Last week Fragata sent me a box of goodies which included piri piri chillies and some beautiful juicy olives with sun dried tomatoes and peppers. Being a Spanish company I wanted to use the products for something Spanish and ended up thinking back to a holiday I took in 2009 with one of my best friends. We went to Argentina and during our time there, we ate our way through at least 10 cows, drank our own body weight in wine and discovered Empanadas (cornish pasty-esque snacks filled with meat and vegetables). In Spain they call these Empanadillas and serve them as tapas but in my heart they will always be Argentinian Empanadas!
Fragata is a family run business which dates back to 1897. They started with olives and their range is wide, including those stuffed with anchovies, lemon and garlic plus their 'Fragata Selection' including the Halkidiki and Kalamata olives with sun dried tomato, peppers and garlic which I've used in this recipe (I know... not strictly Spanish but still so good). The range now also includes peppers, chillies, caperberries and antipasti too.
As I've said, I decided to use the olives and chillies to make some Empanadas -perfect Sunday TV snacks (once I'd managed to get sport off the box!). The pastry is so easy to pull together and you can fill these little snacks with whatever filling you have - peppers, onions, mushrooms, try vegetarian or replace chorizo with beef mince or cheese. Best of all, a few olives from that jar in the fridge give it all a hit of Mediterranean sunshine!
- 200g plain flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 100g butter
- 50ml warm water
- 1 egg
- milk to glaze
- 10 olives, sliced up
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic finely diced.
- 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
- 1/4 green pepper, diced
- 1 mushroom finely diced
- 100g chorizo sausage, diced
- 5 piri piri chillies, sliced finely
- Start by making your pastry - sift the flour and salt into a bowl and then add the melted butter and egg and stir it all together to make a firm dough,
- Knead for 5-10 mins (no cutting corners) and then wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest for 15 mins.
- Fry the garlic and onion with a tiny drop of oil from the olives. After 2-3 mins add the chorizo - the oil from this will be more than enough for the rest of the vegetables
- Once the chorizo has begun to release its lovely red oil and the onion has softened, add the rest of the vegetables and fry for a further 10 mins until everything has softened down.
- Preheat the oven to 200c/180fan/Gas 6
- Roll the pastry out to about 3mm thick and use a cutter (or try a saucer or large cup) to cut circles of approx 5 in diameter.
- Put a tsp of filling in the middle of each circle and gently fold one half over. Wet the edges with a little water and press together, then use a fork to seal.
- Brush the Empanadas with milk to glaze and then cook in the oven for approx 15 mins until golden brown and firm to the touch.
- Eat warm and try not to gobble too many in one go!