Ah give him bread and ham, together with a pastelle. Oh hello! Welcome back to my blog. It is Christmas time again. Fun, times! Gifts are wrapped…somewhere…under someone’s tree. Alright corny joke, but this pastelle isn’t THAT corny…unless you count the cornmeal in it. I know, I know, I should have stayed on hiatus with those jokes.
Alright I will spare you any further attempts at a joke and give you my recipe. Now I forwent the traditional chicken/beef/soya pastelle and tried some shrimp pastelle intead, after I saw Samantha J.J.R.’s Instagram videos of her shrimp pastelle in the making. They looked super yummy. I also made a few turkey ones after I ran out of shrimp. Don’t worry. I put enough shrimp in my recipe so you wont run out. Learn from my mistakes. I added pics of both types for your perusal. The one above is shrimp, the below is turkey. Also if that bow in the first pic is giving you OCD problems, you’re in good company. 😛
Firstly, you need banana leaves and foil paper. You can also use banana leaves and string if you wish…kinda like brown paper packages tied up with string, but no one has time for that. So go bug the neighbour for some banana leaves in exchange for 2 of your pastelles and let’s get started.
For the filling:
- 3.5 pounds Shrimp peeled, deveined and minced
- 1/4 cup Capers
- 1/4 cup Raisins – chopped
- 1/4 cup olives – chopped
- 1/4 cup Craisins (Cranberry Raisins) – chopped
- 1/4 cup diced onions
- 1/8 cup diced pimientos
- Fine thyme…an entire tree! I love thyme so I added lots but maybe about a tablespoon might work for you.
- 1 tablespoon Chadon Beni/Culantro/ Cilantro – finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic – minced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce << I am pretty sure I misspelt that while typing it but I will have it corrected before I publish and before you read it!
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon bouillon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon butter.
- Season your shrimp with ginger and a pinch of salt and set aside.
- Add the butter, garlic, onions, and pimientos to a large skillet and sauté for 2 minutes on low heat.
- Add the olives, capers, craisins, raisins and thyme and sauté for another minute.
- Add the rest of your ingredients (except for the shrimp) and adjust your seasonings. If you need to add some water, do so.
- Once you are happy with the flavour, turn off the heat, wait three minutes and then add your shrimp. I have always reiterated that there is nothing worse than rubbery shrimp, and since your pastelle still has to steam after this, the shrimp will finish cooking then.
For the dough:
- 3 cups corn meal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon bouillon powder
- black pepper
- 6 tablespoons butter.
- hot water to bind only (the dough should be able to form a ball) In other words, add your water sparingly and do not pour like you are going crazy.
- Combine all ingredients then add water to bind the dough so that it forms a ball. You are now going to make about 2.5 inch round balls until your dough is used up.
Making the pastelle:
- Take the banana leaf and heat it over the stove so that it gets bendy. You need to do this because your pastelle is essentially a package waiting to be wrapped in the leaf.
- Once this is done, cut off the middle of the leaf and discard, keeping the leafy portion only.
- Cut into squares – abt 9 inches. Cut your foil into the same size.
- Take one of the dough balls and place on your leaf.
- Spread out the dough until it is about a 1/8 inch thick circle, using a rolling pin and some saran wrap between the dough and the rolling pin. Some people use oil so that the dough would not stick to the banana leaf. I used zero oil and mine however and it did not stick at all, so I am not sure how necessary the oil is.
- Add your filling.
- Using the banana leaf fold over the dough until a cornmeal package is formed around filling.
- After this, wrap up the cornmeal package, using the same piece of banana leaf. Now you’ve got a corn meal package, inside a banana leaf package.
- Then wrap the banana leaf in foil. Now you have a package inside a package, inside a package on your hands…packageception. I am sure I added one too many packages to that description, but you get the point.
- Finish all of them using this method.
- Steam for 30 minutes.