Barbajuan - Easy Appetizer Everyone Will Love
Did you know that the tiny principality of Monaco, the second smallest country in the world, has given us a delicious and easy-to-make appetizer called Barbajuan? Barbajuans is a crowd-pleasing party food that will have your guests coming back for more.
Are you looking for a new and exciting appetizer to add to your party spread? Look no further than Barbajuans! This delicious pastry is the national food of Monaco and for a good reason. With a crispy fried exterior and savory cheese and Swiss chard filling, Barbajuans will impress your guests. And the best part? They’re easy to make and freeze so you can have them on hand for any occasion. Keep reading for my traditional Barbajuan recipe, and feel free to get creative with your fillings.
Barbajuan – Its Folk Story
Also known as Barbagiuan, this pastry is the national food of Monaco. It is most often eaten when celebrating the Principality’s national day on November 19th. And there is a great folk story behind this dish.
The tale is that long ago, Jean wanted to make ravioli but realized he had no sauce. So, he stuffed his ravioli full of cheese and Swiss chard and fried them instead. He stumbled upon something so tasty that it started to gain popularity. Who would’ve thought fried food would taste so good? As the food began to spread across the country, it was called Barbajuan, which translates to ‘Uncle John’ as a tip of the cap to its creator!
Ingredients Profile: Barbajuan
- All-Purpose Flour (14 oz): The foundation of the pastry, providing structure and texture.
- Dash of Salt: Enhances the flavor of the dough, balancing the sweetness of the filling.
- Olive Oil: Adds richness and a subtle fruity note to the pastry.
- Whole Egg: Contributes to the dough’s structure, providing moisture and color.
- Olive Oil: Used for sautéing and adds a Mediterranean touch to the filling.
- Leek (White Part Only, Finely Chopped): Offers a mild onion flavor, complementing the other ingredients.
- Swiss Chard Leaves (Green Parts Only, Shredded and Chopped): Provides vibrant color and a slightly earthy taste.
- Fresh Spinach (Chopped): Adds freshness and a mild, leafy flavor to the filling.
- Dried Oregano: Infuses a savory and aromatic note to the filling.
- Marjoram: Enhances the herbal profile of the filling with a sweet and citrusy aroma.
- Ricotta Cheese: Contributes creaminess and a mild, cheesy taste.
- Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese: Adds a bold, umami flavor to the filling.
- Egg: Binds the filling ingredients together, providing cohesion and richness.
- Vegetable Oil (for Deep Frying): Used to achieve a crispy and golden exterior during frying.
This Barbajuan recipe combines these carefully selected ingredients to create a delightful harmony of flavors and textures, making it a savory delight perfect for various occasions.
The dough requires patience and love, but trust me, the result is absolutely worth the effort.
- Kneading the dough: Kneading the dough for at least 15 minutes by hand or 5 minutes with a standing mixer ensures it becomes smooth and elastic, resulting in a tender pastry.
- Chilling the dough: Allowing the dough to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes helps it relax and become more accessible to work with.
- Rolling out the dough: Rolling the dough to a thin, even thickness (about 2mm) ensures uniform pastries.
- Cutting and shaping: Using a pastry cutter, you create perfectly round pastry circles, ready to be filled.
- Sealing the edges: Pressing the edges with a fork ensures the pastries are tightly sealed, preventing filling leakage during frying.
Freezing and Reheating Barbajuan:
Once you’ve prepared the barbajuan dough and have the pastries ready for frying, you can choose to freeze them for later use. To freeze, arrange the uncooked pastries on a baking tray and let them firm up in the freezer. Once firm, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag for storage.
If you’ve already fried the pastries, ensure they cool before freezing. To reheat frozen barbajuan, use a toaster oven or oven to maintain their crispiness. Avoid microwaving, as it may result in a softer texture.
Perfect Barbajuan Dipping Sauces
Dip these precious pastries into tantalizing sauces:
- Tzatziki Sauce: This classic Mediterranean sauce is a refreshing choice for dipping, blending Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and fresh herbs for a delightful and cooling experience.
- Romesco Sauce: With roasted red peppers, almonds, garlic, and olive oil, Romesco sauce adds smoky richness to Barbajuan, elevating their taste with its slightly nutty profile.
- Marinara Sauce: A zesty and tomato-based option that complements the savory Barbajuan with a burst of tanginess and a hint of Italian flair.
- Sweet Chili Sauce: For those who enjoy a touch of sweetness with a kick, sweet chili sauce offers a tantalizing balance of flavors, making it a favorite for dipping.
I would love to hear your experience!
Have you tried those Barbajuan bites? love to hear from you, please leave comment bellow