Invent

Sambousek Ouzi | Deep Fried Savory Hand Pies


 

These savory hand pies can be passed along as finger food or set up as part of a Middle Eastern mezze table with other small bites.  Perfect for parties, sambousek can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen; simply deep fry when needed and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Prepare filling, a mixture of Jasmine rice, ground meat, onions and a bunch of spices.  Arabic 7-spice blend can be purchased at any Middle Eastern store, online, or you can grind your own; recipe can be found here.

Prepare dough and proof until doubled in size.

Divide dough into 24 balls for medium-large hand pies.  Work with a few pieces at a time while you keep the rest covered.  Roll each ball to a 1/8”-to-1/4” thick circle, fill with about 2 ½ tablespoons filling, and press edges as you fold over.  Crimp/twist edges in a decorative shape to seal then place on a lightly floured or plastic wrap covered surface. Repeat.

Preheat oil to 350F and deep fry four to six hand pies at a time until lightly golden; thoroughly drain on paper towels.

 

SAMBOUSEK OUZI | DEEP FRIED SAVORY HAND PIES

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4-to-6 oz ground beef or lamb
1 teaspoon oil or butter
1 cup diced onion
½-to 1 ½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon Arabic 7-spice blend
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground fennel
Pinch of cardamom
Pinch of cinnamon
1 cup Jasmine rice, washed, drained
2 cups hot water or mild chicken broth

2 ¾ cups all-purpose or pastry flour; plus more as needed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, chilled
3 tablespoons safflower or sunflower oil
¾ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon Arabic 7-spice blend
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg, at room temperature
2/3 cups water; plus more as needed

Prepare filling.  Add beef to skillet and sauté on medium-high heat until liquid is almost gone.  Add oil or butter and diced onion; sauté another 2 minutes.  Add salt, spices and rice; sauté 1 minute.  Add water or broth, bring to a gentle boil for a minute then cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.  Turn off heat and rest 5 minutes.  Fluff rice with fork, transfer onto a large dish and set aside until completely cool.

Prepare dough.  In a food processor, pulse together flour, butter and oil.  Add salt, 7-spice and baking powder; pulse just to combine.  In a mixer, whisk egg until foamy.  Add water and mix to combine.  Add flour mixture in increments; using the paddle attachment and mixer set on kneading speed (#2 on KitchenAid).  Knead, adding more flour and water as needed, until an almost-firm but pliable dough is reached.  Cover; set aside 40-to-90 minutes.

Assemble.  Divide dough into 24 balls for medium-large hand pies.  Work with a few pieces at a time while you keep the rest covered.  Roll each ball to a 1/8”-to-1/4” thick circle, fill with about 2 ½ tablespoons filling, and press edges as you fold over.  Crimp/twist edges in a decorative shape to seal then place on a lightly floured or plastic wrap covered surface.  Repeat.

Serve.  Preheat oil to 350F and deep fry four to six hand pies at a time until lightly golden; thoroughly drain on paper towels.

 

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