Here is the second post of the tapas series. Again, the only slightly difficult part will be finding one of the ingredients, in this case for the empanadillas. I bring the pastry rounds (obleas o discos para empanadillas) from Spain. The brand is “La Cocinera”, but in the US you can find the Argentinian type, sold by Goya.
You can also make the pastry yourself. Use 4 parts of flour, 1 part of olive oil, 1 part of milk and a pinch of salt. Mix with a spoon until all ingredients are blended, knead briefly and let rest in the fridge for 1 hour before rolling as thin as you can and then cut into 4 inch rounds.
The moutabal (or baba ghanoush, or any of the other 5 ways of naming it), is not Spanish, but shares the Mediterranean flavor with our dishes and I love it.
I am also including our Spanish Tortilla or potato omelet. You can present it cut into small pieces on a slice of bread with aioli and green asparagus, stuffed in piquillo peppers, or with “salsa brava” (for this last ones you will have to wait until the next post).
Albacore Tuna Empanadas
12 pastry rounds for empanadas
1 can of tuna in olive oil (preferably albacore)
½ cup green pitted olives
½ cup homemade tomato sauce (see recipe in our basics section)
STEP 1.- Boil the egss for 10 minutes. Cool down, peel and finely chop.
STEP 2.- Cut the olives into small pieces. The better the olives are (the ones in oil with herbs instead of the canned plain ones, for example), the better the empanadas will be. It looks like a small detail, but has a big influence in the flavor of the empanadas.
STEP 3.- Drain the oil from the tuna. Mix all the ingredients and fill the empanadas, placing a spoonful in the centre and then folding it and pressing the edge with the tip of a fork to close it, as you can see in the picture.
STEP 4.- Fry in a pan or fryer, a couple of minutes per side, until golden brown. Place on kitchen paper to absorb the oil. You can also cook them in the oven, at 375º for 10 minutes, painting them previously with egg yolk.
STEP 5.- You might like to sprinkle them with powdered sugar. It looks like a weird combination, but it tastes delicious!
Baba-ghannouj (also Baba Ghanoush, Moutabal or Mutabal) with homemade pita chips
1 tbsp. sesame paste (tahin or tahini)
1-2 tsps. lemon juice
½ tsp. chili pepper
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
2/3 pita breads
extra virgin olive oil
STEP 1.- Cut the eggplants lengthwise, paint with olive oil and roast in the pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, until browned. Transfer to a microwave safe dish and cook for 6-7 minutes.
STEP 2.- Remove the meat with a spoon, marking the edges first and then scooping the eggplant out.
STEP 3.- Puree the eggplants with the sesame paste, salt, lemon and olive oil. Transfer to the serving bowl, sprinkle with chili, decorate with fresh cilantro and reserve.
STEP 4.- Cut the pitas into small triangles, separate both halves and flatten with the rolling pin. Place over baking paper on the oven tray, sprinkle with salt, rosemary and olive oil and bake for 30 minutes at 275ºF, until crispy.
PASO 5.- Serve with the moutabal.
Spanish Tortilla with aioli and green asparagus
10 green asparagus
1 ciabatta or baguette
1 small Spanish tortilla (see recipe in the blog)
½ cup aioli or garlic mayo (see recipe in the blog)
STEP 1.- Cut the bread into thin slices. Cut the tortilla into squares of about 1.5 inches. Spread some aioli or garlic mayo on the bread, put some tortilla on top, add some more aioli and top with an asparagus cut in two pieces (discard the bottom parts).