Friday, July 23, 2010


I had a bunch of parsley that I needed to use up, so I looked online to find a good recipe. Parsley salad? Yuck. Couscous? Not for me. But I did find this recipe for Pastetli (which is a Swiss meat pie) that sounded interesting. I mean, the actual recipe is a bit confusing (some mushrooms, some white wine, some brown gravy mix? Just how much is some? Oh, I see later on, 1-2 (to) dl of wine. How much is a dl again? I don't do metric. And the recipe ends with "Set everything aside to finish the rest of the meal." Um, what? How do I finish it when you just ended the instructions right there?). Apparently, the recipe was provided by someone's mother-in-law who is Swiss and did the translating (from what language, I'm not sure. What do they speak in Switzerland? German? French? Italian? Romansh?). So, I used the "recipe" as a starting point, and modified it to work with what I had in the house. Puff pastry? No, of course not, but I did have a package of Pillsbury crescent rolls in the fridge that expired recently. Time to use it up before I have to log it as food waste! Anyhow, dinner turned out pretty well, so here's my version:

Pastetli (Makes 5 servings, 7 WW points each)
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley (I used almost a whole bunch and it was too much. But my parsley wasn't as fresh as it should have been, so you may want to use more than 1/2)
  • 2 cups of mushrooms
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • poultry seasoning (or paprika and garlic powder)
  • black pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic (I like garlic and don't believe there is such a thing as too much)
  • 1 package of brown gravy mix
  • 1 cup of water for the gravy mix (or white wine or half and half)
  • 1 package of Pillsbury crescent rolls (or similar)
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

-Chop the parsley leaves (try not to get too many stems). Dice the mushrooms. Place parsley and mushrooms in a small bowl, add the juice from one lemon, stir and set aside.

-Dice the raw chicken breasts. Season with poultry seasoning and black pepper. Place in skillet with onion and garlic. Cook until lightly browned on all sides.

-Make brown gravy mix according to the directions. Or substitute white wine for water if desired, or half and half if you want a richer creamier taste. (I just used water.) Add gravy to the chicken mixture, and add parsley/mushroom mixture. Stir to combine everything.

-Unroll crescent roll dough into one large rectangle on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press into a 13x8 inch rectangle, firmly pressing the perforations and seams to seal (or you could actually buy the seamless dough sheet. Yes, they do make such a thing, who knew?).

-(Okay, confession: this part I didn't really do. I tried to make these into 5 little rolled up chicken things, and although they tasted good, it really wasn't pretty. There's a reason why there's no picture posted with this recipe. So here's what I would do if I made this recipe again.) With the long side of the rectangle placed vertically, spoon the chicken mixture into a 4-inch-wide strip down the center of rectangle. With scissors or sharp knife, make cuts 1 inch apart on long sides of dough rectangle to within 1/2 inch of chicken mixture. Fold strips of dough up over chicken mixture to meet in center; pinch to seal. (To make it even fancier, you can kinda criss-cross the strips of dough, and let the chicken mixture peek out the top. Totally up to you.)

-Bake 18 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet; cut into crosswise slices. Serve warm. Apparently, peas are a traditional side dish with pastetli. We just heated up some frozen mixed veggies. Yum!

1 comment:

  1. Sorry my MiL's "recipe" (as you style it) wasn't up to your standards--as I mentioned at the end of the original, I posted it as she had written it in response to a user's request for a pastetli recipe. Hopefully I can clear up some of my shortcomings by answering your questions.

    As posted, the recipe calls for "1 pouch of brown gravy mix (powder)," so I'm not sure how that was confusing.

    1-2 dL is around 1/4-1/2 cup.

    "Set everything aside to finish the rest of the meal" refers to the veggies and puff pastries mentioned in the original recipe--i.e. complete the chicken/gravy mixture and then set it aside to finish the vegetables and pastries.

    For pastetli, the puff pastry shells are cooked first, then filled and served, not cooked inside raw dough ala pot pie.

    My MiL speaks around 10 languages (more or less if you include dialects); Switzerland has 4 official languages (the ones you listed). Pastetli is the Swiss German word for the dish; on the French-speaking Swiss would call it vol-au-vent. It was most likely written in German originally, though I'm not sure what difference it makes.