Bite-Sized Pastelle Croquettes
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Pastelles are delicious, but they’re pretty messy and obnoxious to eat at a party. At dinner, it also takes too much real estate on your plate. (Not to mention, it’s almost impossible to unwrap the damn thing in public without looking completely sloppy.) To solve this issue, we decided to create a neater, bitesize way of delivering those very same flavours you love. Imagine stuffing all the ingredients of pastelles into a cornmeal crust and deep-frying it to perfection. Serve them alongside tamarind sauce for dipping.
YIELDS: 24 Servings
- For the corn dough:
- 2 cups fine ground pre cooked cornmeal
- 2 ½ to 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
- For the filling:
- ½ lb ground beef or chicken
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup olives, sliced
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 3 tablespoons raisins
- Oil for frying
- Tamarind sauce to serve
- Heat oil in a sauté pan over high heat and cook onion and garlic for 5 minutes, until golden brown.
- Add minced beef and mix until cooked through.
- Add the thyme, fennel, olives, capers and raisins and stir a few times before removing from the heat. Set aside and allow to cool.
- In a medium bowl, dissolve the sugar and salt into the water.
- Gradually add the cornmeal to the water as you mix with your hands.
- Stop adding cornmeal right before the mix turns solid. Stir vigorously until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If it doesn’t firm up, add a few more sprinkles of cornmeal and stir vigorously again.
- Divide your dough into 12 to 15 even pieces.
- Roll each mound in your hands until a smooth ball forms. Flatten it in the palm of hand, add a teaspoon of stuffing to the middle of the dough, and gently close your hand to seal the dough. Roll gently and form into a smooth ball again. Repeat until all dough pieces are stuffed.
- Preheat oil in a over medium-high heat, keeping it at 350°F.
- Once ready, fry 5 to 6 croquettes at a time until golden brown then remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towel.