Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pasteitje met ragout

As Calvinistic as we are, bent on not having too much of anything and claiming that "being normal is crazy enough", we are set on extending the Christmas celebrations over two days instead of one. First Christmas Day is December 25th, Second Christmas Day is December 26th. And if you are part of those families that also celebrate Christmas Eve, that makes it two days and a half.

Christmas Eve is traditionally the night where you dress up, go to evening mass (even those that are not raised in the church will often attend) and upon return to the house round off the celebrations with hot chocolate and, how else, a bread meal with luxury rolls.

First Christmas Day is a formal dinner day and a day that is generally celebrated with family only. If you are invited to someone's home on First Christmas Day, and you are not family or in any way related, it is quite an honor! This is also the day that will determine where you stand, family-wise. In trying to keep the peace between families and in-laws, children often switch back and forth between families on 1st and 2nd Christmas Day: one year you will celebrate dinner at your parent's on the 1st, the next year it's at your significant other's parents. Being invited, or visited, on 2nd Christmas Day almost automatically classifies you as 2nd class family member......

Second Christmas Day is much less formal. It's when the leftovers are eaten, and everybody runs around in their "house suit", sweats and jammies, hanging in front of the TV or going for long, wintery walks to get some fresh air. Friends will sometimes come over for a drink and a chat, and a less formal dinner (not leftovers!!).

So many of these traditions are slowly changing but one of the standard items on Christmas Day is this appetizer or starter for the meal: a puff pastry cup filled with a chicken and mushroom gravy. It is so seventies, but it is one of those dishes that is comforting, filling and familiar at the same time.

I had some chicken leftover from last night's dinner club. It's getting close to Christmas and all of a sudden I had a hankering for a pasteitje met ragout.......You can also use leftover chicken from your Sunday roast. 

Pasteitjes, puff pastry shells, can be found in the store, in the freezer section. If you can't find them, make your own shells out of a sheet of puff pastry, or serve the ragout with rice or on bread.  

Pasteitje met ragout
For the pasteitjes:
2 sheets of puff pastry
1 tablespoon of flour
1 egg, beaten

Dust the counter with flour and thaw the sheets. Cut eight circles out of the pastry dough. Out of four of these circles, press a smaller circle from the middle. Wet the full circles with a little bit of water, place the rings on top and brush the whole pastry with egg. Place the cut outs on the side, poke them a couple of times with a fork so they don't puff up too much, and brush as well.

Bake on a sheetpan in a 425F oven for ten to twelve minutes or until golden and puffy. Cool on a wire rack.

Ragout
1 tablespoon of butter
2 chicken breast
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 small can of mushrooms (or one cup of fresh mushrooms, sliced)
2 1/2 cups of white wine
2 1/2 cup of warm water
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 bay leaves
Sprinkle of thyme

For the gravy
1/3 cup of flour
4 tablespoons of butter

If you have time, marinate the chicken breast the night before in a bowl with the wine, water, onions, bay leaves, thyme and crushed garlic cloves. 

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven, add the sliced onion and the garlic cloves and sauté until translucent. Dry the chicken, cut it into large cubes, season it with salt and pepper and quickly sear it on all sides.Add the wine, the warm water, the bouillon cube and the mushrooms and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, add the bay leaves, a sprinkle of thyme and pepper and simmer for at least 25 minutes, covered.

Take the chicken out of the stock. The meat should be tender enough that you can pull it apart with two forks. If not, return to the pan and simmer longer.

In a different pan, melt the butter, stir in the flour and quickly make a paste. Add a ladle full of your cooking liquid to the sauce and stir until it's absorbed. Do the same with four more ladles, until you have a nice pan full of gravy. Now add the meat to the gravy. Taste and adjust the flavor with salt and pepper if needed.

Carefully place the pasteitjes on a plate, fill with ragout, sprinkle with some parsley if you want and serve!


7 comments:

  1. OMG your blog is a godsend!! Am making this tonight and have many more of your recipesp planned. Thank you so much!

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  2. Check your grocer's freezer section. I have found Pepperidge Farm puff pastry shells, and used them for pasteitjes. I have cheated since we've been here and just used a mix of cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soups, but your recipe sounds great, so I'm trying it for this Christmas. Thank you! :)

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  3. Wouldnt chicken thighs be better?? They do not dry out that quick and are more flavorful. Just take off the skin





    wout

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  4. Ik kan niet wachten om dit te maken!!! Ik probeer het recept uit te printen zodat ik 't mee naar de keuken kan nemen, maar dit lukt me niet. Ik kan 't ook niet copieren naar een word document en ik heb zelfs geprobeerd het naar mezelf te emailen, maar in de email is alleen een link. Is dit een probleem van mijn computer of uw website zo ingesteld?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sabine, heb je misschien de mogelijkheid om screenshots te maken met een mobile phone? Gr. Nic

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I made it yesterday, we eat the ragout with rice and it was delicious :-)

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  6. As I type this, I am waiting for my husband (who is Dutch) to get home from a long day of work, to eat this for dinner tonight. The house smells so good with the aroma of the ragout! I thought I'd look up some of his old NL favourites and make them, to treat him. They're my favourites too - I only spent 3 years in The Netherlands (I'm Canadian), but I got hooked on these, as well as kroketten. Your recipe for the ragout is delicious. I didn't have time to make the pastry, so I bought some from the grocery store to serve with the ragout. I'm sure he'll love it! Thanks for sharing! I love your website!

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