Callaloo is one of the crops I wasn’t convinced would do well here in the Pacific Northwest, but I was wrong. Until a couple weeks ago when the deer returned to ravage our garden, I was reaping callaloo on a daily basis; I always had enough of the prolific vegetable amaranth to serve at least two meals a week and even more to share with neighbors. The plant bounced back, somewhat, but now we are only reaping a small amount each week. I have been using it in all sorts of dishes: creamed like spinach, steamed with saltfish, baked in galettes, stuffed inside fish and most recently in patties! If you are not lucky enough to be growing callaloo in your backyard, you can find it fresh in most Asian markets, labelled as Yin Tsai, it might be purple instead of green but it tastes the same. Canned is another option that I do not recommend.
One of my favorite callaloo dishes from home is a loaf from Juici Patties that is basically a callaloo pastie but with a coco bread crust instead of the traditional flaky pastry. In homage to Juici’s delicious fillings and the unbeatably light crust of my favorite hometown patty-erie, Green Shop, I have made these mini callaloo patties with my favorite puff pastry recipe. Warning: This is not a low calorie food.
Get the crust ready:
1. Whisk together
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2. With a pastry blender, cut in
2 sticks very cold butter, cubed
3. In a separate bowl, stir together
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup ice water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4. Pour cream mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overwork or your pastry will not be flaky. It should be shaggy with butter solids still distinctly visible.
5. Divide into two equal halves, Wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour, or up to 24 hours, until you are ready to make the patties.
Prepare the filling:
6. In skillet over medium heat, melt
1 tbsp ghee (or cooking oil of your choice)
7. Stir in
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup finely diced carrots
8. Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally until Onions are translucent.
9. Stir in
2 finely minced cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tsps finely chopped Scotch Bonnet / Habanero (or 1 tsp Scotch Bonnet sauce)
10. Return heat to medium and add
3 cups callaloo, washed, drained, chopped and firmly packed
11. Cover and let steam, remove lid and stir after about 5 minutes.
12. Lower heat and cook for another 10 minutes or until callaloo is at your desired tenderness. Remove from heat and set aside.
Now it’s time to make your patties!
13. Roll half your crust out into a 12-inch square, cut 9 four inch squares from your dough
14. Drop a spoonful of prepared filling onto half of each square, ensuring a 1/4 inch border
15. Fold empty half of square over the other half and seal the edges together using your fingers.
16. Repeat with other half of crust.
17. Place patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with a combination of
1 egg yolk and 1 tsp water
18. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.