Jamaican Patties

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Emma Alter Photo
Emma Alter

Difficulty Level Easy

Okay, you don't phone out for Jamaican patties, but they are still a take-out food. I certainly never thought of making them myself. Our neighbourhood has a big Jamaican population and every corner store has a pile of patties waiting to be re-heated. It's a pretty common street food around here and you often see kids eating patties on their lunch break.

The Jamaican patties around here have ground beef in them, but these are vegan. I've been digging in a new cookbook called Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry which has recipes from African-American cuisine. This style of cooking is new to me, so I gave the book to my daughter and asked her to choose something she would like me to make, and she instantly chose the patties. Her stipulation—the pastry had to have the correct colour, which is a fairly bright yellow. On looking over the recipe I saw turmeric in the pastry part, so I knew I'd be okay.

This is really a snack food, but I made a salad and we ate them for dinner. They re-heat well, so you could make them in advance and then have a quick after school snack for the kids. Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients, they were easy and really fun to make. I think you could easily make vegetable substitutions if you like. I left out the corn because I didn't have any, but I used everything else. I also used vegetable oil rather than coconut oil. My daughter thought the Jamaican flavour could have been bumped up a bit, but that would just be a matter or increasing the amount of spices, and it's really just a matter of personal taste. In any case they looked just like the patties you buy, and I thought they were mighty tasty.

INGREDIENTS

Jamaican Patties:
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup onion, diced
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp cayenne
coarse sea salt
2 large cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup coconut milk
¼ cup carrots, finely diced
¼ cup potatoes, finely diced
½ cup fresh green peas (or frozen)
½ cup fresh corn (or frozen)
½ cup cabbage, shredded
1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
Pastry:
1 ¾ cups unbleached white flour, chilled
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, chilled
2 tsp turmeric
½ tsp sea salt
¾ up chilled coconut butter
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
½ cup plus 2 tbsp ice water

PREPARATION:

Jamaican Patties:

  1. In a medium-size pan over medium-low heat, combine the coconut oil, the onion, cinnamon, allspice, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne and ½ tsp slat. Saute, stirring occasionally for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, carrots, and potatoes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the carrots and potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the green peas, corn, cabbage, thyme and lemon juice, over and cook for 3 minutes more.
  2. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and set aside to allow the flavours to marry.

Pastry:

  1. Combine 1 ½ cups of the white flour with the pastry flour, turmeric and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Set the remaining ¼ cup white flour aside. Add the coconut butter to the flour mixture and rub your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine sand, about 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the vinegar and water and mix well. Then, without overworking the dough, add the vinegar mixture by the tablespoon while stirring, just until the dough comes to coalesce. Squeeze into a tight ball., flatten, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F and remove the dough from the refrigerator. With the reserved flour, lightly dust a clean surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1/8" thick. Cut six 6" circles from the dough (use a bowl). Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling onto the centre of one side of each circle, leaving about 1/8" border. Fold the other half over to make a half-moon, press to seal and make ridges around the edge using a fork.
  4. Transfer to patties to a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Serve immediately with some hot sauce.

    Adapted from the book Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2009. Find out more at www.dacapopresscookbooks.com.

This recipe appears in: Vegetarian
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