Savory Puff Pastry Bites
Empanadas Rellenas

empanada

Empanadas are bite-sized parcels of puff pastry stuffed with an infinite variety of savory fillings and deep-fried in sunflower oil.  The word comes from the Spanish verb empanar meaning to swaddle or wrap.  You can make puff pastry from scratch if you wish but good quality, all butter puff pastry is widely available and will save you heart ache, painful deep muscle spasms and a day of your life to enjoy with friends and family.

Difficulty Cooking Time Servings  
medium cooking_time 35min. servings 36 bites Starter  
Ingredients
  • 500 grs good quality all-butter puff pastry, defrosted if frozen
  • 1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 100 grs tomato puree
  • 1 chorizo sausage, chopped to a fine dice
  • 100 grs olives finely chopped
  • 100 grs Serrano ham finely chopped
  • Olive oil for shallow frying
  • Flour for dusting the preparation area
  • 1 Egg
  • Sunflower oil for deep-frying
Instructions
  1. Slowly cook the onions over a gentle heat in a little olive oil until caramelized and set aside.
  2. Cook the diced chorizo in a heavy pan until it begins to colour. Drain of the oils released while cooking and set aside.
  3. Mix 1/3 of the cooked onion and tomato paste together and add the cooked chorizo.
  4. Repeat step 3 with both the ham and the olives to end up with three savory fillings.
  5. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface until about 3 mm thick and cut in half. Remove one half and set aside
  6. As if making ravioli, place 2 teaspoons-full of the savory fillings in mounds over half the rolled pastry sheet leaving about 1.5 cms between each mound.
  7. Make an egg wash by whisking the egg with a few drops of water.
  8. With a pastry brush, brush the pastry with a little eggwash around the edges and between the mounds of filling.
  9. Carefully lift the other half of the rolled pastry sheetand place over the mounds to cover them.
  10. Using a pastry cutter or a sharp knife, cut out the empanadas in a grid pattern.
  11. Pinch the edges of each little parcel together so that the filling will not leak during cooking.
  12. Heat the sunflower oil in a deep-fryer to 180- 190 degrees Celsius.
  13. Deep fry the empanadas in small batches for about 6 minutes until golden brown.
  14. Drain on kitchen paper, dust with salt and serve warm.
Tips and variations
  • Anchovies added to the onion whilst frying give a wonderful rich taste to the finished empanada.