Tag Archives: Cheese

Pastizzi from Malta

Pastizzi (sing: pastizz) are and insanely addicting filled pastries that hail from the country of Malta, which for those of you who don’t know, is a small group of islands located in the Mediterranean Sea just below Sicily.  There’s a reason that these pastries are the number one culinary export of Malta – because they are amazing pockets of flaky goodness!

I’d never heard of pastizzi before my trip to Sydney, but my friends there know my obsession with food that comes in pockets so they knew that I would love pastizzi!  They were dead on.

They took me to The Original Maltese Café in Darlinghurst, just off Oxford Street on Crown Street.  Luckily, we got there just as the shop was closing and each bought about 6 pastizzi.  Traditionally, pastizzi are made with a ricotta or pea filling but the café had really jazzed them up with all different flavors. I tried the tandoori (my personal favorite), chili con carne, vegetable curry, and chicken curry.  They came with this amazing tomato and garlic dipping sauce that I just couldn’t get enough of.  They also had a spicy pepper sauce that a friend of mine swears by but after having my mouth catch on fire after one dip, I opted to stick with my tomato and garlic sauce.

The pastizzi were flaky on the outside, and warm and chunky on the inside.  I’d say they are similar to pasties but smaller and better.

While I didn’t get the café’s recipe, I did some digging online and found a fairly simple recipe so you can make these at home!  I’ve also been told that some grocery store freezer sections have ricotta pastizzis, so be on the look out!  The recipe I found that is super easy to make uses puff pastry, which isn’t as authentic as making the pastry yourself, but after watching this video on how pastizzi dough is made, you’ll want to just use puff pastry too.

Pastizzi Recipe: Pastizzi ta’ l-Irkotta (Cheese cakes) adapted from maltabulb.com

Ingredients

  • 300 grams (or 10.58 oz) ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • Parsley (finely chopped)
  • 50 grams (or 1.76 oz) grated cheese
  • Egg wash
  • 750 grams (or 1 lb and 10.45 oz) puff pastry
  • Salt & pepper
  • Chopped spinach (optional)

Preparation

Mix well the ricotta, cheese, eggs, parsley and seasoning (can also add chopped, cooked spinach here).

Roll out the puff pastry thinly and cut out circles about 9 cms in diameter. Egg wash the edges. Put some of the ricotta mixture onto each of the circles on one side. Fold the pastry circle in half and seal the edges together. Egg wash and bake in a medium to hot oven for about half an hour or until the pastry is done.

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FFWD: Gougeres

I’m pretty excited to be a member of the cooking blog group French Fridays with Dorie (FFWD).  For a basic rundown of the project – we are cooking our way through Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook Around My French Table – similar to the Julie & Julia project except with 700 food bloggers!  We follow a schedule of recipes to make and post each Friday.  I can’t promise that I’ll always be able to keep up but I’m going to try my best.

This first recipe on this is the first in the book, gourgeres.  I had no idea what these little morsels of goodness were until I read the recipe and decided that these were going to be darn good.  What could possibly be bad about balls of cheesy bread?  The closest thing I have had to gougeres are Brazilian cheese breads (Pão de Queijo), which are similar to crack.  Those sneaky Brazilians are smart in that they put these little crack balls on your table before bringing out the meat at their steakhouses because they know that you’ll fill up on them before even getting to see the meat!  Genius, but unfair.  Fortunately, when I made these I had nothing to make me feel guilty about eating too many so I just let the addiction take over.

What’s even better about these is that you can freeze the balls of dough and bake them on demand!

I followed Dorie’s recipe exactly as written since I was in unfamiliar territory and they turned out perfectly.  She’s right – these are much better when served warm and with a glass of champagne!