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Monday, December 19, 2011

Lamb Turbans Savory Pastries

Sorry for the horrible photo.  The "pretty" ones are gone.  They really do look much better. :)
I posted a variation here. S. loves these little pastries and they are easy to make. I made a batch last week, for his birthday.

Special Ingredient:  dibs ruman, pomegranate molasses; you can buy it online.  I did not have any left so added some fresh pomegranate kernels instead.  I am sure the taste would have been enhanced by dibs ruman.

By the way, these pastries can be refrigerated for several days.  Just reheat in the oven until warm and slightly crispy.  Microwave works, too, but they won't be crispy, of course.  Perfect for easy finger foods!

Dough Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp lukewarm water
  • 1/4 tsp dry active yeast (it did not seem like enough so I added 1/2 tsp, just in case!)
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour (King Arthur's)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil -- don't add now, use for dipping later!
Get your breadmaker bowl out, add ingredients in order suggested by the manufacturer, and set on Dough.  For more adventurous ones, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water.  Cover and set aside to proof for a few minutes, until the mixture foams.  Combine flour and salt.  Pour yeast mixture over flour mixture, then knead into a soft dough.

Regardless of the method, once the dough is ready, shape it into a log.  Divide the log into 2 dozen small portions.  Shape each portion into 1 1/4-inch rounds.  Lightly dip each round into the olive oil and place on a large tray.  Cover the rounds with plastic wrap and set aside, allowing to rise for at least one hour.

Filling Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cups grated onion (I use food processor)
  • 1/4 lbs ground lamb (I use beef -- less fat and much cheaper)
  • 3/4 cups peeled and seeded on the vine tomatoes, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces.
  • 3/4 tsp salt (I will reduce to 1/2 tsp next time -- filling was a bit too salty for me)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger (I did not have any so skipped)
  • 1 tbsp dibs ruman (see note above)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed, if available)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
Toast pine nuts.  You can either preheat the oven to 350 F and toast in the center for 5-7 mins or toast in a small skillet, stirring often.  You want them golden brown but not burned, of course.  Cool pine nuts before using.

Grate the onion and drain in a fine-mesh strainer, to remove as much of the liquid as possible.  Combine onions with all remaining ingredients, including toasted pine nuts.  Mix well and place into the fine-mesh strainer to drain.  Note:  If you're not ready to make pastries, refrigerate the mix w/out draining.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Use your fingers to flatten each dough round to 3 1/2 inches in diameter.  Place 2 generous tsp of filling in the center.  Lift the edges on one side and pull like a hood over 1/3 of the filling, then start tucking edges in, a small portion at a time, clockwise, like a turban.  Maybe like forming a rose bud, one petal at a time?  Pinch the last edge so the "turban" does unfold.  :)

Transfer rounds to the greased cooking sheet or tray.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until pastry edges are golden brown.  Serve warm.

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