mrspao’s Empanadas

Empanadas are a Spanish/Portugese pastry which are eaten as a snack. I found a recipe for them in a freebie magazine of Paul Hollywood’s recipes in the Daily Telegraph. I’ve adapted his recipe to suit the ingredients I had to hand 🙂

Empanada dough:
150g butter
300g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 medium egg, beaten
3-5 tbsp water

1 beaten egg to glaze

300g cooked chicken cut into pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
100g chorizo, finely diced
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
50g sultanas
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by preparing the pastry as it will need a little time to rest before rolling. Melt the butter and leave to cool a little before adding to the flour, salt and the egg. Mix together, adding water as you go until you have a soft dough. Turn out and knead for a few minutes until it is smooth. Return it to the bowl, cover and set aside whilst you prepare the filling.

To make the filling:
Fry onion in a little olive oil on a medium-low until soft for around 10 minutes. Add chorizo, cumin seeds and sultanas and fry for 5-8 minutes until chorizo is cooked.

Remove from heat and set aside. Stir in cooked chicken.

Preheat oven to 200C.

Roll out dough to 3-4mm thickness.

Using a small bowl or cutter if you have one, cut out rounds of pastry to around 11-12cm wide. My advice is to roll separate pieces rather than all of dough at once. You will need to re-roll the remnants to make enough empanadas. I reckon you could get around 20 empanadas but I only made 13 before I got bored with rolling the dough as it got difficult and overworked as I’d overfloured the board etc (hence the separate pieces comment).*

Fill the discs with filling and dampen the edges

and crimp together with your fingers (if you have poked a hole in it, you may wish to patch it up like I did :)). Put on a baking tray lined with with greaseproof paper.

Brush with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and lovely.

*If you end up with an excess of filling, it is delicious the next day cold with hot potato rosti (Waitrose makes some cracking ones if you don’t feeling like making your own – pao does make some delicious ones which I should encourage him to do again soon) and homemade chilli jam.

I do think these would be delicious with chicken and bacon or something like feta cheese and spinach. There is a spiced beef version by the Hairy Bikers.

Banana and butterscotch scones


(adapted from Banana Scones recipe on Alive and Cooking)

3 cups self raising flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ cup caster sugar
125g margarine/butter
2 mashed ripe bananas
½ cup milk
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 170C. Grease baking tray.

Combine flour and pumpkin pie spice together and set aside.

Cream together margarine and sugar together. Add bananas and then milk.

Fold in flour til almost combined and turn onto board. Pour on butterscotch chips. Mould together lightly using hands until loosely stuck together (the secret to light scones is to not handle the dough too much).

Cut out using a medium cutter and place carefully on baking tray.

Bake for around 10 minutes.

Gratuitous cat photo. 🙂

Ten on a Tuesday: 10 Things You Did This Weekend

1. I went for a pedicure. My toenails now sparkle with the Meet Me on the Star Ferry (OPI colour) – sadly not current so I can’t have matching finger nails.

2. I had lunch with a bunch of ladies in honour of my friend’s birthday.

3. I went on a boat trip with more ladies also in honour of my friend’s birthday. The river was very high so my boatman friend Ian had to work very hard to punt us down the river.

4. I made empanadas.

5. I dozed through the movie Ever After. Don’t judge me too harshly, it had Dougray Scott in it and I was quite poorly on Sunday so needed fluff to sleep through.

6. I caught up on Downton Abbey.

7. I knit one measly row on my blanket.

8. I restarted watching The West Wing as we are educating the padawan in our house about good TV.

9. I caught up with some blogs I love.

10. I slept quite a lot.

Maybe I need a cat cave since I’m slowly becoming a cat?

Making Monday: Stripey socks

Jeanne very generously gave me some gorgeous Vesper Sock Yarn for my birthday and I quickly got it on the needles as I’d been eyeing it up for some time. It has taken me a while to knit them but I have finally finished them this past weekend.

They are deliciously beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed matching up the stripes and jigging them about to get them to stripe nicely. Thank you so much, Jeanne!! I still smile at the thought of you sat with Louise in Jan’s garden that July evening. What a blast! 🙂

The girls have lovely socks but sadly not stripey ones. 🙂

mrspao’s Jumblee Jam

(Makes 3 lbs of jam)

I had some odd bits of fruit hanging around and a bag of jam sugar lurking in the back of the cupboard begging to be used so having a couple of hours free this morning, I thought it would be just the thing to use those up. I called this jumblee as a conjunction of jubilee, jumble and yummy!

200g raspberries – I used golden raspberries which are a little sweeter than red ones
200g rhubarb, chopped small
100g mango, chopped small
300g dessert apples, chopped small
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 kg jam sugar, I used Tate and Lyle with added pectin*
2 generous tsps of pumpkin pie spice**

*if you don’t have jam sugar, add more lemon juice or some extra apples as they have lots of pectin which you need for the set
**I used Lund and Bylerly’s pumpkin pie spice which Jeanne kindly brought me but I figure you can make your own. Their spice has a hint of vanilla which you could replicate with a vanilla pod in the jam or put a tsp or two of vanilla essence in just before putting it in the jar

Before you start, put a couple of saucers in the freezer so you can test your set.

Simmer (don’t boil) your fruit and lemon juice in a large pan for around 20 minutes until the fruit is a bit broken down. The apples and mango will remain fairly in tact and this is ok.

Bring to a full rolling boil which will happen after about 3-4 minutes. Start testing it at this point. Put some on one of the plates from the freezer. Let it cool slightly and if it wrinkles when you push your finger on it then your jam is ready to be bottled.