Friday, August 6, 2010

Making Empanadas






I had empanadas for the first time last week when my employee brought them to work. Her mom made them (she's Filippina) but my assistant didn't have the recipe or really know how to make them and her mom wouldn't give her the "secret recipe." We decided to find a recipe online and make them ourselves and our first attempt turned out very, very well. We gave one to her mother who said they were better than her own! Now, I don't know the woman well enough to know if she's exaggerating or not, but they were truly delicious!

The recipe I used was not the one I found online, but what I did, exactly, to modify that one according to what I had in the way of ingredients on hand. You can put any filling inside meat, veggies, bean paste, fruit, etc. It's essentially a tiny turnover.

Chicken Pot Pie Empanadas a La K
Crust:
2 1/2 c unbleached flour
3 tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 c salted butter (1 stick)
3-4 tbs ice water

Egg Glaze:
1 egg
1 tbs water

Filling:
1 lb. cooked chopped chicken seasoned to taste
1 c cooked peas
1 c grated cooked carrots
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
about 2 tbs water the chicken made when I cooked it

I used a Bosch mixer to mix the crust. Add all dry ingredients and mix. Chop the butter into 2 tbs. segments, add to dry ingredients and mix until it looks like coarse crumbs. Drizzle in iced water slowly, while mixing until it forms into a soft dough. It may not completely round up into a ball so feel it and see if it's pliable like play dough, if so, it's ready. Form it into a ball, cover with waxed paper and chill for 30 minutes.

Combine all filling ingredients.

Heat oven to 400*F.

Roll dough out with a rolling pin (I do it between two sheets of waxed paper) to less that 1/8" thick and cut out 3-4" circles. Spoon 1-2 tsp of filling into the center of each. Fold in half, sealing the edges. Using a fork, press the edges about 1/4" in or crimp and fold with your fingers to make a rippled edge. Place on waxed paper covered cookie sheet.

Combine the egg with water and lightly beat. Brush on the top surface.

Bake 20 minutes or until golder brown.

This crust is great for pies, too!

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