Ever been to a Brazilian restaurant? Vegetarian or vegan options are usually really lacking, which is unfortunate. While I know that Brazilians are known for their meat, its always worth noting that if someone is willing to sell delicious vegetarian entrees, we’re ready to buy it.
One item, that I did find once at a small kiosk in a farmers market were these delectable Brazilian cheese pastries known as pastel. The adorable lady at the kiosk had many kinds with various fillings, but even before I told her I couldn’t eat meat, she urged me to try the cheese one. I was so happy she suggested it, because it was so simple, but so delicious. It was a pastry hand pie filled with cheese that just gushed out. I couldn’t get enough. I hope you like my rendition of them. I think I got fairly close to the ones I originally had.
**Feel free to click on the red links for photo references**
Recipe makes approx. 8 pastries
- 7.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 oz cachaça (substitute: white rum or vodka)
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar (substitute: white vinegar)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- approx. 400g cheddar cheese (you can use a variety of cheeses if you want)
- 1/2 medium tomato, diced (optional)
- 1/2 onion, diced (optional)
- 1 qt vegetable or alternative frying oil
- Heat frying oil to 300F
- Mix together flour, olive oil, egg, cachaça, vinegar, salt and sugar. The dough should be a play dough consistency.
- Separate the dough into balls (balls should be smaller than a tennis ball, but larger than a golf ball). Knead each ball and roll out into circles. Dough should be approx. 1mm thick after being rolled out.
- Place desired amount of cheese on one half of the circle. In some of mine, I also put in diced onion and tomato. Fold in half, and seal pastry using the prongs of a fork.
- Fry pastry until golden. Enjoy 🙂
Bonus caipirinha recipe: In a glass, muddle segments of half a lime with 1 tsp of sugar. Add 1 cup of crushed ice, 2 oz of cachaça and stir. Enjoy Responsibly 🙂