Monday, December 28, 2009

a very tasty dinner

My goal for the past few months has been to convince myself, as well as my husband, that food can be truly healthy and also truly tasty.  So here's a 'recipe' that I've made a couple of times now, altering it here and there.  The original is here: Squash, Sage & Parmesan Pasties. (Pasty=pocket of food.) The first time I made this, although the pockets were delicious, the dough didn't turn out all that great.  So this time I bought a premade puff pastry and used that instead.  Usually I wouldn't go out and buy something I can very easily make myself, but...mine wasn't very good. (And it wasn't easy.) The premade pastry was really easy, and tasted way better.

First, here's a photo of tonight's finished product.

This recipe is enough for four pockets/servings, although tonight, I made two pockets, and kept the extra filling to help make a meal another night.  What I like best about this is that you could pretty much throw anything in the pockets and with the right seasoning, it'd be amazing. Carrots, potatoes, corn, spinach, leeks/onions, mozzarella or gouda cheese, sweet potatoes, broccoli, feta cheese, walnuts, etc.  You could also add meat, like ground beef or shredded chicken, but it's definitely not necessary; it's a good idea to cut meat from your diet wherever you can.

So here's what you'll need.
  • 2 thawed puff pastry sheets (thawing takes awhile, so take these out of the freezer first thing!)
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash (in small 1cm pieces - this also takes awhile)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (just put them in a skillet over medium heat, and toss occasionally, for about 10 minutes, til golden brown)
  • 2 tablespoons sage
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped into tiny pieces
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, stirred up with a fork
  • Salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 375.  In a medium bowl, mix together the squash, peas (best if they're still frozen), sage, garlic, basil, cheese and toasted pine nuts.  Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper into the mix (I didn't measure this, but I probably used 2 teaspoons of each. You do not want the salt, especially, to be lacking.)

Lay the first pastry on a lightly greased cookie sheet/pan.  Cut it in half (now you'll have two long rectangles).  Spoon the filling onto one side, fold over, and crimp the edges.  After you've done two, make sure the pan's still greased up, and lay out the second pastry (now that you have room on the pan) and do the same thing.  Use a brush to 'paint' the egg mix onto each pocket, making sure to cover every part of it.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Cut a little slit into the top right after they come out of the oven.  Serve immediately!

Let me know if you make these, and how they turn out! I'd also love to know any other filling you end up using.

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