I love afternoon tea. You know, the proper one with cakes and tarts and good tea. It seems so far removed from the "smoko" I grew up with.
Ok, ok, I can almost hear you all from my house. What is "smoko"? In my terms smoko is a snack break, a tea break, a coffee break, an after school break. A time to sit down, stop whatever you're doing have a drink and a snack. After a bit of research on wiki I found that smoko is a term mostly used only in Australia and New Zealand and originated among the working class who were taking a break from heavy physical labour presumably to have a cigarette or a "smoke" hence the name. In Australia it is believed to have originated amongst the sheep shearers but I know that has been used for many years in the sugar cane industry and continues to this day. During this break, depleted energy is replenished with copious quantities of tea or coffee and a light meal. My husband and his motor mechanic colleagues won't stop for "morning tea" but they always stop for "smoko". The tea and coffee is poured, out come the sandwiches, cake, fruit or "a meat pie from the shop". In Australia we have an institution known as the "smoko van", a mobile food shop which travels from work site to work site delivering freshly made sandwiches and other goodies.
I guess smoko is just much more rustic and substantial than morning or afternoon tea.
So while this next recipe from "A Baker's Odyssey" by Greg Patent is perfect to have with drinks, it would also fit right in the lunch box to have at "smoko".
Chicken and Potato Sambouseks
Makes about 30 pastries
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 to 5 tablespoons iced water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped medium-fine
3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cups diced peeled potato
1/2 pound chicken mince
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
For the dough, stir together the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl.
In a small jug beat the egg, egg yolk, oil and turmeric until well combined. Add to the dry ingredients and stir well with a fork.
Now using your fingertips, rub the ingredients together until it is crumbly and looks a bit like the mixture above. Add a tablespoon of water at a time, mixing well with a fork. It will start to form large clumps. At this stage you need to be careful not to add too much water. After the fourth tablespoon check if the mixture is holding together. It should be wet but don't do as I did and add to little water - it took all my strength to roll it out! Definitely, too dry!
Now, when it's ready wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator while you make your filling.
Heat the olive oil and fry the onions for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.
While this is happening combine the salt, pepper, sage, oregano, cumin, thyme, turmeric and coriander. Add the spice mixture to your onions when they are ready and fry for a minute or so.
Stir in the potatoes and continue to cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring well, for 8 or 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Stir in the peas and remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
Add the beaten egg and the parsley to the filling and cool completely.
Now you are ready to make the sambouseks. Heat the oven to 375F/180C and line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.
Divide the dough into four ( this makes rolling easier) and roll out one round. Isn't the colour beautiful? The dough should be very thin. I always roll pastry between two sheets of non stick baking paper. This was difficult for me because I'm sure the dough was too dry so I couldn't roll the dough very thin. Stamp out 3 1/2 inch/8 cm rounds.
Place a level tablespoon of filling on the round. Brush the edge of the round with water then fold the dough over to make half moon shapes. Press the edges with a fork to seal.
Place on prepared baking trays. Repeat until all the dough a filling is used up.
Bake the sambouseks in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on baking tray.