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Friday, September 3, 2010

Tuna Empanada

empanadas

it may come as a surprise to you but i don't cook everyday. close. but there are days when i come home from work and i don't want to bother. those days, we either order out, eat out, or Nuria cooks. a few weeks ago, when kim was in town for the Swell Season concert, Nuria made a feast of empanadas, soft boiled quail eggs and a quail egg in pesto sauce dip (she really likes quail eggs...)

so technically, this is her guest post. this cut/paste from her. any commentary is hers, and hers alone.

For the empanada:
- Pastry dough (3 sheets, 2 for the bottom and 1 to cover)
- 3 eggs + one whisked to brush the empanada before baking.
- 1/2 can of roasted red peppers
- 1 can of green olives without seeds, and sliced.
- 4 cans of tuna in oil (important in oil, in water has no taste at all)
- Capers if found.
- 1 1/2 cups of "sofrito"

For the "sofrito":
- 1 Kg (around 2 and 1/2 pounds) of can whole tomatoes (it is OK if they are diced)
- 2 big onions roughly sliced
- 4-5 tbps of olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- "picada": 4 roasted garlics (to roast, put them peeled in a pan and cook them without any oil until brown), a bunch of roasted almonds (like 1/3 cup). Grind/chop the garlic and the almonds either in a food processor or a stone/granite mortar with the pestle.

The first thing is the "sofrito". In a big pan, not tall but wide, add the olive oil, the can tomatoes and the onions. Cover and let it cook at low heat for about 45-60 min. The low heat is important because we don't want to completely reduce the liquid but to cook the tomatoes. Stir occasionally. When done, put in a big bowl (or in a food processor), add the "picada" and puree all together. Let aside and cool. While cooking the "sofrito", hard-boil the eggs, slice the peppers and olives, thaw the filo dough and put the tuna to drain the oil.

The pastry dough must be completely thawed prior to use cause we are gonna roll it to make it thinner. The oven pan that i used was 13 inch X 9 inch, more or less.
Roll together 2 sheets of pastry dough (with the narrower edges overlapping to have just one big sheet) until completely cover the bottom of the pan while having around 1 spare inch of dough in all sides.

Cover the bottom pastry dough with "sofrito", don't be cheap, otherwise it'll get dry when baked. Add the drained tuna, the sliced olives, the sliced peppers, the capers and grate the eggs all over it. Try to make it even. Cover the empanada with another rolled sheet and sealed the edges with the spare dough from the bottom sheet. To seal the edges, the simplest thing is to "glue" the sheets with whisked egg.

Brush the empanada with a whisked egg and bake it for 20-25 minutes at 350F, or until golden.

just finished reading The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

"These were things for which it was impossible to prepare but which one spent a lifetime looking back at, trying to accept, interpret, comprehend. Things that never should have happened, that seemed out of place and wrong, these were what prevailed, what endured, in the end."

5 comments:

  1. How did you like The Namesake? I just loved it, and Kal Penn was wonderful as Gogol in the film adaptation (one of the few film adaptations I've thought was just right.)

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  2. Maria,
    i loved it! there were pieces of the story that hit really close to home for me, i'd find myself getting a little weepy over it. the author is so exact with her words that i really did see things thru gogol/ashima/moushumi's pov. it was a lovely book, i enjoyed it.

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  3. Hmm. I saw this at my library's bookstore recently but it didn't make me want to buy. Wonder if it's still there?

    I think I was feeling a little too tired to read books where I have to think. :P

    I wish there were days someone else could cook when I didn't feel up to it. Sometimes I plan to cook, but after grocery shopping, the effort to do the cooking falls through. And I end up snacking on whatever I've got on hand. Bad! I know!

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  4. Chi WC, get yourself a copy of the book. i really enjoyed it.

    while i can certainly sympathize about not wanting to cook sometimes, i do believe you live in an area that is just full of wonderful restaurants for take out... :)

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  5. Chi WC, get yourself a copy of the book. i really enjoyed it.

    while i can certainly sympathize about not wanting to cook sometimes, i do believe you live in an area that is just full of wonderful restaurants for take out... :)

    ReplyDelete