Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mission Possible: Jamaican-Style Spicy Turkey Patties

[Three different shapes!]

[Spicy meaty goodness!]

At the Ashby Flea Market in Berkeley, CA, there's a truck that sells Jamaican beef patties - Each patty a flaky, orange-hued pastry wrapped around moist, flavorful meat. A patty is a savory and convenient meal-in-a-pocket, a Jamaican knish, if you will. Though I haven't eaten them for years, walking by the truck at the flea market when I was living in the Bay Area always reminded me of the first time I tasted a beef patty as a kid. The flavors still stand out in my mind, so I knew that I wanted to try my hand at creating a kosher and gluten-free version of this Caribbean delicacy. I love how they turned out. They are definitely less greasy than the original, and with a dough that is chewy and full of flavor, rather than flaky and greasy. They were a big hit in my household.

Having an impossible time finding kosher beef around these parts, I opted for kosher ground turkey instead. If you use non-kosher meat keep in mind you may need to use more salt and will likely find that the meat gives off more moisture (which you can sop up with more bread crumbs, if necessary). Since kashrut precludes the use of the traditional lard in the dough, as well as the mixing of butter with meat, I chose solidified Spectrum Naturals coconut oil instead. Feel free to use margarine if you prefer. The crust is a simple Chebe mix prepared without the usual added cheese, and with some different ingredients mixed in for flavor, texture and color. I used Chebe Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix because it's what I had on hand, but you might try using the Chebe All-Purpose Gluten-Free Bread Mix adjusting liquid ingredients accordingly. [The Orthodox Union page has only four of their mixes listed, whereas on the Chebe site they have posted a copy of the letter certifying 6 of their products (all but one are pareve) but expiring in March, so if you only use hechshered kosher products, do make sure to check with them about which products actually are currently certified!]

For dry gluten-free bread crumbs, you can make your own by baking left-over bread slices on low-heat until they become completely dry and crumbly (I collect the ends of all my loaves in a ziploc bag in the freezer for this purpose) and then pulsing them in a food processor. Or make it easier on yourself and just purchase some pre-made gluten-free bread crumbs.

This recipe will leave you with a lot of the flavorful meat mixture left over - You may want to save it, as I did (try mixing it with rice, or turning it into a flavorful Shepherd's pie, or mixing it with your favorite soup) or you might choose to make a double-batch of the dough for twice the patties. Double the patties, double the fun! They will last a few days in the refrigerator, and heat up very well in the toaster oven or a regular oven. I do not recommend microwaving them.

Public service announcement: Don't forget to wear surgical gloves when you handle habanero or scotch bonnet peppers - Washing with soap is often not enough to remove the infernally hot oils from your skin. Be sure not to touch your eyes (or anywhere else sensitive), and immediately wash your cutting board thoroughly to avoid a spicy surprise at a later date. Not a fan of spicy foods? Use a little bit of dried cayenne or a minced jalapeno instead.

[ Gluten-Free / Soy-Free / Dairy-Free / Fleischig]

1 packet Chebe Pizza Mix (7.5 oz)
3 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp coconut milk/coconut cream (full-fat, not low-fat)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 egg
Dash of salt
For glaze: 1 egg, well beaten and set aside

2 tbsp coconut oil or margarine
1 small onion, diced finely
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp finely minced carrot
1/2 tsp finely minced habanero or scotch bonnet peppers
1 tsp thyme (preferably fresh)
1 lb ground turkey
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable, turkey or chicken broth
1/2 cup dry gluten-free bread crumbs
Optional: Cayenne powder to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).

In a food processor or standing mixer, combine all dry ingredients, pulse until fully blended. Add 3 tbsp coconut oil, egg and coconut milk. Blend until well-combined. Dough should be easily formed into a ball. Wrap ball in saran wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Add 2 tbsp coconut oil or margarine to a heavy skillet over medium heat. When the oil is heated, add onions and sautee until translucent. Add garlic, thyme, carrot and minced peppers. Sautee until carrots are slightly tender but garlic has not yet started browning. Add ground turkey and all spices. Using spatula to break meat up into small pieces, allow turkey to brown slightly but not cook through fully. Add breadcrumbs and broth. Stir well, turn heat to low, cover skillet, and simmer for 3-5 minutes while the breadcrumbs soften and absorb moisture and the turkey finishes cooking. If there is still a lot of liquid in the skillet, add a small additional amount of bread crumbs to absorb it. Taste and adjust spices accordingly. Remove from heat.

Unwrap refrigerated ball of dough. Use a rolling pin to roll it out to about 1/8 inch. Fold it over itself and roll again. Repeat this process several times, folding the dough up into layers and then rolling. Finally, roll dough out until it is 1/8 inch in thickness. Cut dough to desired size - A 6" diameter bowl will work if you want to make empanada-shaped half-crescents (or double them up on top of each other to make circular patties). A dough cutter works for cutting out rectangles that can be folded over to make smaller rectangular patties. Using a pastry scraper, move dough shapes carefully to a greased baking sheet. Remove 2 tablespoons of meat from skillet at a time, compressing with your fingers to create a dense "patty". Place meat slightly off-center in the dough shapes, making sure none of the filling reaches the edges of the dough. Fold edge of dough over and use a fork to seal the edges thoroughly. Make sure there are no holes in the dough - If there are, use a moistened finger or small bits of dough to repair them. Brush each patty lightly with beaten egg you've set aside.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until each patty is golden-brown. Serve while hot. Patties can be refrigerated for several days, and warmed in a toaster oven or conventional oven at 200 F.


Karina Allrich said...

Oy - you are making me crazy with your meat pies! These look delicious. I might have to try making the Chebe pie dough without egg. ;)


Jon said...

These look tasty :) When I see the words Jamaican and Spicy in the same sentence, I know there is a god. I think we're going to try to make this without the chebe - money is tight. If ours actually turn out half-ok, we'll make a post and link it to yours. Thanks again ;)

ByTheBay said...

Hi Karina - Thanks :)

Jon - Let me know how they turn out and how you choose to make the dough. I definitely recommend making a Chebe-like tapioca-based dough, because I find most other GF doughs are just not pliable enough for this kind of thing. Good luck!

Mary Frances said...

Wow! Those look great. I think I'm going to have to try making GF empanadas now. They were on my husband's favorite appetizers pre-GF and it will be a perfect surprise for our anniversary. Thanks for the inspiration and instructions!

Sea said...

As always, I'm so impressed with your chebe magic. I HAD to know how you got that beautiful color into the dough... amazing. (Yup, i read the recipe.) So what is coconut oil like to work with? I keep thinking i need to play more with coconut ingredients... coconut flour, and coconut oil... Must... try them...

ByTheBay said...

Mary Frances: Yep, Empanadas are next on my list. They are nearly the same, just different spices. I love the versatility of Chebe crusts.

Sea: Amazing what a little turmeric will do, huh? Coconut oil works great when it's solid for the kind of applications you'd use butter or margarine for, except it goes liquid very quickly when exposed to even minor heat. That's why I instruct ppl to throw the dough in the fridge for a bit. It has a lovely nutty taste and a smell that reminds me of suntan lotion ;-P It's incredibly expensive so I save it for certain uses. For its nutritional properties it's best used at low to medium heats. I love everything coconutty! Coconut flour is yummy but it creates a weird, chalky consistency and mouthfeel if you use too much of it. I stick to just putting one or two tbsp of it into recipes these days for added fiber. I bought a cookbook that features recipes that use coconut flour only, but I was very disappointed by how things turned out. I have created some delicious muffins with it, though.

Alisa said...

Yummy! I think I might actually have a package of Chebe around too!

Melissa said...

Beautiful photo! I love using coconut oil, cream, water, flakes, milk. It's a good alternative to diary and healthy in so many ways. I recently posted a brownie recipe in which I use coconut milk in the frosting (decadent, but good). I've never used Chebe. Guess I better give it a shot. Do you ever make tortillas out of it? I'm still searching for a tasty tortilla to go with my spicy green chile stew.

ByTheBay said...

I've never made tortillas from Chebe. The tortillas I like best are these ones (La Tortilla Company teff wraps).

Melissa said...

Thanks for the tortilla tip! I'll order some. I've been experimenting with mequite flour and tried to come up with a mesquitey tasting tortilla, but haven't perfected it yet. Mesquite makes good bread though.

canary46 said...

Is coconut milk not considered dairy per kashrut laws?

ByTheBay said...

Canary: Coconut milk isn't considered dairy under any laws. It's not a dairy product and has no relationship to a cow (or any other animal). It's simply expressed coconut. Like soy milk, or rice milk, it is vegan.

Sheri said...

I need to get my hands on some Chebe, evidently.

Allergic Girl said...

so impressive!

Anonymous said...

Thank you foe the new ideas in cooking a turkey:)

Gabriella said...

hmmm these look very tastey...