Tuna, goat’s milk cheese and olive empanadas

(Makes 24 empanadas)

 

Empanadas are crispy pastry turnovers that can be filled with anything from ham and cheese to spinach and pine nuts, or even the previous day’s leftover mince or chicken! It is a delicious snack. You can make them bigger and eat with salad for a meal. It takes a bit of time but is well worth the effort.

 

Pastry

500ml (260 g) cake flour
2ml salt
200g cold butter
About 40ml water

 

Filling

20ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tins (170 g each) tuna in oil, drained
1 log (100 g) goat’s milk cheese
90g pimento-stuffed olives, chopped OR pitted chopped green olives
80ml pine nuts, toasted
40ml chopped capers
5ml paprika
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 egg, whisked with 30 ml milk (egg wash)

 

Pastry

Mix the flour, salt and butter together in a food processor and pulse to rub the butter into the dry ingredients.
Add the water a little at a time while pulsing – just until the pastry comes together.
Cover in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes while you make the filling.

 

Filling

Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Grease a baking sheet.
Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Using a fork, mash the tuna with the onion, garlic, goat’s cheese, olives, pine nuts, capers and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Roll out the pastry to 3 mm thick on a lightly floured surface. Using an 8 cm cookie cutter, cut out as many dough circles as the dough will allow, rerolling the dough if necessary but not more than twice.
Place about 1 teaspoon of the filing into the centre of each round of dough, then brush the edges with a little egg wash.
Fold the dough over the mixture to form a crescent. Pinch the edges of the crescent to seal the dough and then use the back of a fork to further press the edges of the dough together.
Place on the prepared baking sheet and brush with more egg wash.
Bake until golden brown and cooked, about 15 min.

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