Sunday, 25 July 2010

Pasteles Hojaldrados, made for my dad who loves them

My grandmother used to make these for my dad's birthday when we lived in Uruguay. After we came to Australia, my aunty (dad's sister) made them a few times and then mum and dad got into the habit of making them for pretty much every birthday. But for many many years, no one has made these. I think it's simply because they take such a long time. (As I had suspected and discovered today)

I got bitten by the cooking bug once again, and went on a search for a recipe for these. I have never made them before, so this was a total experiment.

I found this recipe by a Uruguayan guy, which I've adapted for vegetarians. The original recipe is made with lard (beef lard) eeek!!! Still they're yum :D
The recipe goes like this

500gms of plain flour
250mls of hot water
80gms of butter
1 tbs of salt (I use rock salt, and thought it was too much but did it anyway, cause that's what the recipe said, the pastry was quite salty, but it works in the end, go figure!!!)
1tsp of sugar
Dulce de leche or Quince paste (Or both if you want to try making half and half)
120gms of cornflour
60gms of butter (softened)
1 litre of Rice Bran oil
Caster sugar for sprinkling the pasteles :)

  1. In a small bowl, mix the hot water, sugar, salt and 80gms of butter. Mix until melted and combined.
  2. Place flour in a bowl, make a well in the center and pour the contents from above in, to make a soft dough.
  3. Knead the dough until it is pliable.
  4. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, 5mm in thickness.
  5. Spread about 1/6th of the butter (60gms) over half of the rolled out pastry, sprinkle with corn flour, and fold the unbuttered piece over the buttered piece, press together lightly and roll out into a rectangle again. Repeat at least 6 times. (I did mine 7 times)
  6. Cover the pastry with glad wrap and set aside to rest for 40 minutes.
  7. Roll out the pastry to about 3mm in thickness, and cut into 8cm squares.
  8. Place some quince paste in the middle of each square, moisten the area just around the filling, and press the pastry together, making sure that you don't seal the edges, you just want to seal the pastry around the filling.
  9. If you're filling with two different fillings, i would recommend, as i did, that you fold them differently so you know which ones are which. :D
  10. Fry in hot rice bran oil, making sure that you turn them over, the tend to cook well where the filling weighs them down, so you need to push them into the oil so all sides are cooked well.
  11. Drain in kitchen paper, and sprinkle with caster sugar.
  12. Do not throw out the cut offs, cut them into strips, fry them and sprinkle with caster sugar, they make a beautiful crunchy snack.
  13. Best eaten cold with a nice hot chocolate. BEWARE YOUR HEART!!!! hahahahahaha

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Sweet Potato Pie - Yeah it's looking like pie week!!!

This pie was inspired by a pumpkin pie recipe I saw last week on Better Home and Gardens and a roasted sweet potato that a work colleague makes.

The pumpkin pie on the telly was made with skim milk, and low fat pastry. None of that here ;)

The roasted sweet potato is mashed with five spice and a strong tasting cheese. Hmmmm yum!!!

I kind of combined these two ideas to make this pie.
Once again, I used the puff pastry from Aldi.


600gms boiled sweet potato
50gms grated Parmesan
1 quarter (to half) of a freshly grated nutmeg
1 sheet of puff pastry
3 eggs
Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a gratin dish with baking paper on the bottom and grease the sides.
  3. Line dish with sheet of puff pastry, cutting off excess.
  4. Mash sweet potato, and mix with cheese, nutmeg, parmesan and salt and pepper.
  5. Mix in eggs, then pour onto puff pastry.
  6. Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes.
  7. Serve with salad.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Pascualina - Spinach Pie

Pascualina is a spinach pie which we often eat in Uruguay. It is made with spinach or silver beet, sauteed onions and a home made pastry. I cheated because I love puff pastry, so I used a bought one. I have found the puff pastry from Aldi to be the best out there. I have tried many brands and the Aldi brand really kicks the backside of any of the more well known puff pastries out there. Well that's my opinion anyway.

I also use the Aldi frozen spinach. The reason I like it is because it is really easy to defrost as it comes in 6 pieces, and it is dry. Whenever I have defrosted other brands of spinach, I find that there is a huge amount of water, so you can never just add it to the dish frozen because you need to drain it first. The spinach from Aldi, doesn't have to be drained. It's perfect :)

3 onions chopped finely
1kg frozen spinach (defrosted)
1/2 nutmeg freshly grated
250gms Philadelphia cream cheese
6 eggs
4 sheets frozen puff pastry
Olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Egg wash

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees celcius.
  2. Sautee onions until golden.
  3. Add spinach, cream cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Stir through until all ingredients are mixed together. Put aside to cool slightly.
  4. Line a rectangular tray with puff pastry ensuring the pastry reaches right up to the edge of the tray.
  5. Spread out the filling over the puff pastry, and with a spoon make 6 holes in the filling so you can pour in the whole eggs. Crack eggs one by one and pour into the holes.
  6. Cover the pie with more pastry sealing the edges.
  7. Brush pastry all over with egg wash and bake in a hot oven for 40 minutes until pastry is golden.
  8. Serve with roasted sweet potato and steamed green beans.
Serves 6-8