By Elke Probkevitz
When Purim comes around, there is not a kosher bakery in sight that doesn’t carry a triangle-shaped cookie with all sorts of fillings in the center. We eat those uniquely shaped pastries, which resemble the three-corned hat of Haman, to commemorate his defeat. Although Purim without hamantashen would be like Chanukah without sufganiyot, you can find other ways to incorporate triangle-shaped foods into your mishloach manot baskets or Purim seudot. So let’s get creative and see what we can come up with.
High tea. Serve little tea sandwiches as finger food at your seudah while your guests wait for the meal to be served. Tea sandwiches are usually made by cutting off the crusts and cutting them into triangle shapes for small portion sizes. Fill them with anything from cream cheese and smoked salmon to sliced roast beef and coleslaw.
Cakes and cookies. Any type of cake can be sliced into a triangle shape. Frost and decorate according to your theme, like carrot cake with a cream cheese and orange-colored frosting for a bunny theme or decorate them to look like mini pizzas with frosting. It’s just as easy with sugar cookies. Make triangular cookies, then frost and decorate according to your theme or preference.
Homemade chips. Cut tortilla wraps or pita breads into triangle shapes. Spray a baking sheet with Pam, then spray triangles with Pam and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in the oven until crispy and serve with artichoke dip or guacamole at your seudah.
Puff pastry or phyllo. Make savory hamantashen by filling puff pastry or phyllo dough with a ground-beef filling, a tuna mixture, a cheese filling, or vegetable medley to make delicious borekas or calzones that are always a crowd-pleaser.
Pot stickers. Use wonton wrappers and fill with any kind of meat or veggie. Fold them over into triangle shapes. Steam them and serve with a sauce, drop them into soup for dumplings, or fry them up for a delicious dish.
Pizza. Pizza slices are already triangular, but take pizza dough and fill with sauce, cheese, and any vegetables you like, then fold as you would hamantashen to make a pizza calzone. v
Chicken Mango Samosas
1 chicken breast, cubed small
3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for pan
1 Tbsp. Garam Marsala (Indian spice blend)
½ tsp. chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped finely
¼ cup roasted cashews, chopped
½ cup mango, diced (not too ripe)
2 Tbsp. spicy mango chutney
1 package of phyllo (filo) pastry dough
canola oil or melted butter substitute, for brushing
Drizzle chicken cubes with olive oil and season to taste with salt, Garam Marsala, chili powder, garlic, and ginger. Leave to marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Coat pan with olive oil and place over medium heat; add shallots and sauté until translucent. Add chicken and cook until cooked through. Cool slightly off heat, then add parsley, cashews, mango, and mango chutney.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut each phyllo sheet in 4 long strips, keeping them covered with damp paper towel until ready to use so they don’t dry out. Brush strip with canola oil or melted butter substitute. Place 1 tablespoon of filling at one end, forming into a triangle shape. Fold dough over to form triangle, and keep folding until all the dough is used, pressing it to stick and seal (use a dab of oil if necessary). Continue with other strips. Place prepared samosas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly brush with a little more oil or butter and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve with a green salad.
Want to learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals right in your own kitchen? Take one-on-one cooking lessons or give a gift to an aspiring cook you know. For more information, contact Take Home Chef personal chef services by calling 516-508-3663, writing to elke@TakeHomeChef.net, or visiting www.TakeHomeChef.net.