Office Pasty

When you work at an office, it is rather easy to forget about your lunch and sandwiches creep on to your pack lunch without been noticed.

Suddenly, you find yourself eating just to keep n working with no pleasure at all.

I don’t like this feeling. And so, I will look for alternative proposals that , even the most demanding workers can enjoy.

Today I have a sort of blast from the past. A empanada meets the pasty.

Cooking time: 20 minutes + 35 minutes
Quantity: This mix serves 4

Tips:

1. Always buy glass jars of roasted peppers. Take my word for it: They will save your lunches, dinners, even brunches.

2. You can use (and I might be told off for this) either fresh fish or good quality bonito preserved in oil. The latter can be easily stored at the back of your kitchen cupboard.

3. I normally like red onions, as they don’t make me cry, but in Spain the traditional ones are the brown ones, and I guess that for this recipe, they could bring a bit of stronger flavour.

4. Rolled pastry is a saviour for this pack-lunch idea. You can choose between the puff pastry or the shortcrust pastry.

Ingredients:

3 spoons of olive oil
1 Medium onion sliced finely.
2 very large garlic cloves (or 3 average size ones)
2 large roasted peepers sliced.
150 gr of bonito (if preserved, drain it first)
6 chestnut mushrooms sliced.
Maldon salt
375 gr of puff pastry.
Bit of butter or oil to brush on.

Cooking Instructions:

Place the oil, the onion, peppers and the garlic in a pan and heat in medium heat until soft.

Make sure that you turn them regularly to avoid any ingredient to be overcooked. Then add the sliced mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Taste, adjust salt if required and add the fish.

(Preheat the oven at 190 degrees c, gas mark 5.)

Continue cooking on the hob for further five minutes.

Prepare the pastry as per empanada: If it is a block, roll it. If rolled, stretch it and cut in two parts. The one to be placed in the bottom of the baking tray, should be around a centimetre larger throughout the whole perimeter.

Oil the base of the tray and place the larger rectangle on it.
Place the bonito mix on it leaving a frame all-around of 1.5 cm.

Place the second piece of pastry centred on it. Fold the extra pastry from the lower sheet and roll it tight against the top one.
Pierce the empanada in various locations to let the heat off the empanada whilst cooking.

At this stage, I should probably suggest that you brush egg on it, but really, I think it is a waste of a hen’s day work, so instead, I cook it for 20 minutes, take it out, oil or butter, slightly the top and place it back in the over for further fifteen minutes.

You can cut the resulting pasty in 4 pieces and take them to work to eat, almost as easily as a sandwich. 

If you rather make individual ones, you might cut the rolled pastry in four rectangles, place one fourth of the mix on half of each of the four pieces and fold the other half of the pastries over. You will then need to roll the edges up and make the incisions for the heat to come out. 

Here is another one with shortcrust pastry filled with peppers, peas, tuna, potato and chorizo. As you can see, anything goes when it comes to pasty.

Photograph by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
Recipe by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate

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