Just as I was prepping to make these yummy savory pastries, we heard a little ‘thud’ outside. S and I went out to the deck to see what was going on. It was a little red bird lying motionless and belly up on the deck. Little red feathers were floating down. We quickly realized what had happened. The poor bird had crashed into our living room window mid-flight. Apparently 100 million birds die each year, crashing into transparent windows.
S was going to sweep up the bird after dinner. And I returned to making the Jamaican patties, which incidentally were so incredibly super fabulously good that I can’t stop thinking about them. Next time I will have to make a few million of these and freeze them. Anyways, I digress. So when I opened the oven door to take out the freshly baked, heavenly smelling patties, I head another sound outside. I peeped out the window.
The dead bird was waking up and about to fly away!
The dead bird smelled my wonderful Jamaican patties and came back alive!!
Or that’s what I’d like to believe.
I later read online that many birds that hit windows are just passed out, not dead. Good we didn’t bury the poor fella when we found him. But I still think the bird woke up because it smelled the Jamaican patties.
Jamaican Style Curried Kale and White Bean ‘Patties’
makes 8 muffin sized ‘patties’
This is my interpretation of a Jamaican patty, so its not exactly authentic, but very tasty nevertheless. A traditional Jamaican patty or pattie is half moon shaped and generally filled with meat. The flaky outer crust is made with flour and butter or shortening, and the crust is yellow from the addition of turmeric. As a short cut, I used store bought puff pastry with turmeric sprinkled on top. I baked these in a muffin pan. You don’t have to use a muffin pan, you could bake them like you would a turnover.
1 sheet puff pastry
1 can Cannellini Beans
1 bunch Kale
¼ tsp chopped green chili, or scotch bonnet (this is a very hot pepper), or a few pinches of crushed red pepper
1 tsp minced or grated garlic
1 tsp minced or grated ginger
1 tbsp curry powder (my curry powder is very mild so I used 1 tbsp. start with half, taste, and then add more if needed)
¼ tsp + 1/8 tsp turmeric
1 tsp vinegar
½ tbsp milk for brushing
½ tbsp vegetable oil
Thaw the puff pastry for 45 minutes. While the puff pastry is thawing, work on the filling.
In a large pot, bring plenty of water to a boil. Add some salt and the vinegar to the water. The vinegar will help retain the color of the kale. Remove and discard the tough stems from the kale. Roughly chop the kale. When the water comes to a boil, drop the chopped kale in the water. Blanch for 1 minute. Then drain the kale. Wash it with cold water to stop the cooking process. Squeeze out all the water from the kale and set aside.
Drain and wash the cannellini beans. Heat oil in a skillet and add the garlic, ginger and chopped chilies, (or scotch bonnet peppers or crushed pepper). Cook, stirring on medium heat for about 30 seconds. Then add 1/8th tsp turmeric and the curry powder. Cook another 20-30 seconds. Make sure the curry powder doesn’t burn.
Now add the cannellini beans and blanched kale to the skillet. Turn off heat. Add salt and stir the mixture until everything is well combined.
Pre heat oven to 400F.
Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with non stick baking spray. You can skip this step if you are using a non stick pan.
Lay out the thawed puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry sheet a little. Then using your hands, lift and gently stretch the pastry sheet to make it thinner.
Sprinkle 1/4th tsp turmeric all over the pastry sheet. Spread the turmeric as evenly as you can using your fingers. Now take a fork and prick all over the pastry sheet. This will ensure it doesn’t puff up on the oven.
Cut one third of the pastry sheet and set side. Cut the remaining pastry sheet into 8 equal squares. Gently stretch each piece out so that it lines a muffin cup. Place each square of pastry sheet into each cup of the muffin pan. The side with turmeric should be touching the pan. The side without turmeric should be touching the filling. If the corners of the pastry sheet are sticking out, cut them and use them to patch up other parts of the lining.
Once you’ve lined all the muffin pan cups, fill them with the kale-white bean mixture. Take the reserved one third pastry sheet and cut it into 8 pieces. Gently stretch the pieces so they fit over the muffin pan cups. Place them over each cup, fold over the corners and lightly pinch the edges together.
Brush the tops with milk. Bake for 20 minutes or till the ‘patties’ are golden.