Meet Khaana Collective* contributor Yewande Komolafe.
I discovered Yewande’s recipes and writing in the Times and immediately fell in love. I needed to know more about this talented human and learned that prior she had developed hundreds of recipes for the likes of Saveur, Bon Appetit, the James Beard Foundation and worked in the kitchens of Momofuku Milk Bar. And what intrigued me most of all was her dinner series My Immigrant Food Is... inspired by her own immigrant story from Lagos, Nigeria. On a lark, I reached out to invite her to a dinner party I was throwing and to my delight she said yes! To say Yewande lights up a room when she enters it is an understatement. On meeting in person for the first time, I was struck by how warm and open she is (not to mention she has THE best smile:)) and ever since it has been a pleasure getting to know her more.
Long before I was fortunate to call Yewande a friend of mine and Brooklyn Delhi’s, she was an inspiration and continues to be one for me. I always learn something new from her and her work and am anxiously awaiting her first cookbook of Nigerian recipes due out Fall 2021 with Ten Speed Press. I’m thrilled to share more of her story with you.
Photo by Johnny Miller
Yewande's Spicy Vegetable Puff Pies combine earthy mushrooms and root vegetables with toasted spices, fresh herbs and Guntur Sannam Hot Sauce tucked into puff pastry and baked until golden brown, best eaten with Sweet Mango Chutney of course.
Spicy Vegetable Puff Pies With Brooklyn Delhi Mango Chutney Dip by Yewande Komolafe
Do Ahead: The filling can be made, cooled and stored refrigerated up to 2 days ahead
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
1 small onion, peeled and minced
4 oz. mushrooms, cremini, shitake or portobello, stems removed and minced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
1 inch piece ginger, grated
2 scallions, trimmed and sliced
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups peeled, diced root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, russets, beets, carrots or squash
4 cups baby spinach
1-2 tablespoons Guntur Sannam Hot Sauce (Available on Amazon or at a store near you)
In a shallow saucepan, heat up the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, and add in the mushrooms, garlic, ginger and sliced scallions. Sauté until just fragrant and mushrooms are softened, about 2-3 minutes.
Add in the turmeric, cumin and ground coriander, and toast for an additional minute or so. Season with salt and pepper. Move the mushroom sauté to a plate and set aside.
Add in the remaining oil and the diced vegetables. Sauté until just beginning to brown around the edges. Pour in ½ cup of water, stir, reduce the heat to low and cook the vegetables until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add in the baby spinach and stir until wilted. Return the sautéed mushroom mix back to the pan, add in the hot sauce and chopped dill and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and allow the filling to cool completely before you make the pies.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Unfold the puff pastry sheets onto a floured surface. Starting from the center, roll each sheet out just enough to smooth out any creases.
Cut the sheet into 9 even squares and place 2 tablespoons of filling slightly off center of each square. Brush the edges with the egg wash and fold one corner of each square over the filling to form a triangle. Press down the edges of each pie with a fork and move to your lined tray. Repeat this process with the remaining puff pastry sheet and filling.
Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and bake the pies until golden brown and crispy, about 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with the mango chutney for dipping.