DVD Night Empanada

Back from our surprise mini break, the fridge was pretty bare and we needed a quiet night in to recover from living life in the fast lane with the oldies! It was a tough job to keep up with them…we needed a night on the sofa to recharge the batteries.

If you´ve ever spent time in Spain, you´ll probably realise that tv here is generally not all that much to be reckoned with. There is one programme called Cuéntame Cómo Pasó which I love.  It´s a well observed period drama which has won loads of awards and has been going on for years.  It documents the social changes in Spain particularly during the Franco regime and the collapse of it.

There are also some good UK and US series which are shown, although often quite badly dubbed.  They tend to use females with silly voices to play the parts of children, which is most bizarre.  And of course we have plenty of football, tennis and sports coverage as well as pretty good news coverage.

That said, summer tv scheduling is, as in most countries, pretty dire.  Well, who wants to be stuck inside watching tv when they could be out dancing at a fiesta?  Sometimes though you just want to slump in from of the “tele” and disengage the brain for a couple of hours.  Time for a DVD.

Inspired by some of the delicious Empanadas we ate on our recent trip, I decided I´d make a large one to see us through the DVD.  Kitchen skills for this dish were fairly minimal relying on two sheets of defrosted puff pastry and a quarter of a kilo of minced pork. A traditional Empanada from Galicia is more typically made though with a light bread dough, so apologies for the shortcut.

I sautéed the pork with a chopped onion and two cloves of crushed garlic. Then I added half a cup of tomato sauce and one chopped grilled red pepper, some sliced mushrooms and a few chopped capers (which I´m having a bit of a love affair with at the moment).  You can use whatever you have to hand and you fancy. Don´t let it dry out, you want it a little “saucy”.

To assemble the dish lay one sheet of puff pastry on a baking tray and turn the edges up slightly all the way round to form a lip.  Fill with the cooked meat mixture and spread it around evenly.  Put the other sheet of pastry on top and pinch the edges together.  Prick it all over with a fork and brush with beaten egg.  Bake in a medium oven for about 25 minutes until the pastry is golden.

We ate it with a tomato, onion and basil salad and long cold glasses of tinto de verano.  That´s red wine mixed with casera which is a sort of not very sweet lemonade.  I know, it sounds odd but believe me when it´s a warm evening and you need to drink lots it´s a great refresher with not too much alcohol and lots of ice cubes.

And what did we watch? Well, a very foody film which I thought was going to be in Spanish but we only realised about 20 minutes into the film that we were actually watching (and both fully understanding!) in Italian.  It´s one of my favourites, Big Night, with Stanley Tucci.  Watch this short clip if you have time.  I bet we´ll all be making Timpano soon – I know I´ve already spoken to my mum to find out our family recipe.  We call it Timballo though, but it´s the same thing.

For a fantastic version of this amazing dish, hop over to Ambrosiana´s recipe here.

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