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Podcasts and pastries

My Mum is now doing her own one-woman podcast where she analyses friends, family, and current affairs. New episodes land into my voicemail inbox everyday at 9am.

This is bad news for me but good news for you as she recently rambled on about this week’s dish: seadas (essentially Sardinian honey and cheese pastries).

Flavour with lemon, deep fry until oozing, then tuck into dessert deliciousness. Unusual, sweet and a touch tangy.

This week’s album: 
Live in London by HVOB

My brother introduced me to HVOB (Her Voice Over Boys) a while back and I was instantly hooked. This album was recorded at a live performance in Brixton - which we were lucky enough to go to - and acts as a sort of ‘best of’ from four previous albums. Alongside the album they made a short documentary called 'Let’s Keep This Quiet' which looks at the life of musicians and touring.

Is it a sweet or a starter?

What makes seadas so intriguing is their naughty straddling of the sweet/savoury boundary. 

The cheese used is a pecorino. Albeit a young, fresh and soft one that is tangy but not salty (unlike the more well-known pecorino romano which is extremely salty and very hard).

These pastries originate from Sardinia’s sheep-farming areas where sheep’s milk cheese is found in abundance. If you can’t find young pecorino then sub in anything similar, or even try ricotta which works really well but produces a less ‘oozy’ end product.

Sardinia is also known for its incredible honey, called Corbezzolo, which is often used in seadas. It’s actually a bit bitter which makes it an interesting partner for cheese. Whatever honey you use, because this dish has so few elements it's really important to get a good-quality one with a bold flavour. 

I enjoy using a sweet honey - and actually dust my seadas with icing sugar for extra sweetness - but if you’re looking for something bitter then chestnut honey would be a good option.

We’ll make our dough with water and semolina (normal flour doesn’t produce a robust enough dough) and then enrich it with lard. If you want to make these pastries vegetarian then you can substitute the lard for butter or olive oil.

Fun fact: with over 200 species of nectar-producing plants, Sardinia has produced honey since the Roman times of Maximus Decimus Meridius.
What you need

The below serves 12. It takes 20 mins to prep (plus 30 mins resting) and 5 mins to cook.

250g semolina or plain flour
125g warm water
30g lard (room temp)

250g pecorino
(young & soft)
1 lemon (zest & juice)
4 tbsps honey
2 tbsps icing sugar

Vegetable oil for frying

Ready, steady, cook

1. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the water. Mix together until it combines and forms a smooth, elastic dough. Now add the room temp lard and knead with your hands until fully combined. With cling film, cover the bowl loosely and leave the dough to rest for 30 mins.

2. Grate the cheese and add to a small saucepan along with a tablespoon of water. Gently heat until melted and stir in the zest of one lemon. Mix well until the zest is evenly distributed, then pour onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Lay another piece of baking parchment on top and flatten out with a rolling pin to a depth of about 4mm. Leave to cool for a couple of mins before transferring to the fridge to set completely.

3. Once set, use a 6cm pastry cutter (or an up-turned mug of a similar size) to cut discs of the lemony cheese.

4. With the dough now well-rested, dust your work surface with a little semolina and use a rolling pin to roll the dough to about 2mm thickness (the thinner the better as it results in a puffier/crispier pastry). Now use a 7cm pastry cutter to cut the dough into discs. You’re aiming for twice as many discs of pastry as you have discs of cheese.

5. Seadas assemble… Lay a disc of pastry flat and place a disc of cheese in the middle of it. Top with a second disc of pastry and pinch the edges together until both edges combine to become the thickness of one piece of dough, basically like you’re making ravioli. Alternatively, use a fork to crimp the edges.

6. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 5cm of vegetable oil until it reaches 180°c. No thermometer? Head here for a handy guide on how to tell when your oil is ready for frying.

7. Working in batches, carefully lower 2-3 seadas at a time into the hot oil. Fry for a minute or so, then use a slotted spoon or spider to turn over (again v carefully) and fry for another minute.

8. Once beautifully golden-brown on each side, carefully remove the seadas and allow them to rest for a minute on some kitchen paper. Dust with icing sugar, drizzle with honey, then squeeze over some lemon juice. Bite in and gobble down.

Final thought

If you’re a fan of these and want to make them again, try something different by swapping out the lemon for an orange.

Same time next week.


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Eat My Words · Kew Gardens · Kew, TW9 · United Kingdom

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