Meat Pies and Chocolate & Salted Caramel Cookies

posted by harlie in food

So….I haven’t been able to find almond flour (they usually have it at our local farmer’s market, but alas…no luck) so no macarons just yet. That’s probably for the best, especially since we made bread pudding last nigh. Yum. Yup, those macarons are just a matter of time…

That said, I have found yet another recipe to entice me. This one is for savory meat pies. Mmmmmmmeat pie.

I found the recipe on one of my favorite sites, Sunday Suppers. If you’re lucky enough to live near NYC, they have classes! I’m hoping to try my hand at it and, if it goes well, make dinner for some friends. I think I have most of what I need, minus sofrito and “nigella” — a type of onion seed. I’m pretty sure I can find those at Andronico’s or Whole Foods. I could make the sofrito, if necessary, but I’m lazy.

Then, I’m jonesing for some chocolate-salted caramel cookies. We had some a couple of months ago and I can’t remember where we bought them, but they were DELICIOUS. Of course, anything involving sweet and salty increases it’s chance of scrumdiddlyumptiousness. I’ve been practicing my butter caramel and I think that, with a little salt and paired with chocolate shortbread cookies, I may be able to satisfy my craving. The Mr might even like them.

*crosses fingers*

First the main course:

Mini Savory Meat Pies

 
Savory Pie Dough
3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
20 twist of a pepper mill
2 sticks cold butter cut in cubes
1/4 cup ice-cold water

Measure out flour, salt and pepper into a food processor. Mix well. Add the butter and pulse till butter resembles small pea size pieces. Add water while pulsing processor. Stop once the dough becomes a ball. Lay out a piece of clear wrap, lay the dough on it, flatten to a thick disk while wrapping. Allow to rest for at least 1/2 hour.

For meat pies lightly spray muffin tins with spray oil. Roll out dough and cut individual circles using a cookie cutter or rim of a glass slightly larger that the round of the muffin mold. Lay each circle in the molds and using a pastry brush brush edges with water. Fill with meat filling. Top with dough circle cut out, and with a fork seal edges. Brush top with egg wash and sprinkle with course sea salt.

Bake 20 minutes or till golden brown on the top and bottoms.

Pie Filling
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
4 thai bird chilis
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup sofrito
2 tsp. nigella seed
8 baby carrots, chopped into 1/4″ rounds
2 cups chicken pieces
1 bunch cilantro

Gently warm the oil and add chiles allowing them to cook over a low heat. Increase the heat and add the onion, sauteing till soft. Add and saute the sofito and nigella for a few minutes. Add the carrots, chicken and wine. Lower heat, put a lid on it and allow to simmer till the wine has reduced. Remove mixture from pan and cool. Wash and coarsely chop the cilantro. With your hands shred the chicken to allow more of the flavor to be absorbed by the chicken. Add and mix in the cilantro.

And now for dessert:

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

 
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup superfine granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Blend butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl with a fork until combined well. Sift flour and cocoa into butter mixture and blend with fork just until mixture forms a soft dough.

Divide dough in half and pat out with floured fingertips into 2 (6- to 6 1/2-inch) rounds on an ungreased large baking sheet. Chill dough, uncovered, until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F while dough chills.

Prick dough all over with fork and bake shortbreads in middle of oven until centers are dry to the touch and edges are slightly darker, about 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes, then cut each shortbread into 8 wedges with a large heavy knife. Transfer to rack to cool.

Caramel Filling (make a day before the cookies)
2 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 cups (packed) powdered sugar
6 tablespoons water

Place yolks in medium bowl. Bring 4 tablespoons butter and cream to simmer in heavy small saucepan. Gradually whisk hot cream mixture into yolks. Anchor bowl with yolk mixture by placing bowl on wet kitchen towel; set aside.

Stir sugar and 6 tablespoons water in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat and boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan so caramel will color evenly, about 10 minutes. Slowly whisk hot caramel into yolk mixture, then whisk until smooth. Transfer caramel mixture to small bowl; let stand until no longer warm to touch (caramel will become too thick if it cools too long), about 1 hour. Whisk in remaining butter. Cover and chill until thick and cold, at least 1 day and up to 3 days.

Caramel Filling #2
1/2 cup water
2.5 cups sugar
4.5 tbsp butter
3/4 cup heavy cream, warmed
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Using a heavy medium to large sized saucepan, combine water and sugar. Make sure that all the sugar is wet before you turn on the fire. Also make sure that no crystals of sugar are on the side of the pan. You can use a pastry brush dipped in water to wash it down to avoid crystallization.

Bring mixture to boil. When it starts boiling, brush down the sides of the pan to avoid sugar crystallization. Once the sugar-water mixture looks thick, you can remove the lid. When the color starts turning amber, lightly swirl the pan to evenly cook the sugar mixture. Bring the sugar into a medium amber color. Make sure it doesn’t get too dark that it becomes bitter. But, you also want it to be darker than golden color so that there is deep caramel flavor and the color of finished product is not too light.

Turn off the heat when it reaches the desired amber color. If possible you can dip the bottom of your pan in a bowl of cold water for about 5 seconds to stop the cooking. Add in butter. Be careful when doing this, the mixture will foam up and splatter. Step back until it settles down if you need to. Use a whisk to mix it in. Add in the warmed heavy cream and salt. Again be careful of the hot steam. Mix until smooth. Cool.

Once it is slightly cool and the caramel is thick, its ready to use.

1 Comment

avatar
harlie
Jul 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Couldn’t find sofrito, but found this simple and handy recipe:

1 med onion
1 roma tomato
1/4 bell pepper
as much garlic as you like (I used 4 cloves)
salt, pepper & cilantro to taste

chop finely in food processor and saute in olive oil until soft.


 

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