Lower Fat Not So Cornish Pasties
Okay, so the other night, I was going to make Cornish Pasties for my husband. A couple of nights earlier we watched a travel documentary that showed people eating the pasties, and he noted that he really liked them. After I looked up a recipe, I discovered how much fat and how many calories were in the pastries. Oops. Added to that problem, my refrigerator lacked a key ingredient--beef steak--for the filling. What I did have was a roll of turkey breakfast sausage. Okay, the stuffing problem was solved. Sort of weird, you say? Not really, as meat pies of varying sorts have been around in many cultures for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. Generally cooks of the times stuffed the meat pies with whatever meat and vegetables they had on hand. So, next up was the fat in the pastry problem. I dealt with that by limiting the butter in my pasties and substituting canola oil and a little milk. No, the pies weren't quite as flaky, but the dough was easier to roll out and work, and the pies didn't crumble all over our clothes when we ate them (okay, we ate them with a fork). How did the pasties taste? Really, really good. The filling was nicely spiced and full of flavor from a mixture of onions, celery, and carrots, and the spices in the turkey sausage added a nice zing. The potato in the filling served a great role, too. It acted as a binder, causing the filling to hold together. When we ate the pasties, we weren't in danger of having our filling fall out onto our plates (or the floor). I also stirred up a simple mushroom sauce to top the pasties, which is probably not traditional. Nonetheless, the sauce complemented the turkey filling and added extra vegetables to the plate. The pasties reheat nicely in the toaster oven, so, if you have leftovers, they'll be great for lunch or a second dinner. And, because the pasties are so good, you'll want them a second time around!
Lower Fat Not So Cornish Pasties -- Makes 4
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of canola oil
1 cup of light sour cream
2-3 tablespoons of buttermilk or milk
Add the flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse them a few times. Cut the butter into small bits and add it to the food processor. Pulse the butter into the flour 3-4 times. Pour in half of the canola oil and pulse a few times. Add the remainder of the oil and pulse a few times more. Add the sour cream and egg and pulse them into the mixture. The dough probably will look a little crumbly and dry. Add the milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough just comes together and seems smooth. You want it pliable, not dry and crumbly. You don't want the dough wet, so don't add too much milk. If you do, pulse in a bit more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough isn't tacky.
Lightly flour the counter or a piece of parchment paper and dump the dough out onto the prepared counter. Roll the dough out until it's about 1/4-inch thick. Take an 8-inch plate (a sandwich plate works well), push it down on the dough, and, with a sharp knife, cut around the plate to make an 8-inch round. On one side of the round, spread out about 3/4-cup of the filling. Fold the other half of the round over the filling and seal the edges of the dough over the filling, using your fingers or a fork to crimp the edges. Repeat the rolling and filling process with the remaining dough and filling. You should have enough dough for 4 pasties. You'll probably have extra filling. Just coat a small dish with nonstick cooking spray, spread the filling in the dish, mounding it a little, like a meatloaf, and cook the extra filling alongside the pasties. The extra filling is great for lunch, alone, or inside bread as a sandwich.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut 3-4 slashes in the tops of each pasty (which will help vent the steam as the pasties cook). Bake the pasties for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown. Let the pasties cool at least 5 minutes before serving them with or without the mushroom sauce. The filling inside the pasties will be hot, so be careful biting into them!
1 cup of chopped carrots
1 cup of chopped celery (2-3 stalks)
1 medium onion, chopped
8 ounces of carrots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
2 medium/small potatoes, peeled and chopped (about a cup)
16 ounces of turkey breakfast sausage (I used mild, but go for heat, if you want)
1/4-1/2 cup of light sour cream
To a large microwave safe bowl, add all the ingredients except the sausage. Add about 1/4 cup of water to the bowl with the vegetables and microwave the veggies for 5-10 minutes until they are quite soft. Stir in the turkey breakfast sausage and 1/4 cup of the sour cream until the meat and veggies are well blended. Add a little more sour cream if the mixture seems dry.
2-3 teaspoons of canola oil
8 ounce of sliced button mushrooms
3 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of chicken broth
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the canola oil over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms. Saute them for 5-10 minutes until they have browned a bit. Sprinkle on the flour and stir it into the mushrooms for a few minutes (it will clump a bit, but don't worry). Slowly add the chicken broth, whisking it in gently. Add the dried parsley, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper, if you like. Let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes until it has thickened. Serve the sauce over the pasties.