Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Moroccan Inspired Pear and Corn Bastillas



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


Pear Filling

  • 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


Corn Filling

  • 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













PEAR FILLING
  1. 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.
  2.  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. 
  3. Sprinkle the rose water and let it simmer for another couple of minutes.

CORN FILLING
  1. In another pan, on medium heat, put oil and onions, caramelize for 10 minutes. 
  2. Slightly lower the heat and ad the can of corn, cinnamon, salt and sugar and mix for 5 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the raisins for another 3 minutes. Let cool.



THE WRAPPING
  1. Whisk your egg in a bowl. 
  2. With a cooking brush, brush on the egg on the edges of the filo sheet.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. Once you reach the end, you might want to ad more egg to seal it properly. 
  6. Repeat 5 to 7 more times.
  7. 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. 
  8. Place them on a platter topped with paper towl. Allow the paper towel to absorb the oil from the bastillas. 


THE SAUCE

  1. In a sauce pan, on low-medium heat, mix in the jam and water thoroughly. 
  2. 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.