Sweet potato and chorizo empanada puffs (plus leftover frittata)
The beauty of this dish is that it uses up leftover ingredients – pastry offcuts, chorizo lurking in the back of the fridge, sweet potato lingering in the vegetable rack, and peas from the freezer. While not a traditional empanada in terms of the pastry used – puff – it is full of the flavours you would expect from this dish made so popular in Latin American cuisine. Vary the filling according to what you have available – just remember to add plenty of herbs as well as spices if not using chorizo!
2 large sweet potatoes, diced to 0.5cm pieces
2 cooking chorizo sausages, skinned and diced to 0.5cm pieces
A small cup frozen peas
1 large banana shallot, kept whole and sliced
1 roll of puff pastry, plus any offcuts
Yare Valley rapeseed oil
Salt & pepper
1 beaten egg with a splash of milk
Pre-heat the oven to 170˚C / 325˚F / gas mark 3.
Put the chopped sweet potato on a flat baking sheet, drizzle with rapeseed oil and season with salt, pepper, and dried parsley. Mix well and put in the oven for 15 minutes, until the potato is softening but still has a bite. Remove from the oven and put the sweet potato into a bowl to cool.
Put the chorizo in a frying pan over a low heat and cook until the oil is released, and the chorizo is just starting to catch. Drain the chorizo away from the oil and put into a separate bowl. Put the sliced shallots in the pan with the chorizo oil and cook until soft. Add them to the bowl of sweet potatoes and turn off the heat. Put the frozen peas in the pan and defrost slowly with the residual heat. Add to the bowl of sweet potatoes along with the dried oregano and stir.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and pre-heat the oven to 200˚C / 400˚F / gas mark 6. Prepare two baking sheets by lightly brushing with oil. Roll out the pastry and slice into squares. Put the sweet potato mix into the centre, and then some chorizo. Brush the sides of the square with the egg wash and fold the opposite corner over to form a triangle. Press the edges together and crimp with a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet. Use all the pastry, and you can make squares and rectangles instead of triangles if you prefer. Brush each pastry with the remaining egg wash and put in the oven for 20 minutes until golden.
Serve with whatever you fancy. I made a cheats’ lemon mayo – a good dollop of shop-bought mayonnaise mixed with the juice of half a lemon and some chopped fresh parsley.
There will be leftovers from this dish, so store in the fridge overnight and use to make a frittata for dinner the following evening. Simply add extra chorizo as needed. Heat an ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat, add the sweet potato and chorizo mix and stir until warm – you may need to add a touch more oil. Beat six eggs and pour into the pan, covering the sweet potato and chorizo mix. Bubble gently, and then finish in a pre-heated oven until just set. Slice and enjoy with fresh greens, salad, or homemade ketchup.