Inspired by my dinner this week at The Gaucho Grill, I decided to make some empanadas, the Argentine answer to the cornish pasty, which I thoroughly enjoyed as a daily occurrence when honeymooning in the country. They are very easy to knock up and you can put whatever you like in them but the two common fillings are cheese and spicy beef. These contain cheese, sweetcorn, coriander and spring onion, and I may make another batch at the weekend using some leftover chilli con carne in the freezer. You could make a chimichurri sauce in which to dip them, but in the interests of time, we just used a store bought chipotle sauce.
What you need:
1 sheet of ready rolled short crust or pie pastry (not sweet)
2 tablespoons of plain flour (to dust the surface)
1 dessertspoon of butter to grease the tray
150g grated cheese (Provolone to be authentic but I used a mix of cheddar and emmenthal)
6 spring onions finely chopped
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 190C.
Dust a clean surface with the plain flour to prevent the pastry from sticking. Lay out your sheet of short crust pastry and cut circles out with a cutter measuring approximately 9cm in diamater.
Mix your sweetcorn, grated cheese, spring onion, coriander and seasoning in a bowl. You can add a little fresh chilli if you like it spicy. We left it out so the kids could enjoy them too.
Spoon a little mixture into each pastry circle and fold over so it becomes a semi circle. Then pinch the pastry together to keep it all in so you have a half moon/crescent shape.
Lay your empanadas out on a greased baking tray then paint them with a beaten egg to make them glossy.
Cook in a preheated oven for 13-15 minutes until golden.
Serve immediately and if you like, dip into chipotle sauce or chimichurri.
They keep fine in an airtight container in the fridge for a day or so, and while best warm, are fairly acceptable cold as late night snack or in kids' packed lunches.