In a month’s time, we’ll start to shop for Christmas gifts and decorations and before that, there is Halloween and Thanksgiving. It’s hard to imagine that we are actually in the final quarter of the year and it makes me wonder where did all my time go? Before I start making a list of gifts to hand out to friends and family and thinking about my New Year resolution, I have more pressing issue at hand – ENTERTAINING. Oh yes, I’m sure everyone has this love-hate relationship when it comes to entertaining guests.
(a) Catching up with friends and family
(b) Food and lots of it
(c) For once, I actually get tired of non-stop talking (to my other half’s surprise)
(d) Flaunt one’ s culinary skill or share your favourite recipes with people you love
(e) The possibility of leftovers 😛
(a) The aftermath of entertaining – tidy and washing up (especially if you don’t have a dishwasher like me)
(b) The trickiness of cooking large quantity. Even with the recipes that you’re most confortable with, it can be difficult to maintain the same taste consistency as when you cook in a smaller portion.
(c) Depending the type of food and the number of people you are entertaining, it may stretch your budget a little.
Despite my “hate” list on entertaining, I don’t actually hate it. I often think people who like to cook also enjoy the pleasure of entertaning and I’m defnitely one of them. To get around my “slight displeasure” about entertaining, here’s what I usually do:-
(a) Party plates & cutleries and disposal serving trays. Probably not the best looking way to serve, but hey I’m not complaining. 😉
(b) Pick recipes that can be cook ahead of time (preferable a day or before). When it is not possible, I’ll try to get prep work out of the way i.e. sliced the veggies & meat a day before.
(c) There is no implied rules of entertaining that you have to serve expensive food to impress your guests. It’s one of the moments that you need to be creative with the ingredients you have in your pantry or even freezer. 😛
(d) If cooking everything is not your ‘thing”, there’s alway potluck. 😀
Anyway before I end this post, I shall leave you with the potato & peas stuffed pastry. If you are familiar with Indian cuisines, this may remind you of samosa. But since my version does not look anything like a samosa/singhara, hence the generic name of this recipe.
Potato & Peas Stuffed Pastry
(loosely adapted from A Little Taste Of India)
Makes about 20 pastry
1 large potato, diced 1cm dice
1 palmful frozen peas
1 tbsp ready-made curry paste (use less if it’s too hot); or the following spice mixture
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 chilli powder
1 tbsp tomato paste
salt to taste
250g self raising flour
2 tbsps vegetable oil
I would suggest to make the filling first.
1. In a small pot, boil diced potato and peas in salted water until potato is soft. Leave about 1 tbsp of water and drain the rest.
2. In the same pot, mix potato and peas with curry paste/spice mixture. Place the pot over low heat and saute the potato mixture to ‘wake up’ the spices. Add salt if necessary. When the spices becomes aromatic, stop the cooking and set aside to cool. (If it happens to stick at the bottom of the pan when sauteing, add a little water)
1. Sift flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl.
2. Add vegetable oil into the flour. Use the tip of your fingers and rub the oil and flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Add water, a little at a time, to make a pliable dough.
4. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough over a cling wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes. Do not refrigerate the dough.
5. Roll the dough in a cylinder shape (picture below), about 4cm in diameter.
6. Use a knife cut the dough into 20 portions or you can cut the dough as you go.
7. Take one portion, flatten with you palm (see photo below). Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to your desired thickness.
8. Place about a teaspoon full of the filling in the center of the dough.
9. Fold the dough in half and pinch the edge the pastry with your fingers to tightly seal the edge. Then use a fork to form some patterns around the edge.
10. Repeat step 6 to 9 with the remaining dough and filling.
11. Shallow/deep fry the pastry in hot oil (when you drop a pinch of the dough and it begins to sizzle). Fry until the pastries until golden brown. Drain on a wire rack/ paper towel and keep them warm in a low heated oven.
By the way, if you have any tips or recipes to make my entertaining life easier, please share. I’d love to hear your ideas. 🙂
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A Little Yumminess says
What I would give to have one of these right now! I am craving these – with some chilli sauce! Yum!
this looks amazing!
I am with you on loving to entertain- there is nothing better!
Ooo, these look amazing. I could easily go through a whole plateful, no joke.
Carolyn Jung says
I’m guessing you can make these ahead of time and freeze them until the day of the party? I love hors d’oeuvres like this that make entertaining a lot easier.
I haven’t tried freezing these before, but I’m pretty sure you can.
I am getting hungry looking at these pics! They look great… lately I have been in Indian mood so much. It does look time consuming but worth it.
Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron says
I adore this post Emily! All those are true. Cleaning up is the worst part. It sucks that you dont have a dishwasher. I dislike doing dishes.
I love this frugal entertaining idea. I posted on my FB and said frugal entertaining 101 :D. The pastry looks easy enough for me to try. I def’ try this but maybe changes up a filling.
Frugal entertaining 101 – what a good name! 😀
Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron says
Hmm..not sure if i hit summit before closing the window.
Anyway, I adore this post EMily!. All the above are true! Cleaning up is the worst part. It sucks that you don’t have a dishwasher. I dislike dishwashing 😀
The pastry seems easy enough for me to try which is a bonus but I may change up a filling a bit. I called this frugal entertaining 101!
Pam @ Kitchen Cookware says
I love parties and gathering and cooking things but potluck sure are my favorite too. This is very similar to Samosa recipe which is no wonder since you have based loosely on the recipe. The filling looks yummy and spicy!
The Klutzy Cook says
I’m with you on the entertaining front – there are definitely pros and cons. The more you can do beforehand, the better. I always find writing out my food list the best thing to do, otherwise I inevitably forget to prepare/serve something.
These little morsels look great – thanks.
Pardon me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard!
Polly Motzko says
I really loved your recipe here and congrats on making the Top 9!
Are you of Indian decent or do you just like trying new and interesting flavors like me?? 🙂
I would love to see more of your recipes and also if you would like to join my blog that would be awesome!
I love recipes that are reasonable, easy, innovative, unique and above all really good!
I’m not of Indian decent, but I love all kinds of spicy dishes i.e. Indian, Thai & Szechuan. 🙂
Thanks for your lovely comment.
Those look amazing! I am adding them to my appetizer list!
They look like small empanadas. Can the dough be baked?
I reckon you can bake these on moderate hot oven say in a preheated oven for 180 degrees celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit and add another tbsp of oil in the dough in addition to the 2 tbsps in the recipe.
Hope this helps! 🙂
I have been looking for a receipe that would do for small stuff!
I’m going to to fill with my quebec tortiere filling for our Xmas pot luck nibbles !
These look so amazing, I wish I had some for lunch. I’ll have to switch out peas in some of them though, as the hubby refuses to eat them, ugh. Definitely bookmarking this though, thanks!
Chicago Cuisine Critique says
Wow! These look fantastic. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I am sure these tasted as good as they look, I have made a similar type but I added some cubed chicken meat. Simply delicious!
pedestal dining table says
I can’t wait to make this for my family. I am sure they will like this. Thanks.
I love holiday times when all the family and friends get together, and love it more when I’m not the cook 😛
Your pastry look so good, wish could have some right now as my almost afternoon snack