Empanadas

Empanadas

If you think about, this is another food you can find almost in every country around the world with its own version of a pastry or dough stuffed with sweet or savory fillings: Cornish pasties, pirogi, samosas, dumplings, turnovers, pastels, etc. They can be served alone or as a side dish. Empanadas are a very versatile, once you know the basic method, you can try different fillings. It is a great way to use seasonal veg and fruits. This version is always a hit in our household and amongst our friends.

EMPANADAS

Ingredients:

For the pastry

450g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

1 teaspoon baking powder

85g butter, chilled and diced

2 eggs, beaten, plus extra for glaze

4-6 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

4 tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons tomato purée

1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes/powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 can tuna, drained

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

salt & pepper

Method:

1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs.

2. Add the beaten eggs and the water, a little at a time, mixing them with the knife, then your fingertips, until a ball of dough is formed. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill in a fridge for 30 minutes.

3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion over a medium heat for 5-8 minutes, or until soft.

4. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, chilli, cumin, paprika, tuna and  parsley, mix well, season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set the mixture aside to cool.

5. Preheat the oven to 190C. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to 3mm thick. Use a 9cm (or close to) pastry cutter to cut out circles.

6. Put a heaped teaspoon of the filling inside each circle, then brush the edges with water. Fold the pastry over to form a half-moon shape, then firmly crimp the edges to seal.

7. Place the empanadas on a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush the tops with beaten egg. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. We had them on a side with Gaspacho.

Empanadas

P.S Unfortunately, I can not remember which book the recipe came from. I had a black & white copy of it without any references on it for ages. I treasure it very much and now would like to share it with you, as this recipe is excellent and works every time.

Empanadas

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These stuffed little pastries are found across Spain, Portugal, South America, however, each region has its own version, and I can see why, because once you know the basic method, you can try different fillings. This time it’s more or less a classic one, with tuna.

EMPANADAS

Ingredients:

450g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

85g butter, diced

2 eggs, beaten, plus 1 for glazing

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, grated

120g  tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons tomato purée

140g can tuna, drained

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

salt & pepper

Method:

1. To make the pastry, place the flour in a large bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until it resembles the breadcrumbs. Add the beaten eggs with 4-6 tablespoons of cold water, combine to form a dough. Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat the oil in a frying, add the onion and fry it over a medium heat, stirring often, for about 5-8 minutes, or until translucent. Add the carrot, tomatoes, tomato purée, continue to cook until carrot is soft. After add tuna, chopped parsley, season to taste, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.*

3. Preheat the oven to 190C. Roll out the pastry to a 3 mm thickness. Cut out 24 rounds with pastry cutter, or an upturned glass. Put 1 teaspoon of the filling on each round, then brush the edges with water, fold over and pinch together.

4. Place the empanadas on an oiled baking tray and brush with egg all over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

* You can interpret the filling with whatever you have in the fridge-vegetable wise, and that’s the beauty of this bake. Be creative with a bit of chilli, some cumin, ginger, you decide. I have made these enough to advise though that if the filling is too wet, it will make the pastry hard to work with. If it is too wet, just pop it into a sieve and drain.

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