Award Night Family Barbecue

by Linda Capeloto Sendowski on January 29, 2014

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Sunday night was The Grammy Awards night here in Los Angeles.  I decided to have the family over for a little barbecue and dinner.  There were 17 of us.  We have not gotten together since December and cousin Daniel’s wedding.  I created a fun menu, something for everyone and I figured this would be a great menu for all the upcoming award season events coming up soon, such as Academy Awards and the Super Bowl.

I served:

Bottled Water, Cokes, Wine

Hummus, Guacamole, Pico de Gallo

Pastelitos, Pastelicos, Crudités, Small Pitas

Turkey Chili, Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Grilled Vegetables, Cole Slaw, Green Salad

Barbecue  Herb Steak,  Beef Ribs, Roast Chicken

Blackberry Crostata, Banana Cake, Fruit Sorbet, Melon, Pineapple, and Berries

You could pair this menu down or make it grander.  We all dressed casual and ate in the kitchen/great room.  The television was on and the conversation flowed.  Plastic throw away plates were a must.  Enjoy.  To Make Pastlicos follow the revised recipe below.  For other recipes press on the name and follow the link.Family Awards SEason BbQ 013

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Pastelicos With Meat and Rice Filling

Pastelicos are a Sephardic pastry with a savory meat and rice filling.  As with other Sephardic pastry, you can find versions in different shapes, with different dough and different spice blends.  This is the recipe my mother always made.

Crisp, flaky, savory, and beautiful, they are great hors d’oeuvres for parties and special holiday dinners.  Be sure and count more then one per person when planning how many to serve.  The filling amount generated by this recipe is sufficient for two batches of dough.  Make the dough recipe twice.  I make one recipe, fill and bake the pastelicos and then, I make the second recipe of dough to finish the filling.  The filling is best made the night before and refrigerated.

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Yield 84-90 pieces


2 pounds ground beef chuck meat

2 large brown onions finely chopped

2 tablespoons safflower oil

1 cup fresh parsley , washed, dried, and finely chopped

1 to 2 teaspoons salt

Freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup long grain rice

1 cup water

Dough:  (make this twice)

4 cups unbleached flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup ice water

3/4 cup safflower oil


1 beaten egg

1/ 2 cup sesame seeds (non toasted)

Preheat a large sauté pan until hot over medium heat.  Add oil and then, onions.  Occasionally stir onions with  wooden spoons, sautéing until sweet and golden.  Season onions with salt and pepper.  Push onions aside in pan, turn up heat to high and add ground chuck. Sauté until browned and starting to stick.  As you stir onions and chuck meat, break it up with your spoons so it becomes crumbly with no large chunks of ground meat intact.  Season meat with salt and pepper.

Next, stir in parsley; and add uncooked rice into meat and onions.  Stir dry meat mixture for a moment.  Add water to cover meat and rice and place a lid on pan.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and let steam until water is absorbed and rice is cooked, about 15 minutes.  Cool filling down before using, I recommend refrigerating overnight in a covered bowl.

For dough, measure flour into a medium bowl and add salt.  In a two-cup glass measuring pitcher, combine ice water and oil.  Whisk liquids to emulsify.  Pour liquid into flour and stir with a fork.  When dough holds together, use your hands to finish gathering dough into a ball.  Dough should be soft and pliable.

Separate dough into 42 walnut size pieces.  Roll each small piece into a smooth ball.  Next, with a rolling pin, roll each ball into a circle, no larger than 3 inches in diameter, taking care not to go over edges with the rolling pin and make them to thin.

Preheat oven to 400° F and line 4 rimmed baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.  Place a heaping teaspoon of filling or a little more in each circle.  Using your fingers, close filled circles by folding dough in a triangle shape.  Place pastelicos on baking sheets.  Brush Pastelicos with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake until golden and crispy about 15 to 17 minutes.

There are several ways to close pastelicos; one is, bring edges of dough up to a triangle shape and twist down the ridges (repulgo), two, fold edges over lapping to form a seal, three press together and crimp with tines of a fork.

After Pastelicos cool, they keep well for two days refrigerated or I freeze them in airtight containers.  Reheat in a 300° F oven for 10 to 15 minutes to re-crisp.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

David Leite
Twitter: davidleite
January 30, 2014 at 7:42 AM

Wow! What a spread.

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