Empanadas or empanadillas (smaller versions) are in, Spain, Portugal, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Philippines, essentially a stuffed pastry.
The name comes from the Spanish verb 'empanar' meaning to wrap or coat in bread.
Usually the empanada is made by folding a thin circular-shaped peice of dough over the stuffing, creating its typical semicircular shape. Empanadas are also known by a wide variety of regional names.
Most cultures have some sort of traditional "pocket" or meat pie food making it a portable and hearty meal for working people
It's quite simple -- they're very portable, easy to make and, of course, they don't have to be meaty.
Empanadillas de Atun
Ingredients for the pastry
Traditional shape for empanadillas
Ready to start filling the pastry
The filling - tuna, anchovies and egg
Now for the tricky bit.......
Ready for the oven
........and the result!
Tuna empanadillas (Makes about 15)
135 grm plain flour
50 grm butter or margarine
2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ teaspoon salt
1small onion, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, diced
100 grm tuna, flaked
I tin anchovies
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 large red pepper, thinly sliced
2 hard-boiled egg, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Mix salt into flour and rub in butter as for short crust pastry. Work egg and cheese into mixture to make a dough, using a little water if necessary. Knead lightly, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Soften onion, celery, carrot and red pepper in oil and add garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add tomato and paprika. Cook until the vegetables are soft. Place mixture to one side to cool. Add chopped egg, tuna and anchovies to the cooled mixture.
Roll out pastry thinly, cutting into 3” diameter rounds with a cutter or glass, 1 tsp or so of mixture in the centre of each round, then fold in half, expelling the air and crimping with your fingers. Place on a non-stick tray in a pre-heated of at 200 for 20 mins. Serve at room temparture or cold with a glass of chilled Amontillado.