Chorizo Hand Pies


Tequila GuideMakes 20 turnovers

Spicy chorizo meets blanco tequila head on in these hot, flaky hand pies. If you have any leftover filling or you’re pressed for time, skip the pastry, add some grated Monterey jack to the filling ingredients, and spread the mixture on top of toasted bread for zesty crostini. You also might want to keep a stock of these pies in your freezer for unexpected guests. All you have to do is take the frozen, uncooked hand pies out of the freezer and pop them in the oven.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 pound chorizo sausage, casings removed
1/4 pound finely diced serrano ham, prosciutto, or Black Forest ham
Large pinch of saffron threads
3/4 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
5 tablespoons blanco tequila
1/4 cup finely chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
2 eggs

In a frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 7 minutes. Add the chorizo and ham and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the saffron, tomatoes, 4 tablespoons of the tequila, the olives, and cumin to the meat mixture and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the moisture has evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
   
Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll the puff pastry into a rectangle 1/8 inch thick. Using a 31/2-inch round cookie cutter or a clean, empty can, cut circles from the pastry. Place a tablespoon of the filling on one half of each circle.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and the remaining 1 tablespoon tequila. Brush the edge on half of each circle with the egg wash. Fold the circle over, enclosing the filling, and seal the edges with your fingers or a fork. Place the hand pies on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
   
Note: The turnovers can be made well in advance and stored in the freezer. When you’re ready to serve, remove from the freezer, place on baking sheets in a single layer, and bake; they will take 5 to 7 minutes longer to cook. If they get cold before serving, reheat on the top rack of a 400°F oven.


Reprinted from TEQUILA: A Guide to Types, Flights, Cocktails, and Bites by Joanne Weir. Photography by Lara Hata. Copyright © 2009. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA.