Hope you guys had a swell Christmas and plan to have a really cool New years eve as well. HAPPY NEW YEAR !
I catered a couple of Christmas parties and had a really fun time preparing for them! My husband was out of town so I decided to party and dance along with everyone else. I thought that it would be the antidote to me missing him. If you are a regular visitor here, you most probably know that I love dancing, ( a great way to work out), and occasionally, yet, enthusiastically burst into song, (this you did not know!)! Oh, come on, don’t be coy with me, tell me you don’t do this when you are alone? It turns out to be a favorite pastime of mine and heck, I am actually insulted for not being discovered ….yet he he ! Hay, let me tell ya, singing, whether on or off key, is good exercise for relinquishing, cooped up crap, as long as it is in the confines of your own home ( the shower), you’re not hurting anyone’s eardrums! In fact, catchy lyrics and a visceral heave or two, ( you know when you hit those high notes), are my melodramatic stance at “stardom.” What can I tell you, music, simply moves me!
This was pretty much the festive mood I was in, trying to expedite the task of baking all thirty of these scrumptious curry pies and other delectable party food. I had lots of help so setting up, including decorating the huge table for the party was a cinch. People were very much impressed by the food and the beautiful table decor! Within in no time, we were dancing and just having a really good time.
Vocal trance rocks!
There I was, minding my own business and rhythmically swaying to the beat of my ultimate favorite trance song—— DASH BERLIN—featuring CERF,MITISKA & JAREN singing MAN ON THE RUN and the Tritonal vocal trance of Nadia Ali, singing “Fantasy”, ( I am a trance junkie & I actually requested the DJ to play this because frankly, he was just playing crap all night, you might also recognize Nadia Ali, from the group, Iio, singing “Rapture,” when this Matthew McConaughey wannabe, comes up to me and says in this rather humorous & Southern colloquial drawl, ” Na za ray na”, I am digging your “abonible” snowman,would you like to dance?” I was actually surprised because when we were introduced earlier, he could barely say two words to me & I do think he was a little drunk, (not snockered) at this point in time. I felt like saying to him, the word is “abominable” you fool, but instead I pretended that I did not hear him and just sang the chorus line of “Fantasy”, a little louder……”Stay away from me….” and hoped that he would just go away. He most probably realized then that I was not going to oblige, when he turned around and said, ” Your food and your dance moves are fantastic but your singing is not!” Flustered, I defiantly stammered a bad word in Afrikaans, “Vok jou, jou ou moer” “last time I checked Mr Simon Cowell, you certainly are no American Idol either!”After a rather awkward silence, we both just cracked up and I decided to just dance with him to keep the peace! Turned out that he was a rather nice guy after all! He did ask what I said to him in Afrikaans, I politely answered, ” I plead the fifth!”
Lattice pocket pie mold
( Talk about party crashers & a disappearing act! these curry pies simply vanished the minute, they came out of the oven). I had to literally scramble to take the picture of my final presentation!
I bought this simple, yet inexpensive mold from William Sonoma and it truly does a marvelous job of molding these lattice pocket pies. They have a fruity filling on their box & another type of dough. However, I used my own recipe for the pie crust and the filling. I made my pie crust with pastry flour, cream cheese, unsalted butter etc….. The cream cheese gave this dough a flaky and tender crumb, while the butter gave it lots of flavor. I also added a teaspoon of my masala, ( spice blend), into the prep of the dough, thus giving it that extra burst of flavor! As you can see below, my pie dough is extremely forgiving and holds its shape beautifully!
I would recommend buying this little gadget because it makes the lattice design appear very professional & the other good thing is that, one can really place a lot of filling in the pie without distorting the design.
These pies had a very flavorful & light curry flavor with bits of chopped egg on top. I also made some without egg, but added small chunks of potatoes to the ground beef mixture. The potatoes has to be tender! I also made a roasted apricot & chili chutney as an accompanying dipping sauce. Delish!
Accompanying them were icy cold glasses of the non alcoholic Martinelli’s sparkling apple drinks & maraschino cherries as a garnish. I do not drink alcohol, ( this does not mean that I cannot have my fun LOL!), so the hosts, I cater for, always provide their own alcoholic drinks .
- Please use organic ingredients when possible!
- 1 large onion
- 3 large tomatoes, skins removed ( to remove the skins, make a deep “cross” in the top of the tomato and soak in boiling water)
- 1 T pounded garlic
- 1 teaspoon pounded ginger root
- 1 lb of ground beef, slightly rinsed and drained in a colander
- 2 teaspoons of meat masala( I make & toast my own spice blends)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala ( My blend has toasted cumin, coriander, fenugreek etc…..
- 1 julienned green bell pepper
- 1 chopped green jalapeno, seeds removed
- juice of half of a lemon
- half cup chopped cilantro, including the stems
- 3-5 curry leaves
- 2 small potatoes peeled and diced (optional)
- 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped into tiny pieces ( Do this only if you do not want the potatoes in the ground beef mixture)
- If you cannot find all these spices, then use cumin, sweet red paprika & turmeric of course
- an egg wash for the glaze
Peel & finely chop the onion & saute in 3 T olive oil & 1 T unsalted butter until translucent. Add the pounded garlic & ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Chop the tomatoes into chunks & then add to the onion mixture and cook for 10 minutes until saucy. Add the ground beef and cook for 30 minutes. Toast all the spices first….this brings out a tremendous flavor & aroma…then add them, green peppers, jalapeno & lemon juice and cook further for about 10 minutes. Now would be a good time to add the potatoes, if you so wish and cook until they are almost tender & then top off with cilantro & curry leaves and cook for 5 minutes more. When done, the potatoes have to be soft & have taken on the color of the spices! Fill the lattices with the ground beef mixture and scatter the chopped egg on top and continue to follow the instructions of molding the pies as per the William Sonoma box. If you wish to leave out the egg then just follow the recipe with the chunks of potatoes instead. Frankly , I love the potato ground beef mixture the best,
Beat an egg yolk with a little water and then brush pies before baking. You can freeze these pies as well. I let the pie dough rest in the refrigerator for an hour before molding and filling them. I baked them at 400 degrees for 25 minutes
Here are just a few of my other favorite songs for 2010: My sweetie always cracks up when I say “The Giddy DJ is in the house”
I really, really really want to go to a concert & see the two best DJ’s in action, one of them is,
Gosh, I have so many more, I swear I do not have enough time to list them all!!!
Hope you too can dance the night away!