This weekend I wasn't sleeping well so I watched a few episodes of my favourite Youtube show, Laura In The Kitchen. Laura has such a warm and fun personality, and her recipes are really good. It's got me thinking about my life-long dream of having my own tv show - perhaps a back up in case the whole career in environment doesn't end up working out? Or maybe a project for the near future?
I really enjoy watching the episodes where Laura is in her native Italy and cooking in her grandmother's kitchen. I love watching them cook together and share Nonna's signature recipes. It got me a bit nostalgic of my own family and my grandmother who, too, is an excellent cook. It's virtually impossible to replicate any of the dishes because a) she doesn't tend to share her recipes (she just feeds us), b) she has a crazy stock of ingredients, most of which I don't even know the names English, let alone where to purchase them, and c) she's (and my grandfather, I've got to give him credit) got some magical skills in the kitchen that no one else really has!
My grandma is a very intelligent woman, in all aspects of her life, including in the kitchen. She is capable of learning quickly and adapting recipes to suit her liking - and they taste great every time. Such as...
Curry puffs! Curry puffs may be found in some Chinese bakeries, and are reminiscent of Indian samosas or Mexican empanadas. They're a wonderful snack and afternoon pick-me-up. The recipe is quite simple, but my grandma makes them really well. And this weekend, I just couldn't stop thinking (and drooling) about curry puffs and how I haven't had one in quite some time. Unlike most of her other dishes, this is one that I figured I wouldn't need Grandma's exact recipe to make. So I went ahead and made it according to how I remember its taste, and of course adding a few of my own touches: sweet potato and cumin.
Let me just say that I had to quickly pop most of them in the freezer before I scarfed all 30+ morsels of deliciousness.
Here's to you, Grandma!
makes 30-40 small puffs
2 large potatoes, diced
1 sweet potato, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 tbsp cumin seed
3 tbsp curry powder
1 lb minced chicken or turkey
1 egg, beaten
1 cup peas
a handful of cilantro, finely chopped
1 block of puff pastry, thawed.
Boil the potatoes and sweet potato in salted water, until tender. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pan, add the carrot, onion, garlic, salt, and spices, and sweat for a few minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Add the minced meat, and cook until completely cooked through. Add the cooked potatoes and sweet potato, cook for a few more minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the peas and cilantro. Taste and adjust for seasonings, and let cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
On a lightly floured board, roll out the thaw puff pastry (I cut the block of pastry into smaller pieces for easier rolling) to about 1/8 inch.
Cut into round pieces (I used a large beer glass). Add a scoop of filling, fold over the pastry, and close the edges. Be careful not to overfill! Use a fork to seal the pastry.
Brush with the top of the pastry with egg, and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Let cool slightly before devouring (don't want to burn the roof of your mouth do ya?).