Cocarrois, the recipe
Ok my ladies, here goes.
These cocarrois are one of my all-time most favourite things. We first had them in Mallorca, where the cook of the house we were staying at, Jerónima, aka Jeroni, introduced us to the mouthwatering island cuisine; tumbet, pa amb oli, cocas with various toppings, and these babies, which are a pastie filled with various vegetables. They go raw into the pastry, and cook inside, which makes it meld beautifully but not overcook.
She very kindly gave us the recipe, and we brought it back home, where it´s been a staple ever since. Cocarrois make the perfect picnic fare, but usually we´d have them as a cold lunch or dinner, alongside a bowl of gazpacho.
Because they´re filled with cabbage and cauliflower, in the beginning my father and sisters refused to touch them. Which meant that Escolástica, my mother and I had them all to ourselves, and I could be sure of finding one nestling in the oven that I could take to school the next day. Sadly, they´ve all caught on to the fact that they are irresistible, and of course J loves them, so nowdays it´s a sad-to-see scramble at the table.
The only quibble I have with Levantine cuisine is the salt in the dough thing. They don´t put salt in breads or pastries, and this baffles me profoundly. I don´t see why ever not, and I miss it, so even though I´ll give you the real thing as I heard it, know that I salt the dough, and always will. Silly not to. Authenticity is all very well, but there´s a limit.
So. This quantity makes about 12 or 14 pasties. If you have leftover filling, it makes a surprisingly good salad, a sort of Mediterranean coleslaw.
For the dough
1 cup olive oil
1 cup water
1 tablespoonful of lard (you can use butter, we often do, but lard is the real thing and makes them flakier)
As much flour as it needs.
This is the sort of instruction that drives me nuts, but I´m sure you are all very experienced bakers and will know when the thing has come together. It´s approximately 700 gr., and the dough should be slightly sticky but definitely compact.
Let it rest while you make the filling with:
half a cauliflower
half a white cabbage
1 mild onion ( I use spring onion)
2 ripe tomatoes , deseeded and diced (you don´t want them to make everything waterlogged)
Chop everything very finely. Mandoline or processor is best for the cauliflower and the cabbage. Dress it with olive oil, black pepper, salt and pimentón, the sweet kind. Go easy on it, you don´t want it to taste like chorizo, just to give it a hint.
Heat up the oven to 200 or so.
Take the dough and pull of pieces the size of a fattish golf ball. Roll them, then flatten them til they´re 12 cms in diameter.
Lay a couple of spoonfuls of the filling and dot with four raisins, then close them to make a shape like the drawing.
Bake them for 30 or 40, until golden. Try to resist them, they´re best at room temperature, not hot.
I like them even better the next day, when they´ve lost their crispness but the flavours have had time to settle in. And may Majorcans forgive me, I always slather them with chutney.