I love miniatures – it really doesn’t matter what the item is – if it is a smaller version, I love it. My daughters are the same way. Although, I can understand why kids love miniatures – because they are mini themselves. My daughters are half the size of me – and I have to remember when I serve them a hamburger that is the same size as mine, it is gigantic in their minds.
A couple of months ago Cooking Light did a section on food in Haiti. Haiti has been a topic of conversation in our house quite a bit because of the earthquake, so I figured the girls would enjoy eating some food local to that region. I have actually been to Haiti, and sadly, I did not see a lot of homes that had a proper kitchen to prepare foods like this, but I won’t go there today.
This recipe was meant to be an appetizer, but I thought it would make a great mini-meal for the girls (without the habanero). They were actually not as easy to make as I had hoped – the little pieces of puffed pastry were so small, they were hard to manage – but somehow I was able to stuff them and use the majority of the filling. As you can see by the picture, my closing skills were not perfect, but they still tasted great. One of my girls liked them, the other took a “no thank-you bite” and that was the end of that. She then proceeded to eat around the filling. Oh well – at least I was at 50%. The four of us (ok, really 3 of us) polished off the entire batch, along with some vegetable sides, so I would say it was a successful mini meal. Next time I make these though, I will cut the dough into 9 squares, and make these into big triangles. Not only will the process go faster, you will get a much bigger chunk of filling with your pastry.
- 1 habanero pepper
- Cooking spray
- 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 pound ground chicken breast
- 1/4 cup shredded carrot
- 2 teaspoons no-salt-added tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
- 1 (14-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed (such as Dufour)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
Cut habanero in half. Seed one half of pepper, and leave seeds in other half. Mince both pepper halves. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add minced habanero, onion, and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add carrot; cook 2 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add lime juice and vinegar, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add green onions and next 6 ingredients (through nutmeg); stir well. Remove from heat; cool mixture to room temperature.
Place cooled chicken mixture in a food processor; process until almost smooth (mixture will begin to clump).
Preheat oven to 400°.
Roll puff pastry into a 15 x 12–inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut puff pastry into 20 (3-inch) squares. Combine egg and water, stirring with a whisk. Brush egg mixture along edges of pastry squares; spoon about 1 scant tablespoon filling in center of each pastry square. Fold each pastry square in half; press edges closed with tines of a fork. Brush top with egg wash; arrange 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
Makes 20 small puffs.
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