Sunday, July 20, 2008


On friday, I was invited to a tapas evening through some friends of mine. Everyone was supposed to make a little finger dish to share. I have always wanted to try out making little filled savory pasteries, because you always see them served as appetizers at fancy parties.

I found a recipe for Mushroom Pasties in a cookbook we have at home called "the Book of Appetizers" by June Budgen. Catchy title. Since this was all last minute, I didn't have any mushrooms in the house, but I did have a pack of frozen spinach, so I decided to make Spinach Pasties instead.

The recipe said it made 10 little pasteries, so I made a double recipe and ended up with WAY too much filling compared to the dough. I suggest making a single recipe for about triple the amoung of dough of what's suggested in this recipe. It wasn't a big deal, though, because I used the leftover filling in some stuffed crepes that I made for lunch the next day.


Spinach Pasties

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
6 tablespoons firm butter
1 to 2 tablespoons cold water
3 shallots, chopped
1/2 pound spinach (or mushrooms if you want to make mushroom pasties)
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 tablespoons milk
8 pitted olives, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten

Cut 4 tablespoons butter into one cup of flour, or mix in a mixmaster until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in cold water, stirring until dough holds together. Gather into a ball and chill.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Add shallots and cook, stir until soft. Add spinach (or mushrooms), cook until liquid has evaporated. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour, then stir in mustard, sherry, and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring, Stir in olives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, chill.

Grease a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit or 200 degrees celsius.

Roll out pastry thinly on a floured board, use the opening of a glass to cut out 3-inch rounds. Place a small amount of spinach (or mustard) mixture in center of each round, bring edges together and join in center. Pinch to make sure edges stay together. Brush tops of pastries with beaten egg. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.


If I were to make this recipe again, I probably would've made a lot more dough at once. Although it takes longer to roll out so many more pastries, you're putting time into making these pastries in the first place, so you might as well make 40 instead of 20.

20 was a great amount to bring to the Tapas evening, though, which turned out to be a lovely night! About 10 people showed up, each had brought a wonderful dish to share. There were crackers with brie and granny smith apple slices, asparagus wrapped in bacon, then fried, mini pizzas made out of pita bread, tomato sauce, a slice of turkey, cheese and arugula on the top, crepes filled with blueberries, little turkey meatballs, potato salad, apples with procutto, french bread with smoked salmon, mustard sauce, and dill... Everybody had put a lot of thought into their dishes and everything, EVERYTHING tasted wonderful. We sat outside in the garden, ate wonderful food, drank some beers, and thouroughly enjoyed ourselves.

This was a great way to bring people together- the food was so good, but so simple and with everyone pitching in to make it, it was easy to put together. This is definitely something to consider doing again!

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