Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pastizzis :Part 1

Hello Sweets,

It's the middle of the week, hooray!  Did you guys do anything exciting today?  Or is everyone just counting the hours until the weekend? lol  I think my roommate is, and I am sure most people probably think everyday is a weekend for me since I'm off work.  But that whole "everyday is a weekend" gets old pretty quick, and I can't do a lot because of my health.  I get bored a whole lot faster than the average person, which is probably the first reason I decided to blog, but the reason I blog consistently, is my passion for the kitchen.

My passion started very young, over at grandmas making play dough and cookies, and watching my grandfather make dishes from his home country of Malta (tiny island off the coast of Sicily).  He taught me how to make his baked macaroni and baked rice (I'll do separate posts for both), but the one thing that EVERYONE in my family goes absolutely crazy for, are pastizzis.
these are ones I just heated because my blog got me hungry lol

So needless to say, when he told me my grandmother had "requested" he make more, I jumped at the chance to learn how to make an old world treat straight from the pro!  Pastizzis are savory pastries filled with one of two fillings: a) ricotta cheese or b)corned beef and peas.  They are a very popular and well known Maltese pastry, and they are hard to find in the grocery store, but the store bought ones are no comparison to a home made one!
isn't he the cutest! That island comes up to my hips lol he's tiny

We prepped both the dough and one of two fillings today, and tomorrow we will make the second filling and complete the pastry, and enjoy the fruits of our labor ;)  I was shocked at the simplicity of the dough recipe, but to be honest some of the tastiest dishes are quite simple aren't they :)  I cannot wait to have some fresh out of the oven. lol  I say this because when I got home I cooked some that he had given me previously that I froze, but nothing beats fresh :)  Now let me get to the first half of my pastizzi adventure.

Pastizzi Dough 
4C flour
1/2Tsp of salt
 shortening (we don't use a measurement system)
2 1/2C water

1)  In a large bowl, mix flour and salt.  Slowly add the water, working the mixture with your hands until it forms a cohesive ball that pulls away from the sides.
he uses a pot, lol so cute
 simple dough

2)  Take half the dough and some shortening (maybe 1 Tbs), and fold it into the dough repeatedly to thoroughly distribute.  Then shape dough into a ball and rub with shortening.  Place in a bag in the fridge overnight.
The dough will have a glossiness to it

Corned Beef and Pea Filling
1 can corned beef
3 cans sweet peas (not frozen they need to be soft)
pinch of salt
2Tsp garlic powder
1 Tsp curry powder
1/2Tsp pepper
dollop ketchup or HP sauce
(please note these are guestimates because we don't measure)

1)  Over low-medium heat, saute the corned beef and (drained) peas (the fat from the corned beef will be enough).  When the aroma because more predominate, mash the mixture like you would potatoes (it doesn't need to be perfectly mashed).
Not the most appealing visually, but it's a filling so that's okay :)

2)  Add in your spices and ketchup or HP sauce, mix thoroughly for about 5 more minutes then remove from heat.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
notice I still have some whole peas 

Tomorrow we will make the ricotta filling, and then complete the process by making little pocket like pastries out of our dough.  So tomorrow's post will be a continuum of this one, with one additional recipe, plus cooking instructions because we normally freeze them.  These are great appetizers for any get together because they can please almost anyone, and the two different fillings are perfect crowd pleasers.  When I was younger I didn't care for the ricotta ones, but my pallet has grown as I have and now I enjoy both types :) 

I'm almost positive I will be the one that family will call to have homemade pastizzis made for them, and I will probably will do it without being asked!  Maybe I should just always keep some in my freezer, that way when they call I can tell them their ready for pick up lol.  Do you have an "old world" recipe that has been passed down through the family?  I would love to hear from you guys, whether with a recipe or even just to say hello :)  Until next time...........

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo

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