15 September 2014

Empanada gallega de atún ("Tuna pie")

This is a very traditional dish from the north of Spain (Galicia, to be more exact). It is also very popular in my town, where the pie is baked in a wood oven and the taste is incomparable... It does take a long time to prepare, specially if you don´t cheat and make your own dough, but the end result is impressive. The taste is great, it feeds up to 8 people, it is not very expensive and it can be eaten hot or cold. It can be taken to a nice picnic or a hiking excursion. I take it to work, is not such a nice place, I know, but it´s great to have food such as this over there.

Serves 8
  • 560 g canned tuna (drained). You could use nicer tuna, such as ventresca, but if you also are a poor student like me, canned tuna is fine too.
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 3 onions
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 550 g strong white flour
  • 40 g fresh yeast
  • 200 ml lukewarm water
  • 15 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • A dash of milk

Directions for the filling:
Boil water and submerge the tomatoes with a small cut to peel them easier later. Finely slice the onions. Heat 10 Tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion at a low heat for around 10 minutes until blanched. In the meantime, dice the pepper and chop the garlic very small. Peel the tomatoes and cut into quarters.

Add the peppers, garlic and tomatoes to the onions and cook at low fire for another 10 minutes.
Add the tuna and stir. Cook for a few minutes and remove from the fire.

Drain the filling of any remaining oil and save it to flavor the dough. Let the filling cool.

Directions for the dough:
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and stir with a wooden spoon. Put the flour in a big bowl and make a hole in the middle. Pour the yeast in the flour and mixed thoroughly until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add 5 Tbsp of oil from the filling and 5 Tbsp of oil. Mix until a soft dough is formed.

Oil a surface and knead the dough for 7 minutes, let it rest for 5 and then knead it again for another 7 minutes. Leave to rise for 1 h, covered with a slightly wet cloth. The dough will absorb the humidity of the cloth and it will avoid it cracking.

Directions for the empanada:
Preheat the oven to 180º C. By now the dough would have risen to twice its size. Divide it into two portions, one for the top and one for the bottom. Roll each portion very thin and cover the tray with the smallest. The ideal tray would be quite large and not very high, but I don´t own one like that so I used a normal square one.

Mix the filling with the remaining liquid and fill the tray evenly.

Cover the tray with the other rolled dough and press the sides to seal the pie. Cut the remaining dough and use it to decorate the pie (I know I´m not great with that...)

Beat the egg and add a dash of milk. This will give the pie a golden color without burning it. Brush the pie with it and put it in the oven at the bottom for 20 minutes and then in the middle for another 20 minutes.

This pie can be eaten either hot or cold. I do prefer it hot just out from the oven, but I like to take it to work as well or for a picnic in the countryside.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 8 Serving
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 489
Calories from Fat 174
Total Fat 19.3g30%
Saturated Fat 2.8g14%
Cholesterol 28mg9%
Sodium 42mg2%
Potassium 369mg11%
Carbohydrates 55.4g18%
Dietary Fiber 3.2g13%
Sugars 2.8g
Protein 27.1g
Vitamin A 22% · Vitamin C 65%
Calcium 11% · Iron 13%

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