Little Tuna Pies
These doughnut-like turnovers, made with a yeast dough, were served to me, compliments of the house, at the elegant bar of one of Europe’s great hotels, El Hostal de Los Reyes Católicos, in the magnificent city of Santiago de Compostela. They are a specialty in that city, offered with either a tuna filling or a delicious pork filling. The dough is easy to prepare and can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two (in which case you should eliminate the rising time because that will take place in the refrigerator).
START PREPARATION AN HOUR AND A HALF IN ADVANCE DOUGH
SERVES8 (MAKES 18 LITTLE PIES)
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party, game day
Recipe Courseappetizer, tapas/small plates
Taste and Texturechewy, crisp, garlicky, savory
Type of Dishsavory/pot pie
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1¾ cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup warm milk
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1½ tablespoons fruity olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- Half a 7-ounce can light meat tuna, drained and flaked, preferably Spanish
- Kosher or sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika, preferably Spanish smoked
- 2 teaspoons chicken broth
- Mild olive oil for frying
To make the dough, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Mix together in a bowl the flour and salt. Add the egg, then stir in the warm milk, butter, and the yeast mixture. Turn onto a working surface and knead for a minute or two, just until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky, adding more flour as necessary. Place the dough in a bowl greased with oil, turning to coat with the oil. Cover with a towel and leave in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the onion and garlic slowly until the onion is wilted. Stir in the tuna, cook for a minute, then sprinkle with salt and paprika. Stir in the chicken broth and turn off the heat. [May be prepared ahead]
Punch down the dough and divide into 1-inch balls. Roll each into a 2-inch circle. Place 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of each circle, pull up the sides, and pinch to seal.
Heat the frying oil at least 1 inch deep in a skillet. Lower the heat to medium and fry the meat pies slowly, turning frequently, until they are puffed and golden. Or, better, use a deep fryer. Drain.
2007 Penelope Casas