About Glenda

I have spent the last 30 years living in the corporate world and now it is time to follow my passion of 'making my own'. This blog is the documentation of that journey. I alternate between the southwest of Western Australia and Perth.

Sanbuseh – Savoury turnovers

 

Ok … Summer is here and the festive season is upon us and that means outdoor activities.  We will have gatherings to host and requests to ‘just bring a plate’.  Finger food is the go.

Instead of making meat pies, sausage rolls and mini quiches, how about making some Sanbuseh?  They are just as easy to make but taste and look just that little bit different.  I have already served them twice this season and they have been a hit both times.  Best of all, they are dead easy to make.  They use commercial puff pastry and the filling ingredients are all in together.  They can be served straight from the oven or at room temperature.  How easy is that?

The recipe is from my current favourite book (notwithstanding Rhubarb Khoresh) , Food of Life by Najmieh Batmanglij.

It is hard to say how many you will make. The recipe says to put two heaped teaspoons of filling in each pastry and that you will make 25.  I put the two heaped teaspoons in but made many more.  I can only suggest you buy a large packet of frozen puff pastry (10 sheets) and freeze what you don’t use.  I think we got 4 rounds to one sheet.

Because you are cutting the pastry into rounds, you will have lots of off-cuts.  I know puff pastry should not be re-rolled but I did because it was just too much to waste.   I made mini jam tarts out of it.  They looked a bit misshapen  –  some bits rose and other bits didn’t –  but they tasted fine and we ate the lot.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and when the only sweet thing in the house is a misshapen mini jam tart in the freezer, they sure look good.

Safavid pistachio and lamb filling

Filling:

  • 1 tbs* oil, butter or ghee
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 450g lamb mince
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp sea salt (use less if using table salt or cooking salt)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup (85g)** ground pistachios
  • 1 cup (85g)** mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups (170g)** parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup (85g)** tarragon, chopped

Pastry

  • Ready made frozen puff pastry

Egg wash

  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbs* milk

Safavid Dusting

  • 2 tbs* icing sugar
  • ½ tsp dried ground rose petals
  • 2 tbs* ground pistachios

*These are 15 mil tablespoons

** These are the metric equivalents given in the book.  I didn’t check them –  I just went with the cup measures.  I know a US cup is slightly smaller than our 250mil cup but the difference is small and, in a recipe like this, it is not worth worrying about.

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan and sweat onions until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and meat, cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and sauté over medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes until the filling is completely dry.  Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  5. Heat your oven to 180°C.  Line your baking trays with baking paper.
  6. The instructions for shaping the pastries were to cut the pastry into 7.5cm circles using a scone cutter.  Put two heaped teaspoons of filling on one side of the circle. Fold each circle in half and seal.  Fold over the edges using your fingers and pinch to double seal.
    But I have one of these guys (a tortellini maker) which makes shaping the pastries so easy.  They only cost a couple of dollars – you’ve gotta get one.  You use the base to cut out a circle of pastry which fits perfectly into the mould.  Fill with two heaped teaspoons of filling, wet the edge with water and then close.  Voila!  Perfect little pastries.
  7. Transfer to your lined baking tray.  Paint them with the egg wash and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Just before serving, dust with the Safavid dusting (icing sugar, rose petals and ground pistachios).  Don’t skip this bit.  They look really cool and it just adds that special touch.

Slow soap

A few people have asked me how I made the celebratory “Over the Rainbow” soap featured in my previous post.

So here goes…

Firstly, I searched the web for days for ideas as to how I could make the rainbow.  I, finally, settled on a method used by a French lady to make polymer clay rainbow pendants.  Basically, she rolled out pieces of clay of each colour, layered them on top of each other then draped them over a piece of tubing.  She then sliced through the layers to get thin rainbows.

Ok, I was ready to go.

Continue reading

Over the rainbow

This household is over the rainbow that Australia has finally caught up with the rest of the world and legalised same sex marriage.  Congratulations to all who campaigned for the change. It was a fight well won.

Society has come a long way in my adulthood.  I remember marching for the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in the 70’s.  My, how things have changed!

Of course, the less said about that ridiculous postal survey the better.  I am sure the pain of it will lessen over time and we will only remember the victory.

In My Kitchen- December 2017

It has been sooo long since I did an In My Kitchen post – 6 months, in fact.  To prove it, I have included this photo I took last May for my June In My Kitchen post that never happened.  Clearly, I decided to make tomato sauce out of the last of the tomatoes.  (Here is the recipe if anyone is interested.)  Before long, I will be taking photos of this year’s tomato harvest but, for now, I am buying them.  It breaks my heart to do so when I know that, in a few weeks, I will have so many I won’t know what to do with them all.  It is always the same. Continue reading

Is Maus right?

Maus thinks I am obsessed.  I don’t know why.  She complains that I only talk about one thing.  And for some reason, she doesn’t think it is normal that I spend all my spare time watching YouTube videos.  I don’t know what her problem is.  I think I am normal 🙂

You see, I just love soap making.  It is so addictive, it is hard not to love it.  I have considered the reasons and discussed it in detail in a previous post, Pavlov’s dog and intermittent reinforcement.  The more I get obsessed with making soap, the more I think I am right. Continue reading

Chicken roasted with 40 cloves of garlic and Merguez sausages

I must tell you my chicken and garlic story.  It was 1982 and we were in Singapore.  We were on our way home after a year in Europe and we weren’t staying at the flashest hotel in town.

We decided to eat at the hotel restaurant and I ordered chicken and garlic.  Well, I certainly got my money’s worth in story currency.  You see, there were 51 cloves of garlic and about three pieces of chicken.  When it arrived, we laughed and laughed and laughed.  I ate the three pieces of chicken and counted the garlic.  We were not as familiar with garlic then as we are now. Continue reading

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb

Firstly, I must apologise for the photo.  It was the best that I could do. 😦  And it took me ages to finalise.  I was determined to write a post on this dish but when I looked at the photos I took, there was nothing that looked remotely enticing.

Friends often say they like my photos and I explain to them that I usually take lots and lots of exactly the same thing and the one that appears in the blog is the best of the lot. Also, I do spend an inordinate amount of time in Photoshop correcting the composition, lighting, colour, focus, etc.  But there is only so much you can do.  If the photo is bad, bad, bad, you only end up with a well lit, well focused, bad photo. So it was with the head photo. Continue reading