Preparation info

  • Difficulty


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Appears in

Cooking at the Merchant House

By Shaun Hill

Published 2000

  • About

These are part of the Spanish tapas repertoire. The idea is that tiny amounts of well-flavoured fish and shellfish are mixed with sauce and spooned into puff pastry and deep-fried.


  • 200g (7 oz) puff pastry sunflower oil, for deep-frying

For the Filling

  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced red bell pepper
  • 25g (1 oz/¼ cup) shelled cooked prawns or shrimp
  • 25g (1oz/¼ cup) cod fillet, finely diced
  • 1 scallop, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon tomato passata (sieved tomatoes)
  • a small pinch of saffron
  • ½ teaspoon plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 tablespoon double (heavy) cream
  • 1 teaspoon Irish whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • a dash of Tabasco sauce
  • salt and pepper


Roll out the puff pastry as thinly as possible, then cut 12 circles about 7 cm (in) in diameter.

To make the filling, fry the shallot and bell pepper in a small saucepan. Add the seafood, passata and saffron.

Stir in the flour, then add the cream, whiskey and coriander. Season with salt, pepper and some Tabasco sauce and leave the mixture to cool.

Put a teaspoon of filling at the centre of each puff pastry circle. Moisten the edges of the pastry with water and fold across to form a miniature Cornish pasty.

In a wok or similar large pan, heat the oil until it is hot but not smoking. Deep-fry the empanadillas in batches for about 2 minutes or until they are golden brown.