Special thanks to the wonderful Veri Silva for submitting our first recipe!

 

Foodie Friday Recipe #1: Pastel from Brazil

What is a pastel?

In short, a pastel is a fast-food dish from Brazil. It is a thin-crust pie with assorted fillings which are fried in vegetable oil. Common savory fillings include beef, cheese, and chicken, while sweet fillings include guava jam and banana & chocolate, though they are not as common. It is traditionally sold in open-air markets or fast-food markets known as pastelarias. It is commonly paired with caldo de cana, or sugarcane juice. 

 

Recipe:

Dough:

3 cups flour (all-purpose) or the pastel dough

3 cups flour (all-purpose)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons lard (or vegetable shortening)

1 egg (beaten)

1 tablespoon vinegar

Optional: 1 tablespoon vodka (or cachaça)

 

The filling can be anything!

Veri prefers just cheese but there’s also beef and even sweet versions. 

Recipe note: 

If you don’t want to make the dough, a good substitute is phyllo dough or the dough with which you wrap spring rolls. It’s not exactly the same but it’s much more time efficient.

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your dough by combining the dough ingredients together, and gently kneading until the dough is soft and smooth but not sticky. Add liquid during the kneading process as necessary. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. If you are not making dough, prepare your phyllo or pre-made dough sheets.
  2. Fill your dough with the filling of your choice, then fold it in half, moistening the edges so it sticks. Press edges down with a fork (not too hard, just enough to make sure the edges are stuck together.)
  3. Heat oil up in a high walled skillet or pan to prevent splattering. Heat to 360 degrees Fahrenheit, then gently drop in pastries. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry until golden brown. 
  4. Allow pastries to rest on a paper towel lined sheet. Serve warm.

Veri’s Story:

They’re [pastels] commonly sold in street fairs and I just remember being so excited for Tuesday’s because that was the day of the fair on my grandma’s street because I would get to eat one.”

Photo by Veri Silva

Resources and Additional Reference Recipe:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastel_(food)

https://www.thespruceeats.com/brazilian-pasteis-with-chicken-3029689

I will not claim that the recipe from the link is authentic, but I wanted to add it for reference just in case someone wanted some additional pictures