PASTEL COM DIABO DENTRO (PASTRY WITH THE DEVIL INSIDE)

 

“Unusual” might be the word you’d choose to describe these tuna-filled turnovers after your first taste. But we predict that a few more bites will change your reaction to “fantastic”.

Be sure to use fresh tuna if you can get it. For corn flour, check natural foods groceries, or make your own by grinding corn meal in a food processor until it is extremely fine. (Some grocery stores carry a finely-ground meal that needs no further processing.) Plan to serve 3 - 4 turnovers per person.

 

2 large sweet potatoes, unpeeled

1 - 2 cups corn flour

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 tblsp. olive oil

1 lb. fresh tuna, cooked, or 1 7-oz. can of tuna

1 medium tomato, chopped

2 chili peppers, finely chopped, or 1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. salt

oil for deep frying

 

To make the pastry, wash potatoes well and boil them until they are very tender. Spin them, kins and all, in a blender or foor processor until they make a smooth paste, or mash them thoroughly in a large bowl, making sure to get out all the lumps. Slowly add the corn flour, blending it in with your hands or with a wooden spoon to make a stiff dough. The moisture in your potatoes will determine how much you need, but the mixture should resmble biscuit dough or pie pastry (although it will be somewhat coarser). If the dough becomes too dry, add a few spoons of the water in which the potatoes were cooked. Roll into a ball, wrap in a damp, lint-free cloth, and chill while you make the filling.

Sauté onions in oil until they become transparent. Flake the tuna and mix with the onions and the remaining ingredients. (If you like spicy food, you may want to double or triple the amount of hot pepper.) Unwrap the dough and spread the damp towel on a flat surface. Working on top of it, tear off golf-ball size pieces of the dough and roll them into circles about 1/8-inch thick and 4 - 5 inches in diameter. Put a tablespoonful of the tuna filling on half of the dough circle; fold the other half of the circle across it and pinch the edges to seal.

In a deep, heavy pot, heat oil for frying until a test piece of dough sputters vigorously. You may either deep-fry the turnovers or fry them in a couple of inches of oil, turning them once to allow both sides to cook. Fry 2 or 3 at a time, continuing to make more as you fry the first ones. The oil is the right temperature when a test turnover becomes golden brown after frying about 3 minutes on each side. Drain on clean, absorbent cloths, and serve immediately.

 

Makes 14 - 16.

 

country : Cape Verde

course : fish dish

 

source : The Africa News Cookbook : African Cooking for Western Kitchens / edited by Tami Hultman

 

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