I’m on a seaside holiday with four little ones under the age of two – crazy, right? A houseful of hungry beasts (yes, that includes the parents) calls for an abundant supply of tasty treats, so I turned to an easy recipe for mini potato and cheese pasties inspired by The River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook. These are a perfect finger food for tiny hands – and they’re just as popular with grown-ups too. I recently served these at a first birthday party and I suspect the toddlers didn’t even get a look-in.
I don’t follow a strict recipe of this – just throw together whatever vegies you’d like to add to the mix – potatoes and sweet potatoes are the base, but think peas, diced carrot, or try spinach and fetta for a pastizzi vibe. Whatever you do, always go for all-butter puff pastry – it tastes infinitely better than the cheaper versions padded out with margarine and vegetable oils. And if you’re into organic ingredients, puff pastry can be pretty darned hard to find, but it’s possible! Stock up at Organics on a Budget . Problem solved. You should be able to find the rest of the ingredients in certified organic form at major supermarkets.
Here’s my version, which makes about 30 mini pasties:
- 2 large potatoes, cut into large chunks
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into large chunks
- 1 knob of butter
- 1 leek, white part only, very thinly sliced
- Grated parmesan or tasty cheese, to taste – but the cheesier the better, I say
- 1 pack all-butter puff pastry
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two trays with baking paper.
- Steam or boil the potato and sweet potato chunks until tender, drain if necessary, leave to cool a little, mash and set aside.
- Heat the butter in a medium pan until melted, add the leek and fry until lightly golden. Add the leek to the potato mash and stir to combine.
- Add the cheese to the potato and leek mixture, stir to combine and taste. Add more cheese if you think it needs it, and if you’re introducing salt and pepper to your kid’s diet, season to taste.
- Take a sheet of puff pastry and use a pastry cutter to cut out rounds – I didn’t have a proper cutter on hand, so improvised with an egg ring! Work quickly, as the pastry becomes increasingly difficult to handle as it comes to room temperature.
- Brush a round of pastry with the egg wash, place a spoonful of potato and cheese mixture in the lower half of the pastry round and fold over to enclose, pinching the edges to seal the pastie. Repeat with remaining puff pastry and potato mixture, re-rolling extra pastry as you go (it helps to re-wrap it in the plastic sheets from the pack and return it to the fridge to make it easy to work with). Place the filled pasties on the prepared trays as you go.
- Brush the pasties with the egg wash, crimp the edges with a fork and place in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes until puffed up and golden brown. Allow to cool completely before letting little ones tuck in!
Do you have a go-to recipe for keeping a gaggle of kids happy? I have another week ahead of me with this bunch, so all suggestions are very welcome…