I recently became completely obsessed with the savory seasonal turnovers from a bakery nearby me, so of course I had to start experimenting and creating my own. I love the aromatic warmth that garam masala adds to sweet potatoes - it just smells like the holidays to me! And, wrapped up in buttery, flaky puff pastry, it makes a delicious side dish, or appetizer for that matter. —fiveandspice
4 or 8
sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Put the sweet potato in a pot and fill with just enough water to cover. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer until the potato pieces are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes, reserving a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid and mash the potatoes and liquid together until pretty smooth.
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, then stir in the garam masala and cook for another minute until fragrant. Take off the heat.
Scrape the oil with the garlic and spice into the mashed potatoes, add the farmer's cheese and salt and mash everything together. (Add a splash of milk or cream if a little more liquid is needed) Set aside.
On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut either 4 (4-in.) or 8 (2-in) circles out of the dough depending on if you want regular or mini turnovers. Or - even easier - cut the dough into 4 or 8 squares. Scoop a little mound of the mashed potatoes onto one half of each dough piece, leaving some room along the border (about 1/2 inch, or a titch less - I always do my best to get just as close to overfilling them as possible and while still being able to close and seal them). (Oh, and if you want another burst of flavor along with the potatoes, add a tiny spoonful of your favorite cranberry or apple chutney.) Then, fold the empty side of the pastry over and press the edges together. Use a fork to make little dimples along the edge and prick a couple small air holes in the tops of each little turnover. Transfer to a baking sheet and chill in the fridge until ready to bake, and at least a half an hour.
Preheat your oven to 400F. Get the turnovers out of the refrigerator and brush a little of the beaten egg on each. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the are golden brown and flaky. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then serve warm.
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.