As part of Kosher Connection, Joy of Kosher's food blogger community that undertakes a monthly kosher recipe challenge, I had to push my cooking creativity to the max. This month's chop challenge had to incorporate two of the following ingredients: pears, canned corn or Mike & Ikes.
My inital reaction was 'Ew, corn and pear?' I definitely felt challenged. After a good night rest, I thought about my Moroccan background and how my culture incorporates sweetness to vegetables, and combines fruits to main dishes i.e. caramelized raisins in couscous and tagines. At first I was going to make traditional Moroccan bastillas with chicken, coriander, corn, lots of spices and a pear dipping sauce, but I changed my mind along the way because I wanted to be able to enhance the taste of corn and pears together, rather than dilute them. So here is my rendition of a 'poultryless' mini Moroccan pear and corn bastillas. This is my first time participating in a cooking challenge, my shabbat guests marveled on them and overall, I was very pleased in uncovering this winning culinary combination. These are perfect for a holiday appetizer or perhaps for brunch served with goat cheese or sour cream.
INGREDIENTS Makes 6 to 8 rolls depending on the size
- 6-8 fine pastry sheets, thawed
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup of oil for frying
- Paper towel
- 1 tbs of vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
- 4 Barlett pears, sliced
- 1 1/2 tbsp of sugar
- 1/2 tsp of rose water
- 2 tbsp of oil
- 2 medium onions
- 1 12 oz can of sweet corn
- 1/4 cup of raisins
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- Salt to taste
Apricot Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 of apricot jam
- 2 tbs of water
- In a bowl mix 1/2 cup of water, oil and spices. On medium heat, pour the mixture in a saute pan and gently mix in the pear slices. As the mixture heats up, the pears soften, gradually add water in a way to ensure the pears do not stick to the pan.
- Sprinkle half the sugar over the pears. Again, add water and the remainder of sugar and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Pears should soften but not to the point of breaking.
- Sprinkle the rose water and let it simmer for another couple of minutes.
- In another pan, on medium heat, put oil and onions, caramelize for 10 minutes.
- Slightly lower the heat and ad the can of corn, cinnamon, salt and sugar and mix for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the raisins for another 3 minutes. Let cool.
- Whisk your egg in a bowl.
- With a cooking brush, brush on the egg on the edges of the filo sheet.
- Place 2 tbsp of the corn mixture an inch from the top of the sheet and center; place 3 slices of the pears vertically and then roll.
- Once you have reached the center of the filo sheet, you fold in the right side inwards, repeat the same step from the left side.
- Once you reach the end, you might want to ad more egg to seal it properly.
- Repeat 5 to 7 more times.
- In a deep pot, heat oil on medium, once heated lower a bit and fry the bastillas until nicely browned, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Place them on a platter topped with paper towl. Allow the paper towel to absorb the oil from the bastillas.
- In a sauce pan, on low-medium heat, mix in the jam and water thoroughly.
- Place your bastilla on a platter, you can either drizzle the sauce on top when serving or place it in a bowl on the side for dipping. Voila, here you have a Moroccan inspired corn and pear appetizer recipe, perfect for a holiday appetizer, and even for a brunch his can be perfect for a brunch served with goat or ricotta cheese.