Vegetable pastries. Staying in.

DSC_0098For this weekends treat I thought I would share something more complicated, since last post – homemade ice-cream – was 5 minutes project. I like cooking, creating new recipes, spending hours i the kitchen. Sometimes. When I have inspiration. Today was that day, so I decided to make some traditional karaitean dish – pastries with vegetables and cheese (original recipe requires lamb with onions for filling instead of vegetables and cheese, but since I am vegetarian, I prefer this variation).

I’ve made 24 pastries, it took me 3 hours in the kitchen. Knowing that the weather is awful outside I find this activity as the best opportunity for Sunday morning. I like to stay in sometimes.

Ok, so for 24 pastries you will need:

650g of white flour
250g of cold butter
200ml of sour cream (or greek yoghurt)
2 eggs
pinch of salt

Tools: grater/knife/food processor, spoon

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Mix the cold butter with flour and salt. I use grater (the biggest holes – the better) and just grate butter into flour. You can also use a knife – cutting and mixing everything on cutting board technique, or just a food processor. You should get wet sand texture, something similar to that:

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Next you want to whisk eggs with sour cream or yoghurt. Nothing special, just until both are mixed together. Pour the mixture into flour and mix again. Do not overmix it, just make sure everything is incorporated. Cover the dough with foil or plastic wrap and put into a fridge for 20mins.

Make a filling. You can use whatever you want for a filling, here is my favorite combination:

2 carrots
2 onions
500g of champignons or other mushrooms of your choice
1 red bell pepper
1tbs of cumin
1tbs of fenugreek
1tbs of rosemary
1tbs of black pepper
1tbs of bay leaf
400g of cheese of your choice
salt for your taste
some sunflower oil for cooking
Optional: 1 egg, beaten – to grease tops of the pastries

Tools: Pan, spatula, spoon, rolling pin (I’ve been using an empty wine bottle for ages).

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Shred onions, mushrooms and bell pepper, grate carrots and cheese. Cook onions in your pan with a drop of oil on medium heat until get yellow, put carrots and bell pepper, cook for about 10 mins (until soften a little), then add all spices and salt, mix together, add mushrooms and cook again for 8-10mins. Let the filling cool completely, if it has too much liquid – spill that out, mix cheese into.

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Divide the pastry into 24 pieces, make small balls from each piece. Take your rolling pin, role each until 3-4 mm thin, put some filling inside and press the edges together very well. Put those on baking paper, grease with beaten egg (optional – only makes pastries to shine more) and bake in 180°C preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until gets golden.

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Traditionally these should be eaten together with beef or chicken broth, however I like the combination with caraway tea. It somehow gets me to my childhood and celebrating New Year memories.

Anyway, bon appetit!!!

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