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Caribbean Recipes: Pastechis

Enjoy this recipe for Pastechis, the Aruban version of everyone's favorite: the turnover

Turnovers are one of the most versatile snack foods in the world. Each region has its own variation: in Scotland, they're known as bridies; Italy is responsible for calzones; in Russia, they're called piroshkies; and the East Indian version is called samosa.

Turnovers are versatile and easy to make ahead. They can also be finger foods, which makes them great party fare. You can create a meat version, a vegetable version, or a combination for some tasty delights - something to please everyone.

Depending on the country of origin, the pastry dough and folds might be different, but ultimately, a turnover is a turnover is a turnover.

Here's a simple recipe for pastechis. Note that they are different from the popular Jamaican meat patty. That recipe is listed here.

1 pound boneless chicken breasts
½ small onion, minced
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 jalapenos, minced (optional)
2 limes

Rub chicken breasts with lime juice. Combine seasonings, onion, and jalapeno; rub onto chicken. Place in plastic baggie and marinate overnight in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake chicken for about one hour or until done (internal temperature of 170 degrees).

Remove from oven, allow to cool, and then shred and chop.

3 cups flour
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium egg
¾ cup water

Sift flour and salt. Combine butter, egg, and vegetable oil. Add 1 cup flour to the butter and vegetable oil. Slowly add water and continue mixing. Add remaining flour to achieve a workable dough and knead well.

Roll out dough into a thin sheet and cut out 3-inch circles. On top of one circle, add about a tablespoonful of chicken. Add a second circle on top. Press pastry lightly and close edges with fork tines. Seal with a few dabs of water.

Heat oil in fryer and submerge pastechis until golden brown. Drain and serve. Can fry ahead of time and re-heat in oven.

Makes about 24 appetizers.

The above recipe utilizes simple ingredients. You can add cheeses, substitute pork, lamb, or beef, and add vegetables if you wish.





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