This week’s column on Latina.com was my editor’s best request to date. La La Vasquez, the celebrity VJ from NY, recently talked to Latina about how she’s watching her figure and has let some things go. The one thing she omitted from scratching off her list are Cuban pasteles de carne.
I’m with her on that! Unfortunately, I can’t say they are a problem for me because I can’t find them in Atlanta or DC. We are tragically short of Cuban pastelerias like this one I visited in NJ during Christmas last year.
The semi-challenge was to make a healthier version of the popular flaky, sweet & savory pastry for those of us trying to stay slim and fit this season. That was simple enough. The real challenge was making time to squeeze this and 3 other recipes in one day (not to mention writing assignment deadlines)
AHA! I altered my traditional picadillo recipe and completely cheated by using already-made puff pastry shells. I promise myself (and you) to personally make the dough next time and to do a re-post with an all-out, step-by-step recipe on making la masa, which we all know makes these little bites so incredibly irresistible and qualifies them as must-haves.
Maybe that post will be on guava and cheese pastelitos!
Read today’s column and snatch the recipe below!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.
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Cuban Pastelitos de Carne
2- 6 pack of pastry puff shells
Ingredients for turkey filling:
- 1 lb ground turkey chuck
- 8 oz. tomato sauce
- 4 tbsp. Spanish olives, minced
- 2 heaping tbsp garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. capers, rinsed
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. salt
In large non-stick sauce pan, add turkey meat and break up using fork. Add tomato sauce and cook for 5-10 until meat is browned. Add all other ingredients and stir. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until all flavors have infused well.
For egg wash
- 1 egg
- 1 oz. water
Combine and whisk egg and water.
For simple syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
Bring water and sugar to a boil and until sugar is fully dissolved into water.
Method for Pasteles
Preheat oven to 400f. Place pastry shells on non-stick baking sheet. Brush each shell top with egg wash using a pastry brush. Bake for 25 minutes or until pastry shells have fully risen and have nice golden color. Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minute. Using butter knife, remove top of shell and stuff with 2 tbsp. of turkey picadillo. Cover back up with shell top. Repeat this until all pastries are filled. Using a different pastry brush, cover all pastries with simple syrup. Bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool a bit before eating.
Yields 12 pasteles