’ve already mentioned, chefs with painted grins on Youtube had beaten me to it.  Not to be defeated, I bought a few ingredients and made my mind up to keep everything very simple.  Big flavours, satisfying result.  That was the goal.  All I had to do was control my urge to add lots of different spices, herbs and random bits that would end up robbing the meatballs of their distinctive taste.

Chicken and Chorizo meatballs

500g minced chicken

120g Chorizo sausage (skin removed)

1 green pepper (diced)

1 lime

1 egg

vegetable oil

sea salt

black pepper

Chop the Chorizo into small pieces.  This isn’t easy because of the high fat content and the firm texture that comes with cured meat.  Put the Chorizo into a large bowl with the minced chicken and the egg.  Season with plenty of salt and pepper, squeeze the juice of one lime over everything and work the mixture with your hands until thoroughly combined.  Mix in the diced green pepper and then begin to roll the mixture into little balls.  Try to push the green pepper into the centre of each ball so that it won’t break away when it cooks.

Heat some oil in a frying pan and brown the meatballs in continuous batches until there is no mixture left.  I managed to make just over forty, but it all depends on how much mixture you use for each one.  You could always make these into burgers if you wanted something more substantial.  Transfer each set of browned meatballs to a baking tray and when it’s full, slide onto the middle shelf of a preheated oven at 180 degrees.  Cook the meatballs for about fifteen to twenty minutes until they’re done all the way through.  Don’t be tempted to eat them if they’re still pink in the middle.

I liked the idea of threading these meatballs onto wooden skewers and I served them like that with Mexican rice and a Chipotle relish.  Sour cream and guacamole would be great to dip into, but to be honest, these little beauties are best appreciated on their own.  For once, I didn’t mess up a perfectly good idea by tinkering too much with decent ingredients.  As always, there are lots of things that could be added to the meatballs, but I’m very happy with how small the list of ingredients is.  This time, I’ll agree that less is definitely more.

Chopped fresh coriander and another squeeze of lime does the trick.