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October is a time to celebrate local cuisine in Aruba! We’re in the midst of Restaurant Month here on our One Happy Island, and we have a number of delicious local dishes to sample at many of the participating restaurants around the island. We’re always proud to include local recipes in our cooking at the Divi & Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusives, and we’re glad to celebrate our Island’s food culture with our guests!

Looking to try some Aruba-inspired cuisine at home for Restaurant Month? Check out one of our personal favorites:

The Pastechi is a deep-fried, crescent pastry with a variety of fillings, but generally with chicken, cheese, beef or ham. These puffy pastries are not only Aruba’s national snack, but they’re a perfect hors d’oeuvres or appetizer. These are perfect to snack on, but make extras because they just might go fast!

Pastechi

Assemble the following ingredients for the dough:

  • 4 cups of flour 1 tbs. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 2 tbs. vegetable shortening
  • 2 tbs. margarine
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup of water

Put all ingredients into a large bowl except water. Mix well. Add water, a little bit at a time to form dough. When the dough is pliable, knead it well.

Prepare the meat filling as follows:

  • 1 lb. finely chopped beef without fat
  • 1 tbs. margarine
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small green sweet pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs. raisins
  • 1 tbs. piccalilli Hot red pepper, finely chopped, to taste; preferably Madame Jeanette Soy sauce, freshly ground black pepper, cumin, nutmeg, to taste

In large frying pan combine all ingredients except beef. Cook over medium heat, stirring till well combined and onion and celery are soft. Add beef and cook till well combined while stirring.

Roll the dough into a very thick sheet, then cut out circles about three inches in diameter. Place one tablespoon filling in the center of one pastry circle. Top it with a second circle. Lightly moisten edges and press the circles together. Fold or roll the edges over slightly and flute them as pie crust. Fry the pastechis in deep, hot vegetable oil until golden brown.
They may be prepared in advance and heated in the oven just before serving.