Sunday, November 22, 2009
SEAWEED STICKS 'N NORI NIBBLES
These nibbles were good, crispy and fun to make (save the washing up) and I'm glad that my children liked them. Twisted and rolled with seaweed caught in between it makes a nice, dainty savoury nibble. A light snack. Very good to serve with a glass of ice cold lemon tea or with a mug of Nescafe thickened with lots of milk.
I made them using a short crust pastry recipe. But instead of rubbing the butter in until they resembled fine breadcrumbs I grated a block of frozen butter over a bowl of sifted flour so that they gathered into a pile of pretty, lush and golden curls like a little girl's eyelashes. I mixed them up very, very lightly with my finger tips so that each sumptuous golden lash was lightly coated with flour and then sprinkled 5 to 6 tablespoons of ice cold water into the mix.
I mixed it with a fork and then used my fingers to bring the dough together. NO KNEADING AT ALL. You don't want the butter and flour blending in smoothly. All that was needed were some gentle squeezes and a few pats, I then wrapped the dough in cling film and placed it in the freezer for a few minutes to chill and firm up.
Those flaky curls of butter did so much to give this pastry a crisp and layer-y effect that it almost seemed like a rough puff pastry.
I used seaweed as a flavouring because I have been having the Nori seaweed laying around for ages. And of course because I lOVE Nori.
8 oz plain flour, sifte
4 oz frozen block of butter, salted
5-6 T of ice cold water
4 sheets of Nori seaweed
1 egg, beaten salt n pepper
Place the sifted flour into a medium bowl. Grate the frozen butter over the flour. With your finger tips gather the flour and butter very lightly until the butter flakes are evenly covered in flour. Sprinkle the ice cold water over the flour butter mix and using a fork at first stir to bring the dough together.
Then using your fingers WITHOUT KNEADING gather the dough and pat it into a firm ball. Shape into a square. Wrap in cling film and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes until the dough is a little firmer.
Divide the dough into quarters. Take one quarter, keeping the rest in the freezer again.
Roll out the portion of dough until quite thin or very slightly larger than the nori sheet. Make sure it is squarish like the Nori sheet. Brush the rolled out dough with the beaten egg, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place the seaweed sheet over it. Brush he seaweed sheet with beaten egg and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
At this point you might have decided to make sticks or spirals.
If making sticks : Just fold the pastry lined seaweed into half lengthwise. Press down lightly with a rolling pin just to ensure that the pastry sticks to the seaweed. Cut with a pizza cutter or with a pair of scissors into 10 strips. Twist each stick a little if you wish. Do the same with the rest of the portions of pastry. You will get 40 sticks/strips in all.
If making spirals : Instead off folding the pastry over you roll up the pastry into a log. You then place the roll into the freezer until it is quite hard but not rock hard. Take it out and slice into discs about 1/4 inch thick. I think you would be able to get about 15 to 20 discs from each log. I forget exactly.
Place the sticks or discs about 1/2 inch apart and bake in a preheated oven at 170 C for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Store in an airtight container or serve immediately.