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Cod patty

Cod patty

Cod pie with raisins

I can not stop making different empanadas, the same thing happens to me as with apple pie, I always have a new one on the horizon, lest I find the “holy grail” of empanadas. I may not be impartial in my estimation of this culinary tradition, perhaps the nostalgic and idealized memory of my childhood makes me see them better than they really are, but modestly I think they contain my best cuisine, coming, in part, of the most “enxebre” heritage of Galician gastronomy and, in part, of the culinary heritage of my family. As I said before, it is very difficult to find a good empanada, as it is very difficult to find a good paella; In today’s Galicia I only find them in private homes or in very unexpected places (hidden food houses, baroucos from the land of the hidden interior, crusted bakeries full of flies and in some market or fair where some countrywoman brings them from the village). (Photo: bonito pie)

When I carried out my first presentation of the empanada on this website, I made it more fascinated by the mysterious and magical feeling towards “the art of to make empanadas “that for the desire to offer a magnificent popular dish. The reason was, without a doubt, that since I was a child I have considered its preparation as an almost mystical ritual that, for my ancestors, was also a gratifying and liberating. In this section, and because they are similar activities, I also talked about bread making, cousin-brother of the empanada (in Galicia, it is said that it was not clear what happened before); and how could I forget her origin and history, I mentioned Maestro Mateo sculpting a pie in the middle of the Romanesque; (You have all that in that first presentation). In this regard, I related a unusual story and romantic of my grandmother, the best bread and empanada maker in the area, according to maestro Cunqueiro.

I also confess that the recipe I offer you is not my grandmother’s, which I never got, and that it must have been part of oral literature and, as such, was passed down from generation to generation. However, my mother was never attracted to this very familiar dish, because, although her kneading technique was worthy of admiration, she suffered from the magical and telluric spirit of her mother, with whom she had little in common; I am almost certain that I unconsciously abhorred the “novelty” with which my ancestors referred to this culinary ceremonial; therefore, he used to order them from the Poor Clares convent, always with the warning that they should be “illustrated” and “without cheating”, that is, with a good filling and that they should not add lard. (Photo: Corn empanada with razor clams).

However, when it came to putting my hands on the dough, never better said, I changed chip and I left aside the fantastic family literature, to focus on the process of making the dough and its “amoado” (filling), without omitting the smallest detail; which led me to need 34 steps for its complete description, which must have pushed back the most devoted admirer of the pie. My recipe belonged to a baker from Pontevedra, that, for family reasons, he came to pay for these payments, and settled on the Malaga coast; He used to give me empanadas of everything (tenderloin, cod, seafood, etc.), which took away the hiccups, until on one occasion I suggested that the best gift was to teach me how to make them. His belonged to the school of “bread empanadas” very different from the puff pastry or grass; According to my mother, the baker’s was the original recipe, the same as my grandmother’s. However, for the “amoado” (filling), I was guided by the recipe of the granddaughter of Hash, the author of the best Galician cookbook for people who know how to cook (presented in the TVE program “With hands on the dough” by Elena Santonja) (Photo: razor wheat pie).

So far, I have uploaded four empanadas, three of wheat dough (loin, bonito, and razor clams), one of corn (also of razor clams) and today’s, the much celebrated “empanada de cod with raisins “which, as Alvaro Cunqueiro would say, he is the sursum corda of the empanadas and little or nothing has to do with the cod empanadas that you will find everywhere in Galicia. So, I can only upload “the whole spelled flour stuffed with pork loin”, which is a more modern and ecological version. (Photo: Bacalo pie with raisins).

I have to confess that I would not want to die without first making a lamprey pie, that snake-fish that we Galicians hold in such esteem and outside Galicia is denigrated everywhere. There has been no better description of the empanada queen than that of Pérez Lujín, in his student novel “La Casa de la Troya”, in which students steal from his pensioner Samoeiro, appealed by the “Ostrógodo”, two empanadas of lamprey destined for a canon of the cathedral; Empanadas that remained locked in a trunk under seven keys, but whose unmistakable aroma betrays their existence. (Photo: Wholemeal spelled flour pie with pork loin).

In closing, and since rhetoric is the discipline that deals with persuasion, I would like nothing more than to possess the rhetorical capacity of the classics to convince you of the benefits of knowing how to make a good empanada. Do not worry about the number of steps (they could be reduced to six or seven), as soon as you do it twice you will not even have to look at the recipe. This recipe is worth it! You will thank me! And if you are out of a job, maybe you don’t earn a living “living off the empanadas”, a really artistic job.

For the empanada that I am going to offer and with the desire not to repeat myself, I will refer to previous elaborations.


500 or 600 g. of chopped cod, you can buy the cod crumbs if they are not very small pieces and not pure crumbs (see photo above). Today they sell them everywhere and they are worth around 10 euros, the crumbs are much cheaper; I like to notice the cod.

  • 4 large chives or onions, halved
  • three garlic cloves, filleted
  • 4 large pieces of bell pepper, cut (canned or roasted in the oven); the peppers must be roasted beforehand, or if you use the pot peppers they must be very good.
  • half a cup of chopped parsley
  • 2 saffron sachets in thread or powder (this comes already prepared and does not have to be heated)
  • 1’5 dl. of oil

If you think it is not juicy enough, add a little water before removing the filling from the heat, or better broth.

This empanada is made in a 34 cm can. in diameter, I would advise you to make these same amounts for any mold, and if you have leftovers, freeze both the leftover dough and the filling for a small empanada, which will taste glorious at the most unexpected moment. Later, you can already calculate the quantities that, more or less, you are going to need.

Observations on ingredients:

It does not present any problem regarding the ingredients it contains. I have poured into it very fleshy bell peppers, which I have roasted in the same stew as “amoado”, you can buy a glass bottle of red peppers and it will be great.

As for cod, you can buy it salted and desalinate it or fresh: the first one is tastier; As they are small pieces with 12 hours you will have enough for desalination.

The empanada requires saffron and as it is said in Galicia: “it must go well saffroned”, so I advise you to put two envelopes or double the strands that you add to any stew.

As for the oil, the saying is “the pie asks for oil, and the earth water.” I think that measure will come out very juicy. If you think it is not juicy enough, add a little water before removing the filling from the heat, or better two tablespoons of broth (tetrabrick or natural).

Ingredients dough:

  • 1. half a kilo of plain or pastry flour
  • 2. 100 gr. butter in ointment (i.e. soft)
  • 3. 1 dl. of water
  • 4. 1 dl. milk or cream if you want more puff pastry (this one had cream)
  • 5. two eggs
  • 6. a handful of salt
  • 7. a piece like 50 g. of fresh yeast or a pill and a half of those sold in the supermarket or Mercadona
  • 8. a tablespoon of sugar
  • 9. fourth glass of sweet sherry
  • 10. 50 0 100 gr. raisins (to taste)

Observations on ingredients:

None. Cream is the modern variant of this breading. I make it half and a half because I find that the cream replaces the creaminess of the old milk.

The yeast is sold in bakeries and if you buy more quantity, you can freeze it in pieces to have it for various empanadas. They also sell it in pills at Mercadona.

1st Part: Elaboration of the “amoado”:

1. Fry in a little oil, round and round, the cod that you will have desalted (if it is a little raw better) so that it does not dry out.

2. Once passed, you place it on a plate so that it releases the juice that we will then add to the other mixture and it will give it a lot of flavor. There you have it after cutting it a little more so that it covers the entire can equally:

3. We put the spring onion (or onion) finely chopped, the garlic also filleted, and the parsley in a frying pan with the deciliter and a half of oil that we have previously heated. I have put the pepper without roasting so that in these 25 minutes it roasts:

4.Once cooked (about 25 minutes) and well poached add the saffron, and also add a fourth glass of a good sherry (dry or sweet); I think the sweet with raisin lasagna is great:

5. But first of all, you remove the pepper, peel them and chop them: It does not matter that they are not very soft because they will then cook again with the empanada:

5. Stir well, and finally the raisins and cook another 5 minutes; you can add it a tablespoons of water or fish broth: it must have a thick sauce.

6. This is how it should look, the oil is abundant and you will need it so that everything mixed is juicy:

9. You must try it (“Try as many times as you need”); It is the secret of good cooks and you can already place it in a bowl, and either freeze it or leave it until it is cold and you can make the empanada. The lover must always be cold or the dough would be loaded.

10. I froze it and took it out the night before preparing the empanada, it seems that it has little room but it is not like that, simply the sauce is very agglutinated:

2nd Part: Preparation of the dough and the empanada


1. Preparation of the yeast: I add and mix the yeast in the dl. of quite hot water, I dissolve it well and put a teaspoon of low sugar to remove the bitter taste of the yeast:

2. The flour is thrown into a bowl. I am going to make the dough in an electric mixer to speed up the process. If you do not have a mixer, put it in a bowl and stir everything with a spoon until you can take it off, maybe you need a little more flour by hand:

3. Now I add the two whole eggs:

4. Pour the mixture of the yeast and then the butter in ointment (soft) and the cream or milk, or a mixture of both:

5. It is time to add a tablespoon of salt. Be careful not to forget:

6. I should mix everything with the dough hook, but I was wrong and instead I kneaded it with this utensil that will serve the same, the one you see in the photo. Absolutely nothing happens because the case is that it is well removed. This dough does not need to be worked much. You can also do it manually.

He might not comment on it and perhaps no one would have perceived it. He could even have made a contest and gave a pie to the one who had discovered it, but the best lesson is that in the kitchen we all make mistakes and almost none is irreparable. This is the piece that I put in the ingredient photograph and in the end I did not put it in the mixer and I used another one that is not specific to knead the empanada. Below you see the hook. If you have a normal mixer, it surely comes with a mixer, I find it very useful.

7. Beat or knead for about 6 or 8 minutes until the dough begins to peel off. What if I don’t have a whisk? Stir it well with a spoon until it amalgamates and does not stick too much to your fingers. You may have to add a little more flour. Almost all the blenders already come with this very useful piece, and you don’t need an apparatus as expensive as mine that I have had it for more than 40 years.

8. You see how a dough is detached. Do you see how the utensil is not the hook but another?

9. Put the dough from the bowl on a surface, preferably of marble or wood:

10. You put flour on top and knead it a little:

11. Give it a little dough and fold it two or three times:

12. With another sprinkle of flour, you’re done:

13. This bolus is divided into two parts, which will then be the top and bottom of the pie:

14. Now both parts will go to their bed to ferment, well covered with a canvas that you put on top: it is the “bed of the pie”. Today it is so hot that it has already fermented almost before napping, but in the winter you will have to leave it for half an hour if your kitchen is not very cold, or you can also bring it to a heat center so that it ferments and rises. Anyway, this pie does not go up much because it has enough butter and cream:

fifteen. You have already slept your nap and we take a piece of the dough to spread it:

16. Before extending it, we check that the beloved is ready and cold. As you can see, it looks fantastic (imagine it with red peppers):

17. And the mold must also be prepared; covered with baking paper (with this dough it would not be necessary, but I do it by pure precaution) and I spread it with butter or oil:

18. You have to extend it several times to be able to mount it in the mold, it must be soft but in such a way that it allows you to work and extend it. This process is done by sprinkling flour but very little every time so that it does not harden. Important: the bottom part should be a little bit harder and thicker than the top part because it carries all the weight of the beloved on top:

19. So two or three times until it does not stick to you and you can roll it up to place it in the mold:

20. It is ready to wrap it in the roll, well sprinkled with flour on the top and bottom surface, you will wrap the dough on the roll:

21. Carefully place it in the mold. Some small holes may appear but for this we call it “mending the pie”, that is, covering those holes with small pieces of extended dough, as when pieces are put on a sheet that has tears. Then it will not be noticed at all:

22. I follow carefully but without worrying that it comes out intact, because nothing happens, I put his patch on it and that’s it:

23. Next, I prepare the edge so that it does not over the mass of the sides, not totally because later I have to close it and make a hem with the top part.

24. There appears the wonderful beloved, which you will spread on the base of the pie. (I do not have the photo, but instead I have put the beloved pork loin:

25. The same process for the top, this dough can be softer because it does not carry any weight on top like the one below:

26. Again we see a hole in the dough, so let’s put its patch on it.

27. If a little of the sauce comes out somewhere, you put paper on it to soak it in and another patch. You can go on twisting the molds or the purse:

28. There I am with the paper sucking a few drops of sauce:

29. With what I have left over I make the strips, all at once, spreading the remaining dough and dividing it with the dough cutter. But in this pie, I have made some cords, for which you simply take pieces of dough, and by hand you round them:

Or you make the rectangular strips:

30. Finally, I make a hole in the center of it that is the chimney of the pie and then I put a round piece on it without closing it completely:

32. As for the oven, it is important that it cooks well underneath. Do not forget the preheated. Theoretically, I put it in the oven at 200º for 10 minutes and about 30 more minutes at 180º, but that will depend on the oven. If your oven is not very good, place it only with the bottom oven on for about 15 minutes at 200º, so that the base cooks well and when that quarter of an hour has passed, you change it to the position that cooks up and down for another 15 minutes:

33. The empanada has turned out great, well cooked above and below.

34. If you cut a piece, you will see that it is very “illustrated” (with a good filling) and not like those empanadas that only have onions.


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