From the bubbly burble of a sea of red following the mashing and cooking of dozens of tubby tomatoes, eventually getting bottled and stashed away as sauce for the year ahead.. the cheep of a thousand kernels of wheat as they chafed, cracked and got milled into fine flour between the robust stones of a hand-spun chakki. From the race to the rooftop at sunset to gather row upon row of spice-studded papads that had been sunning on yards of white cotton..the clouds of piquant dust that rose around a pestle as it rhythmically pounded on whole spices. From times when getting help from a store meant dispatching a dabba of hand-kneaded dough to the dhaba down the road, to be turned into thick tandoori rotis. When the only processing to transpire involved the milkman, his cow and a pot of fresh milk at the doorstep on foggy mornings..and the only form of packaging to prevail was quite simply a square of newspaper holding prized comestibles like jaggery or dry coconut, tied with strands of hairy twine by the nimble fingers of local shopkeepers. The mistresses of the kitchen have since come a long way, surely. Then again, so have the stores. To hail this thriving tie-in, we’re rummaging the racks of our local supermarket and wheeling in some home-made vittles..to dish out some scrumptious Store-bought Smashers.
1 Can (8 oz) Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (Original)
About 1/3 cup shredded or thinly sliced pre-cooked chicken
1 Medium-sized red pepper, chopped into small bits
Salt, pepper to taste
Tomato ketchup and grated cheese variety of your choice (we used mozzarella) to top the mini-cups
Open up the can of Crescent Rolls, unfurl and spread out the sheet on a cutting board or clean counter surface. Roll gently with a rolling pin, to iron out the serrated markings. Cut the sheet into two halves, and in each half, make 12 rectangles (4×3) of approximately 2.2 x 2 inches each. Press them into the bottoms and up the sides of 24 mini-muffin-pan cups.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Fill each cup with bits of the chicken, then red pepper. Dot with ketchup and/ or sprinkle some salt and pepper on each and top with the cheese. Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until the squares are brown and puffy and the cheese is bubbly.
Gobble down as a late afternoon snack at teatime, offer some to your little munchkins when they return ravenous from school, or win over your epicurean guests at your next dinner do by serving these crusty little tidbits.
- Use colored peppers, corn, peas and chives or scallions for a vegetarian version.
- Try mixing the chopped vegetables in some mayonnaise/ mustard/ hot sauce/ Maggi Hot ‘n’ Sweet ketchup before filling the mini-cups for a spiced-up edge.
- Top with finely minced herbs (mint/ basil) and cheese for a different twist, or try gathering the corners and pinching the tops if you’d like mini-samosa style appetizers on your party tray.