Pastel is a popular finger food found across Brazil, from upscale beachside botecas to fry daddies mounted in makeshift VW Kombi kitchens. This recipe for the dough can be made days in advance and then refrigerated. The fillings vary greatly but three traditional options are mozzarella cheese, seasoned shredded chicken or ground beef browned with chopped garlic and onion.
How to Make Pastel
- 1In a large bowl, combine the flour, egg yolk, margarine and baking powder.
- 2Slightly warm the milk and mix with 2 tablespoons of water and the salt.
- 3Add to the flour mixture, stir to combine and then knead well.
- 4If necessary, adjust the consistency of the dough by adding a little more flour (to a very soft dough) or milk (to a very stiff dough).
- 5Work the dough until soft but not sticky. Allow the dough to rest for about 15 minutes.
- 6On a floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8-inch thick using a rolling pin and cut into approximately 4-inch squares.
- 7Stuff the dough with filling to suit your taste.
- 8Use your fingertip to run a droplet of water around the edge of the dough and then press together using the prongs of a fork to create a crimped seal.
- 9Heat a pot of oil over medium-high heat to about 350 F. Add the sealed pastels and fry until golden brown.
- 10These are somewhat like an English Pasties or an Empanada.
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