Thursday, 14 January 2016

Spanish OliveIt & Chorizo Empanada! A Spanish Olive recipe Challenge... Can this be a winner

I like to cook, most of all I enjoy a cooking challenge when I can use my imagination.  So, when I was asked if I would like to participate in a recipe Challenge, I agreed almost immediately.

I had been selected to take part with a small group of bloggers.  There will even be a lucky winner, someone is going to win a fabulous meal for 2 at Jose Pizarro's London restaurant and a nights stay at a local hotel. 

I was sent a luxurious hamper of Spanish foods.  This hamper includes a chorizo, a large wedge of Manchego cheese, apacket of Iberian ham, Spanish olive oil, Spanish olives and a fine bottle of Spanish Red Wine.

My first thought was Pizza or Pasta but I felt these were too Italian.   So, thinking cap on, I wanted to make something a little different, that can incorporate as many of these ingeints withother spoiling the flavours.

Also I thought about my mums cooking, she is Bolivian and I have grown-up eating lots of latin style dishes.

Empanada seemed a good idea, however I have never eaten Chorizo in one before.  I did a little online research and Chorizo could be a key ingredient however all the recipes had chicken.  I couldn't do chorizo and chicken.  Oh well I didn't let that bother me, I decided to go solo and see what happened.  Going with my gut feeling and make something very tasty and original from me.

2 Tablespoons Spanish olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2  gloves of garlic, crushed 
1 small carrot, grated
half a chorizo diced
150ml of chicken stock
2 large spoons of tomato puree
A fat pinch of mixed herbs
1 tin of drained and chopped in half black olives
100ml of Red Wine
The packet of Iberian ham, cut the ham in too small squares
The Manchego cheese, grated

The Cooking Process: 
In a heavy pan on a low heat, add the olive oil, onions, gloves and carrots let these brown off for 10 minutes, stirring occasional to avoid sticking to the pan.
Add the chorizo, let this cook for another 10 minutes.
Add the puree and mix.
Turn the heat up to medium and gradually add the chicken stock.  The sauce should be fairly thick, once the stock has reduced.
Reduce the heat to low
Add the herbs
Add the halved black olives 
Pour 50ml of wine in, keep stirring until the sauce is reduced again, add the rest of the wine, turn up the heat and reduce again. The sauce will be thick. Turn off the hob and let the pan rest.  

Pastry: (will make apr 18)
200g of plain flour
25g of corn flour
1 tsp of baking powder
100g chopped cubed cold butter
1 tsp of turmeric
115ml of very cold water  
pinch of salt
1 egg for glazing

Wash your hands.  Grab a large mixing bowl...
Add the flour, corn flour, baking powder, turmeric, salt mix these with your hands.
Add the cubes of the butter.
Rub the butter in the flour mixture to make fine crumbs.
Gradually add the water to the crumbs mixture, stir very slowly, the pastry will form in moments, do not work this dough.  Wrap it in clingfilm and put in the fridge.

Give it an 1 hour, half the dough and roll out one half (pop the rest back in the fridge)
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5.
I used an upsidedown glass make the discs

Place a piece of ham on the disc
Add a heaped spoon of the the cooled, cooked Olive and Chorizo mixture (use the dried olive and meat mix, not the juicy sauce)   
sprinkle cheese on top.

Fold, so they look like a pastry. Pinch the corner and fold inwards towards the filling, gently pinch and fold and work along until you get to the end.

Glaze them with egg and place in the oven for 15/20 on gas mark 5.  The Empanadas will look golden.

These little Empanadas are super tasty, the olives and chorizo work really well together.  The cheese really helps to bring out the flavours too, they are so moreish.  The pastry is soft and flaky.  I am really happy with the results.  My sons loved them and didn't even noticed the olives hidden inside. 
So what are you waiting for... Get stuck in and make them too :)

What do you cook with Olives?!!! I want to know.  
Thank you for stopping by, come and say hi!

This is an unsponsored post, I was sent a hamper to a create this recipe!