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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Savory Party Bites

I love baking with puff pastry, especially when I don't have to make it from scratch! ;-) I whipped up this recipe "Savory Party Bites" in a few minutes based on what I had at hand in the kitchen. It's really simple and quick to make - takes less than 30 minutes. You could definitely add other vegetables, spices and cheeses to vary it. This delightful delicacy makes great finger food for a party, snack, or as part of a larger meal. Makes approx 12 squares.


2 sheets frozen puff pastry thawed out (Trader Joes does a good veggie one)
1 cup sour cream
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 small zucchini shredded
1/2 cup frozen sweetcorn
1 cup frozen bell pepper strips
1 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp paprika flakes
1tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 TBSP Italian herbs
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
2 TBSP nutritional yeast
1 TBSP ghee


Preheat oven to 365 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat ghee in a saute pan over medium heat and chaunce the spices and herbs for a few seconds. Add in zucchini,bell peppers and sweetcorn and saute for 5 mins. Lower heat and mix in sour cream and cornstarch. Cook down for 5 mins or  until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and add in nutritional yeast and
mozzarella cheese, mixing evenly. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile prepare the thawed out pastry sheets by laying them on a dry flat surface and cutting into even squares (it will taste nice even if they're a little uneven - I cant cut a straight line for the life of me!). A pizza cutter probably would be a good tool to cut it evenly. 

Lightly oil a baking sheet and place the pastry on it. Place a tablespoon of  the sour cream filling onto each pastry square. Bake for 10-15 mins or until golden. Remove carefully using a flat spatula (or pan-knife as we say in Europe).

Thats it! Delicious served hot or cold - it will be gone in the blink of an eye, so hide it if you dont want it eaten before your party starts! Haha! :-D

Top left to right: Savory Party Bites, grilled asparagus, simple avocado salad, strawberry smoothie, and fried vegetable rice.

Spiced Potato Swirl Pastries

Happy New year everyone! :-)
 Here's something to warm you up in the cold winter weather! Tramping through the snow and shoveling clear your driveways will certainly give you a good appetite for sampling this recipe. :-)

There is a popular Indian dish known as Alu Patra which are deep fried spiced potato swirls. Every Indian house wife probably has her own variation of it. Since I prefer to bake instead of deep-fry, here is my own "gopi-fied" version of the recipe. These pastries make delicious lunch box snacks or a meal in themselves.


5 medium potato's peeled, washed and cubed
1 small zucchini washed and shredded
1 TSBP ghee (clarified butter)
1 1/2 tsp asafoetida
2 TSBP Italian herbs
1 1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp paprika flakes
Approx 1 1/2 - 2 TBSP real sea salt (or to taste)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup sour cream
1 TBSP cornflour
1 cup fresh coriander leaves washed and chopped small

1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups Arrowhead Mills pancake waffle mix
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 TBSP salt
3 TBSP ghee
1 1/2 TBSP apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Approx 3/4 cup cold water or as needed
1 TBSP oil or ghee for rubbing
1/2 cup flour at hand for dusting

Method for the filling:

Steam potato's til soft and drain. Heat 1 TBSP ghee and chaunce spices for a few seconds. Then stir fry the zucchini a few minutes and add in potato's. Stir to coat with evenly the spices. Mash the potato's, add salt, lemon juice, corn flour, and sour cream and mix well. Simmer over low heat for 10 mins stirring frequently. Remove from heat, mix in the coriander leaves and leave to cool.

Method for pastry:

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Rub in the ghee til flour resembles fine bread crumbs. Add in the vinegar/lemon juice, and then add the water slowly. Just use enough water to make a lovely soft non-sticky dough. Knead for a few minutes til nice and smooth. Place in a bowl and leave in freezer to cool for 10 mins.

On a dry surface lightly dusted in flour, roll out the pastry into a rectangular shape. Rub oil or ghee over the surface. Then spread the potato filling evenly over the pastry leaving a 1/4 inch uncovered along the edges. Then beginning on one end pinch over the pastry into a ridge and roll it up as firmly and tightly as possible. Pinch the ends and sides of the pastry shut - use a little water if necessary.

Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into approx 1 inch slices. On a lightly floured surface - to avoid stickiness from the potato filling coming out - pat them back into rounds.

Lightly oil a baking sheet and dust with flour. Place the pastries on it leaving a couple millimeters between them. Bake in a preheated oven at 395 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 20 minutes or until dark golden.

Gently remove from tray with a flat spatula and place to cool on paper towels to remove any excess oil for the bottom. They should be soft in texture. Makes approx 12 pieces. Delicious served warm with a dash of sour cream.