Traveling from home
For the past few weeks, the Corona virus has been the main thing on almost everyone´s mind. Besides the heavier societal and personal implications of the virus, there are also smaller personal impacts like canceled trips and working from home. Personally, for me there are two really weird things: not actually having touched another human being for over two weeks and not being able to go to my parents due to the closed borders.
But its also important to think about other things right now, and to continue enjoying life! This whole period takes too long to just sit it out or be grumpy, I think. So for now, those days working from home have been a great period for doing some baking, from cookies to a first attempt at sourdough bread with a starter from scratch. After all, there are currently no short – or longer – breaks at the coffee machine to talk to colleagues, so breaks need to come from somewhere else. And I happen to work from home from my kitchen, right next to the stove top and oven. It´s all about multitasking, right?
So when I had left-overs of a quiche dough from the night before, I wanted to make this into savoury pastries for lunch. And even when it is not possible to cross a border in real life, nobody stops you from traveling through imagination or food. With a canceled trip to Madrid in mind, and it being impossible to visit my parents in Spain, it had to be Spanish inspiration driving me. Of the many things reminding me of Spain, the orange and almond trees are among my favourites. And combined with some typical Spanish chorizo, oranges and almonds feature in those pastries. For a bit of traveling from home, in between all the working from home.
Sweet potato and chorizo pastries
In this recipe I use a piece of a whole semi-dried chorizo sausage. If you can only find the pre-sliced one, put it straight into the pastries without cooking separately. You can give the pastries an egg-wash before going into the oven to give them a nice shine, but it is not really necessary. To be honest, I mainly do this for photos or special occasions.
Ingredients (for 4 pastries)
- 120 grams of flour – plus some extra for dusting
- 60 grams of cold butter
- 40 ml cold water
- Chorizo – 80 grams
- Sweet potato – 300 grams
- 1 orange
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 clove of garlic
- Almonds – 40 grams
- Olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
Start by making the dough. Place the flour on a clean working surface and add a pinch of salt. Cut the butter in small cubes and add to the flour. Use you fingers to mix this until the flour and butter mixture resembles crumbs. Add the water bit by bit and knead until the dough comes together. Make sure to mix until it just comes together, do not over-knead it. Wrap the dough in some plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Secondly, peel the sweet potato and cut into dices. Heat a frying pan with some olive oil and the bay leaves over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cubed sweet potato. Season with salt and black pepper. Let them fry while stirring regularly for around 10 minutes, until they soften up. Meanwhile, zest and juice the orange and finely chop the garlic. Furthermore, cube the chorizo. Depending on the chorizo you use, you might want to take the skin of as well. Chop the almonds roughly as well.
After the sweet potato has softened, stir the garlic through and fry for another minute. Add the orange zest and juice and let it caramelize on a low fire until the orange juice has cooked in and almost disappeared. Take the pan of the fire and remove the bay leaves from the pan. Using a fork or you spatula, slightly mash the sweet potatoes so that you end up with a chunky puree. Mix the almonds through the sweet potato mash.
At the same time, heat a small dry frying pan over a low fire and add the chorizo. Slowly let this heat up and fry for around five minutes in its own fat.
Now, preheat your oven to 180°C and cover a baking tray with baking paper. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll this out to a square sheet of around 3 mm thick. Cut the dough into smaller squares. I usually make 4 pastries out of this amount of dough, but you can make them as big or small as you want. Place some of the sweet potato mixture in the middle of the first square. Top this with the chorizo, without its fat. Then, take the four corners of the square of dough, fold those over the filling, and twist together over the top so that you have a small parcel. Place on the baking tray and repeat with the other squares of dough.
Bake in the preheated over for 25 minutes, until golden brown and flaky.