I was fooling around in my kitchen yesterday taking stock of what we had and what I could make and this is what I came up with.

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This recipe makes 4 5-inch “pies.” The crust is from a (heavily) adapted European recipe for shortcrust pastry, so the measurements are in the metric system and mostly by weight. Make the crust first, so that you can make the filling while it chills in the fridge.

For the crust:

100 g finely ground cornmeal
150 g all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of allspice
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp dried flaked oregano
1 egg yolk (reserve the white)
125 g cold unsalted butter
about 125 ml water
1/2 c grated cheddar cheese

For the filling:

1 yellow onion, diced
2 chorizo sausage
1 red bell pepper, diced
2-3 green tomatoes, chopped or diced
two handfuls of fresh or frozen corn, off the cob (optional)
a handful of freshly chopped cilantro

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, spices/ herbs, salt and baking powder. Cut the butter into pieces and work it into the flour with your fingers or a pair of knives until the pieces are like bread crumbs. If your hands are too warm and melt the butter run them under cold water until they are chilled.

Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add the egg yolk and half of the water. Mix gently with a fork, incorporating mare and more of the flour mixture. Add more water as needed until you are able to form a workable dough. Knead it just a few times, then wrap in waxed paper and set in the fridge for at least a half hour.

Remove the chorizo filling from the sausage casings and fry in a medium- hot skillet, stirring often to break the meat into smaller pieces. After a few minutes, add the diced onion. There should be enough fat from the meat that you do not need to add extra oils, but if the mixture is sticking, add just a splash of olive oil. When the onions are translucent, add the peppers, corn and tomatoes. When the peppers are beginning to soften, cut the heat and stir in the cilantro.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Take the dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured baking surface. The dough should be spread into a thin rectangle, about 1/8 in thick. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over one half of the dough and fold the other half over it. Roll the folded dough out until it is a little less than 1/4 inch thick. Cut into four pieces.

In four small ramekins or on a baking sheet, split the filling evenly between the four crusts and pinch the edges to form sides. Beat the reserved egg white and brush the tops of the pastries. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the crust is golden.

Serve hot or cold.

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