Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Summer Vegetable Hand Pies with Tomato Jam and Herbed Yogurt Dipping Sauce

For a long time, I was intimidated by the thought of hand pies because they seemed so fragile. I envisioned the dough tearing and the filling spilling out. The dough recipe I adapted, though, was not only easy to make but very forgiving without being tough. I used 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white flour and it was great.

The possibilities are endless for this dough - fill it with whatever you choose! I used a mixture of in-season vegetables from my local farmer's markets: Onion, corn, pink eyed peas, and yellow squash. I also added a little slab bacon (yes, I cooked the veggies in a little bacon grease.) To top it off, I made two sauces: A tomato jam (at the time I was making this recipe, it was peak tomato season in Georgia, so I couldn't resist!) and a cool, creamy herbed yogurt sauce. I had planned to try them both and choose one, but I ended up using a little of each, so I included both recipes. They can be made a day or two ahead of time, and actually taste better after sitting overnight.

Summer Vegetable Hand Pies with Tomato Jam and Herbed Yogurt Dipping Sauce
by Jennifer
Dough recipe adapted from Manjula's Kitchen Samosa

Makes 8 pies

Pie dough:
1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour
2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 Tablespoons lukewarm water

2 ounces slab bacon, diced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 medium yellow squash, seeds scooped out and discarded and squash diced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 medium ears corn)
3/4 cup cooked pink-eyed peas
1/2 Tablespoon each chopped fresh parsley and basil

Tomato Jam:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 pound fresh tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper vinegar (optional)

Herbed Yogurt Sauce:
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil and chives

I will preface the dough instructions by saying that the recipe I adapted for the dough was for samosas, and had a video with it. The woman in the video mixed, kneaded and let the dough rest in a deep-dish glass pie dish, and used no utensils - just her fingers to bring the dough together and then kneaded it by hand. I decided to try it, and it worked great! (And it was one less dish to wash.)

To make the dough, combine flours, oil and salt. Slowly add water and stir until dough comes together. Knead for about a minute, then press into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for an hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Cook the bacon in a pan over medium heat until done to your liking. Remove all but a Tablespoon of bacon grease from the pan. Add the onions, squash and salt and sauté over medium high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the corn and peas and sauté until corn starts to brown and squash is cooked through, about 3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Off heat, stir in parsley and basil. Set aside until ready to use.

To assemble hand pies, knead dough for another minute, then divide into 8 equal parts. Roll one piece into a ball and roll out to a 6-inch circle on an unfloured surface, keeping other dough covered with plastic wrap. The dough may stick to the rolling pin initially, but as you roll it out it will stop sticking.

Mound about 3 Tablespoons of vegetable mixture onto one half of the circle in a half-moon shape, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Wet the border with a little bit of water. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling. Press edges together, working out excess air and being sure not to get any filling between the edges. Using the tines of a fork, crimp the edge together. Repeat with remaining 7 balls of dough and filling, keeping assembled pies covered with plastic wrap until ready to cook.

Deep fry in 350-375°F oil for about 3 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Tomato Jam: Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and salt and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add brown sugar, stir and lower heat to medium-low. Cook about 15 minutes until onions are very soft. Add vinegar and cook 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and crushed red pepper and turn heat to medium high. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. As tomatoes start to thicken, reduce heat to medium so tomatoes don't burn. Cook about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally and reduce heat to low. Cook another 10 minutes until texture is very thick. Season with salt to taste. Stir in pepper vinegar off heat, if desired.

Herbed yogurt sauce: Mix all ingredients well.

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