During these challenging quarantine days, food has become our comfort. Instagram is cluttered with devilishly tempting chocolate cakes, perfectly scored sourdough loaves, chocolate chip cookies, and innumerable pasta dishes. Flour has become the number one comfort food as we knead and bake our cares away.
With children around the home, light meals are always welcomed. Why not bake their veggies into a chow mien pie, or fry a batch of geera-seasoned aloo pies for the whole family to enjoy. And don’t forget, cheese buns are always welcomed as a light snack or the perfect accompaniment to that popular pasta dish.
Happy quarantine cooking!
Chow mein pies
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs oyster sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch diluted in ¼ cup water
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 cloves, garlic minced
1 tbs ginger, shredded
6 cups assorted shredded or julienned vegetables, carrots, cabbage, patchoi, christophene
1 cup baby corn
½ cup sliced water chestnuts
½ cup sliced chives
½ recipe dough (see below)
In a small bowl combine sauce ingredients.
In a wok or skillet heat oil, add ginger and garlic and stir fry until fragrant, add vegetables and stir and fry until vegetables are tender crisp, add sauce and stir well, cook until thick, remove and cool.
For the dough:
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs instant yeast
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
⅓ cup butter, softened
1 cup milk
¼ cup water
In a mixer bowl combine 4 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add butter and mix into dough.
Add milk and water, knead to a soft dough,
Add enough of the remaining flour as you can then turn onto a floured surface and knead to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic about 6 to 8 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl and cover and rise until doubled, 45 minutes.
Punch down, divide in half and rest dough for 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 24 equal pieces.
Roll each piece into a 4-inch circle, place about one tablespoon of filling in the centre of the lower half. Fold over and seal, pinching the edges together, using a little water if necessary. Place on a greased baking sheet.
Repeat until all dough and filling are used up.
Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned.
Makes 24 pies.
Cheesy garlic knots
4 cups all-purpose flour
3⁄4 tbs instant yeast
1 ½ cups milk
½ tbs sugar
¼ cup butter, soft
1 tsp salt
½ cup softened butter
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups finely grated cheese
Parsley for garnish
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, place flour, yeast, milk, sugar, butter and salt.
Combine and knead to soft a smooth dough, about 5 minutes.
Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about 45 to 60 minutes.
Combine butter, garlic, cheese and salt to make garlic and cheese butter, divide into 2.
Punch down dough and divide into 2.
Roll one piece dough out to a 16x8-inch rectangle. Spread half the butter onto dough.
Divide into two horizontally, cut into 4 vertical strips. You should have 16 pieces.
Form each strip into a single fold knot and place on a baking tray about 2 inches apart.
Repeat with other piece of dough.
Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes. Brush with additional melted butter
Bake for 20 minutes until golden, remove and sprinkle with parsley.
Seasoned aloo pies
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tbs butter
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
½ cup finely chopped chive
1 tsp minced garlic
1 pimento pepper seeded and chopped
½ hot pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
2 tsp ground roasted geera
Coconut oil for frying
Make the dough by combining flour, with baking powder, salt and butter. Add water to make a soft but pliable and non-sticky dough.
Knead into a ball and let rest.
Meanwhile boil potatoes with a little salt until tender, when cooked, drain and crush well with a potato masher. Add chive, garlic, pimento, hot pepper, geera, salt and salt.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Divide dough into 8 pieces, and roll each piece into a ball. Rest for 5 minutes.
Roll each piece of dough into a 5-inch circle, place about 1-2 tablespoons of the filling
Onto the lower portion of the circle, and bring the upper portion over lower portion to cover in a half moon-shape.
Seal and continue until all the dough and filling is used up.
Heat oil in a frying pan and shallow fry pies until golden brown.
Drain and fill with chutney.
Makes 8 pies.