I always misjudge how much food will be consumed during Ramadan and Eid. It’s never too little, but always too much. I think it has to do with the fact that I was making food decisions while I was fasting. You know, they always say never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. This rule also applies when you’re fasting. Your tummy is telling you that it wants all of these rich goodies and savoury treats to eat after iftar. However, when that time does come, there is no space or desire to eat all of that stuff. Instead, you are left with an overflowing fridge.
What to do?
I can’t whip up a casserole, because well people of South Asian heritage don’t eat casseroles. In fact, many of us don’t know what a casserole is. The only way I learned about it was from a friend of mine at work. I still have a good laugh when I think back to that conversation. We were talking about leftovers and she asked me what I did with them…my reply was that I ate them..as is. As the discussion continued, some of my students and fellow teachers of South Asian heritage came into the conversation. We concluded that people of South Asian heritage don’t make casseroles (most of the people we talked to didn’t know what they were!). We make curries, and stews that involve several steps, and most of the cooking does take place on the stove top.
So, to address my problem of the overflowing fridge, I took to the Food Network for inspiration and came up with some flaky, delectable treats that traveled with me on a 5 and a half hour flight down south.
1 package of puff pastry ( I like the ones that are already rolled into sheets), thawed according to package instructions
1 cup of shredded roasted chicken (I love this because you can roast up chicken with any blend of herbs and spices you desire and change the way these puff pastry treats taste),
2 or 3 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup of shredded vegetarian cheese
10-12 cherry tomatoes, washed and cut into slices
**Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
**On a cookie sheet lined with parchment, lay down a sheet of puff pastry. Using a knife, cut the puff pastry sheet into squares or rectangles.
|My puff pastries in different shapes before heading to the oven|
For plain chicken puffs:
Take a tablespoon of the shredded chicken and place it in the centre of the puff pastry. Take another sheet and put it on top of it and press down the sides so the filling doesn’t leak out.
For cheese, onion and tomato puffs
Combine the three ingredients and place a spoonful of it on one end of the puff pastry. Start rolling the puff pastry into a roll by rolling the side with the stuffing away from you.
For a combined puff: Mix all of the ingredients together and fill in puff pastry.
For this batch of puff pastries, I did not brush them with an egg wash (egg mixed with water), but you can choose to do so if you wish. If you want to save these for another day, place the unbaked and unwashed puffs into a freezer Ziploc bag (don’t forget to put a piece of wax paper between layers!) and put into the freezer.
If you want to enjoy them right away, bake until lightly golden brown. Serve with chutney or chili sauce.
**I made these puff pastry treats in my toaster-oven, but they can also be made in a regular oven.
** You can create the puff pastries in any shape you desire. Be creative!