This week, we're island-jumping from the Dominican Republic to Aruba... no passport needed!
A traditional favorite for breakfast in Aruba is pastechi. It's similar to an empanada or a turnover.
Pastechis are available at roadside snack trucks and huts as early as 6:30 a.m. Pastechis are even available at such fast food places as Burger King, McDonald's, and Wendy's during breakfast hours on Aruba. But pastechis aren't just for breakfast. They're popular throughout the day.
Varieties include seafood ['pastechi di pisca'], cheese ['pastechi di keshi'], or this week's recipe, ground beef with raisins ['pastechi di carni'].
Pastechi Di Carni
Recipe Courtesy of Visit Aruba
4 cups of flour 1 tbs. of baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tbs. sugar
2 tbs. vegetable shortening
2 tbs. margarine
1 egg beaten
1 cup of water
Put all ingredients into a large bowl except water. Mix well. Add water, a little bit at a time to form dough. When the dough is pliable, knead it well.
Prepare the meat filling as follows:
1 lb. finely chopped beef without fat
1 tbs. margarine
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small green sweet pepper, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 tbs. raisins
1 tbs. piccalilli Hot red pepper, finely chopped, to taste; preferably Madame Jeanette Soy sauce, freshly ground black pepper, cumin, nutmeg, to taste
In large frying pan combine all ingredients except beef. Cook over medium heat, stirring till well combined and onion and celery are soft. Add beef and cook till well combined while stirring.
Roll the dough into a very thick sheet, then cut out circles about three inches in diameter. Place one tablespoon filling in the center of one pastry circle. Top it with a second circle. Lightly moisten edges and press the circles together. Fold or roll the edges over slightly and flute them as pie crust. Fry the pastechis in deep, hot vegetable oil until golden brown.
They may be prepared in advance and heated in the oven just before serving.
If you have a Caribbean recipe you'd love to share, be sure to email me!