Friday, 30 November 2012

Preparative Pieday

We made sweet potato and chilli strudlets.
 I would much rather play with the kids than do housework*.
Given that Christmas is approaching, bearing with it glad tidings of far too much cookery, I thought it would make sense to make, and freeze, as much as possible in advance.
 Admittedly, little nibble pies aren't normally considered a vital part of the Yuletide feast, but why should we let that stop us?
Besides, we invented these ourselves**.

Sweet Potato and Chilli Strudlets


A packet of filo pastry***
A sweet potato
A handful of grated cheese
A couple of chillies, more if you want
Some not-even-a-little-bit-virgin olive oil

Put the sweet potato into the oven to bake for an hour or so.
If there's another adult in the house, go out to the library**** or something until it's done.

Take the potato out of the oven to cool a little while you***** chop the chillies

Put the chillies and cheese into a bowl, scoop out the warm sweet potato flesh and mix the lot together.

Next take a sheet of filo and brush or spray it with olive oil, then fold it lengthways.

Put a blob of the sweet potato mixture at one end of the pastry strip and fold the whole thing over a couple of times till it's all wrapped up.
Poke some little slits in the top with the tip of a knife, then press the sides of the filo down around the filling and trim off any excess to leave a neat bundle.

Take another sheet of filo and make another one.
Keep going until you have run out of pastry, filling, or patience.

Now either put into a medium pie-oven for between fifteen and twenty minutes, or put onto a plate and stick in the freezer (decant them into a bag or jar when they're frozen solid) until needed.
The frozen ones should take about twenty minutes to cook.

We made six of these, but the last sheet of filo was so tattered by the time we got through with it that we declared that one our tester.
Eleanor was allowed to try it, on the condition that if it turned out to be agonisingly hot she would at least try to scream amusingly, so we could film her and put the results on Youtube.
She agreed happily, and seemed somewhat disappointed when it turned out to be only pleasantly warm and, in fact, rather nice.

*This is nothing new, admittedly, I didn't particularly enjoy it before I had children.
I basically only got pregnant to have an excuse to skip the vacuuming.

**You have been warned

***One day, when Phoebe is older, and we are truly bored, we will learn to make our own filo.
For now, pastry you can read the newspaper through is a little beyond our capabilities.

****Our local library has just closed down.

We are very sad.
I may rant about this later, when I've written the other half-dozen blog posts I have in mind.

*****This part really shouldn't be done by a small child, as the capsaicin in the chillies will get on their fingers, and thence onto anything they touch, like eyes and make it burn like, well, like blazes.
I would advise you to avoid this
Of course if you have a compulsive nose-picker you may feel differently.
 No, really, even then.

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