Monday, 21 November 2016

A Taste of Spain - My Empanadilla Inspired Pie

Everywhere you go these days you will see tapas on the menu in bars and restaurants.  For me, tapas are a favourite way of eating.  I love sharing multiple small plates with friends, getting to enjoy a variety of tastes and flavours in a convivial way.  There are many stories about the origin of tapas but probably the most likely one is that in a bar in Seville small plates (tapa means plate), were put over glasses of sherry to prevent insects falling in and over time the habit of placing tit bits of salty food on the plates was developed to ensure guests continued drinking!

 Tapas are ubiquitous all over Spain now days so to complete my series on Menorca I would like to share my take on the Empanadilla, a popular tapa.  Normally served as a crescent shaped finger food pastry I  altered the original recipe to make it into a family sized pie suitable for a meal for my family.  I think it worked pretty well, tasty and a taste of Spain....just what I wanted


1 510gm tin of tuna in oil
2 tablespoons of oil
1 large onion finely chopped
1 large red capsicum finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic crushed or finely chopped
300gms of tomatoes finely chopped
15 large green olives stoned and chopped
1 heaped teaspoon of paprika
2 sprigs of parsley chopped
2 hard boiled eggs finely chopped
Enough sheets of puff pastry to cover the top and bottom of your pie tin
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of a mild flavoured mayonnaise
1 beaten egg

Drain the tuna.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and capsicum, sauteing until soft but not browned.  Add the garlic and continue frying until fragrant.  Add the tomatoes, you can use tinned but don't put too much liquid in.
Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated but not all of it.  Add the flaked tuna and season with the salt, pepper, paprika and parsley. Fold in the olives, egg and mayonnaise.  Then set aside this filling to cool completely.  If you fill the pie while the filling is warm the pastry will go soggy.

Heat the oven to 200C.  Line the pie tin or flan dish with pastry.  Fill with the cooled filling and cover with pastry.  Brush with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until baked and golden.
This is equally good served hot or cold with a tossed salad and a bowl of olives.

The traditional accompaniment for tapas is sherry and the sherry should be served cold or lightly chilled. A glass of sherry would go just fine with this recipe.