Pastel de queijo- Brazilian salty snack
For ages I have been wanting to prepare these salty snacks, I grew up eating pastel de queijo in Brazil and it is very common to see a group of friends sitting in a Brazilian Bar or in kiosks by the seaside sharing a platter of pastel. This dish is considered to be a fast-food dish, made of thin pastry wrapped around a filling of your choice (it varies depending on where you are in Brazil), my favourite is pastel de queijo or cheese pastel which is the most common filling for a pastel so this recipe is a cheese filling pastel. Check out other filling options at the end of this post!
- 1 kg of plain flour
- 1 medium egg
- 1/2 tea cup of oil (I like to use olive oil in most of my cooking, just personal preference)
- 1 shot of Brazilian sugar cane white rum (this makes the pastry bubble up when frying and really crunchy), if you do not have Brazilian rum you can also substitute for Vodka, some chefs also put a little bit of beer.
- 1 tea spoon of white wine vinegar
- 250 ml of water
- 1 soup spoon of salt
- 300g of cheese (I used extra mature cheddar cut into symmetric blocks to fit inside the pastry wrap)
- 1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl (minus the cheese) with a spoon, when the consistence starts to get harder to mix with a spoon its time to use your hands – when the pastry stops sticking move into a surface where you can work the pastry folding it in its-self over and over again until you are satisfied with the consistence. It should not stick, if necessary add a little more flour to the work surface while your kneading the pastry.
- 2. Cut a small tennis size ball of pastry and start stretching it like a pizza onto a flowered surface using a rolling pin (if you have a pasta machine roller even better), the pastry must be rolled very thinly otherwise your pastel will look and taste like a deep fried pie! Once you have a thin stretched pastry I like to use small cereal bowl to help me cut the shapes (see pictures).
- 3. Place the filling (cheese) just below the center line of the shapes you have sliced and seal the pastel with a fork by pressing the edges firmly all the way around. Now here is a little tip, if the pastry is not sealing properly spread a little bit of water with your fingers on the edge prior to pressing with the fork.
- 4. Pre-heat a litre of cooking vegetable oil in a pan (180c) and deep fry your salty snacks until golden brown, casually turning them from side to side as they will float, scoop them out of the oil and place them onto a plate with kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil from the frying.
- 5. Enjoy a delicious salty snack!
- The best serving companion for a pastel is a selection of chilly sauce from mild to very hot depending on your guests heat palate endurance, it cannot go wrong with the original Tabasco sauce 🙂
- A cold beer is essential!
- Share it with family and friends.
Other filling options:
The most common fillings used in this pastry dish is minced meat, palm hearts with cream sauce, chicken, sweet corn in cream sauce, shrimp with cheese sauce. In some parts of Brazil, you can also find sweet versions of Pastel filled with guava jam, white cheese from Minas Gerais, chocolate with banana. The preference is yours, you can really be adventurous with this dish and add any filling to it.