Guyana is a food lovers bliss where cooking, eating, and talking about food are national past-times. Quite a few of the dishes you will find on eathical.ca were influenced by a sense of nostalgia for a tropical childhood.
There are many snacks available in Guyana; what used to be street food ended up in corner shops and eventually appeared on restaurant menus. Pastries are a British hangover, that and tea parties. Pop into any, street stand, lil shop, or restaurant and you will find homemade chicken, beef, and vegetables patties on offer – ranging from lovely cottage-style servings to fancy gourmet presentations. They’re always made fresh in the mid mornings and gone by mid afternoon. The following recipe is definitely a rough cottage version but ain’t nothing rough about the taste.
My mama, Rachael Bacchus, would fill these flaky pastry shells with just about any filling, if she didn’t dole it out fairly some of my siblings only saw the few crumbs left behind to prove its short existence.
Most recipes call for 2 tablespoon water but please that never works, flour will dry up the few drops of water so quickly. Use a well-floured surface when rolling your patties. This recipe makes approximately 12 to 16 patties or 2 pies.
Rachael’s Pastry Dough
3/4 cup softened butter
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
3 1/2 to 4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup icy cold water
Mix the fats together with the edge of a spoon, add two cups flour and the baking powder and combine with your fingers, add more flour a bit at a time until you have a course-crumbs texture.
Use the icy cold water to pull it all together, do not knead but squeeze to form a soft ball. Wrap in a damp towel and place in the fridge until ready to use.
Creamy Salmon and Dill Filling
1/4 cup butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil to sauté the shallots, and make the roux.
Add salt and pepper at your discretion.
1/2 cup finely diced shallots
1/2 tablespoon flour
1 cup cold whipping cream
1/2 cup grated cheeses (try a trio of harvarti, provolone, and aged cheddar)
1 cup leftover cooked salmon
1/2 cup fresh shelled peas
1/2 cup fresh dill
2 egg whites beaten with a drop of lemon and set aside for basting the pastries.
Sauté the shallots in the fats over low heat, add the flour and stir to make a quick roux, add the cream – stir with a wire whisk to make into a smooth sauce.
Lower the heat to the bare minimum and add the cheese, stir gently until melted, add the cooked salmon and coat well. Add the dill and peas, give it another stir and cook until very thick, set it to chilling for the filling and baking to come.
Now is the time to roll out your pastry and set it up for the patties. Roll and cut out 24 even rounds. Hold one in the palm of you hand, fill with 1-tablespoon filling and cover with another cutout. Now pinch the edges to seal and place in the tart pan. Finish the 12 patties.
Use a fork to poke holes right to the bottoms (to allow it to breathe which prevents it from exploding). Brush the tops with the whipped egg whites.
Bake at 370 degrees for about 12 minutes or until they look done like the featured image. Note: if you are short on time just make pies.
Serve with a salad and soup for a light lunch – on your tea party menu – or as an appetizer – and of course at your backyard dinner.
Until next time keep up with my local community and food travels on twitter @glutenfreesam and for even more stories check out the province.com
Until next time keep up with my local community/sustainable/gluten-free travels on twitter @glutenfreesam and for even more stories check out the province.com