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March 21, 2024
Savory Hamantaschen Photo by Little Ferraro Kitchen

As much as food writer and recipe developer Emily Paster loves sweet hamantaschen, she enjoys taking a broader view of Purim foods. The perfect example is her savory beef hamantaschen.

“They are a bit unexpected with beef, but at the same time, really evoke the Middle East for me.” – Emily Paster

“I love the combination of warm, earthy spices in this recipe, including cinnamon and allspice,” Paster, who blogs at WestoftheLoop.com, told the Journal. “They are a bit unexpected with beef, but at the same time, really evoke the Middle East for me.”  Savory pastries, such as these,” she added, “are a staple of mezze platters all over the Sephardic world.”

Savory Beef Hamantaschen
Photo by Emily Paster

Savory Beef Hamantaschen

 Dough:
2 tsp instant or active dry yeast
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp warm water
Pinch sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour
Pinch salt
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 egg

Filling:
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 lb. ground sirloin
2 tsp dried mint
1 tsp each allspice, cinnamon and paprika
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Pinch cayenne
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup golden raisins

Yogurt Sauce:
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of two lemons
Pinch salt
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp dried mint

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

If using active dry yeast, dissolve the yeast with a pinch of sugar in 1/2 cup warm water and leave for ten minutes until it froths. (If using instant yeast, skip this step and mix instant yeast directly in with the flour.)

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, oil and egg and add the yeast mixture. Mix with a fork and work in remaining water as needed for dough to hold together.

Knead for five to ten minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled, about one hour to one hour and fifteen minutes.

While the dough is rising, make the filling. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.

Sauté the onion until softened, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the ground beef and spices and cook, stirring, until the meat is no longer pink.

Add the pine nuts and raisins sauté a few additional minutes until the pine nuts are toasted. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Set aside

When dough has risen, punch down and divide into four pieces. Keeping other pieces covered, take one piece and roll it out on a lightly floured board as thinly as possible.

Cut dough into 4-inch rounds. Gather up any dough scraps and roll those out as well. You should have 6-7 rounds of dough.

Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each round.

Using two hands, fold in two sides of the circle and pinch together. Fold up the bottom side of the triangle and pinch all three corners together. (Close well or pastries will open up when baked.) Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Place filled pastries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat.

Beat egg with one tablespoon of water. Brush pastries with egg wash.

Bake pastries for 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

While pastries are baking, make yogurt sauce. Combine minced garlic, lemon juice and salt in a medium bowl and allow to stand for five minutes to soften raw garlic flavor.

Combine garlic mixture with the Greek yogurt and mint. Season well with salt and pepper. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Serve pastries warm or room temperature with yogurt sauce.

Leftover pastries can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Reheat or toast before serving. Pastries can also be wrapped well and frozen. Thaw and reheat before serving.


Those seeking lighter savory fare will find that Samantha Ferraro of Little Ferraro Kitchen has them covered.

“I love taking something that is traditionally sweet and turning it into something savory,” Ferraro, author of “The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen,” told the Journal. “I’ve done this with challah, blintzes and rugelach .”

She adds, “Hamantaschen is the perfect pocket for a savory bite.”

Savory Hamantaschen with Six Different Fillings Inspired from Around the World

Dough
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
¼ cup Greek yogurt”
2 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ cup cold water

Add flour and salt to a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the butter and pulse a few times until it looks like small peas.

In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice and water. Add this to the flour mixture and blend until dough forms into a ball.

Using very floured hands, form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Once dough is ready, cut dough in half and roll out to about 9 inches in diameter or about ¼ inch thick.

Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter and cut out circles. Any leftover dough can be rolled out again to cut out more circles.

Fill each circle with no more than ½-3/4 teaspoon filling each, leaving a border so they are not overfilled. (Filling instructions are below.)

Once filled, pinch the three corners around the hamantaschen very well. At this point, place the hamantaschen on a plate or baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes.

Bake the hamantaschen for 15-17 minutes or until the dough is lightly golden brown.

Fillings

”Everything Bagel” Hamantaschen
1 package of smoked salmon, cut into small pieces
¼ cup of cream cheese softened
2 Tbsp capers
Everything bagel spice

In a small bowl, mix the smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers and fill hamantaschen with ½ teaspoon of filling. Once filled and sealed, sprinkle everything bagel spice on the outside of the hamantaschen.

Borek Hamantaschen
½ cup of frozen spinach, defrosted, squeezed of excess moisture and chopped finely
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
Pine nuts

Mix chopped spinach and feta cheese together and fill the hamantaschen. Top with pine nuts.

Pizza Hamantaschen
¼ – 1/3 cup marinara sauce
Cubed mozzarella cheese
Pinch of fresh or dried oregano

Fill each hamantaschen with ½-3/4 teaspoon of marinara sauce and 1-2 cubes of mozzarella cheese and top with oregano.

Mediterranean Hamantaschen
1//2 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, drained
2 Tbsp harissa
Wilted spinach
Lemon zest

In a bowl, toss the chickpeas, harissa and spinach together and fill hamantaschen and garnish with fresh lemon zest.

French Hamantaschen
2 tablespoons neutral oil
½ red onion sliced thin
4 ounces mushrooms sliced
Salt and pepper
Pinch of Herbes de Provence
Crumbled goat cheese

Drizzle a sauté pan with oil over medium heat and add sliced onions. Cook onions until softened and caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and continue sautéing until mushrooms are cooked and lightly caramelized. Season with salt, pepper, Herbes de Provence.

Fill hamantaschen with mixture and bake. After baking, top with crumbled goat cheese.

Mexican Hamantaschen
¼ cup canned refried beans
Grated cheddar cheese
Guacamole
Chopped tomatoes and/or salsa

Fill with a teaspoon of refried beans and top with cheddar cheese and bake. Once done baking, top with guacamole and salsa.

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