Sunday, March 23, 2008

Chilean Empanadas

There are many kinds of empanadas, fried, baked, corn, wheat, samosas, big flat pies.... This here is snucked from the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. If you're ever in a secondhand bookstore and find one of their books, don't think, just buy it. I'm still too cheap to recommend firsthand cookbooks. Hee. Invent your filling, this here is what they use in the book. I think this is a great dough to adapt for samosas.

Makes 8 pieces. Large pieces. 1 per person should be enough.
Prep time: 25 min
Cooking time: 25 min

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed. (I used 3 of those giant baking potatoes and ended up with way too much.)
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimientos (I didn't have and result was still yummy. substituted 1 tsp paprika, but not the sweet kind.)
  • 1 cup corn; fresh, frozen or canned (drained)
  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened to room temp (I used goat cheese, worked as well)
  • 1 cup grated mild cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (I used Trader Joe's Mexican blend!)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tbs vinegar (don't worry if you use a little less, it tasted too much of vinegar for me)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached wheat flour
  • 3 tbs melted butter, margarine or vegetable oil (Butter!!!)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Cook the potatoes in a pot until soft. Saute onions, peppers and season with spices. If using paprika, add now. Add corn and salt once the peppers are tender. Once tender enough, take off fire and add pimientoes. Drain and mash potatoes. Mix well with veggies and cheese.

Mix the water, vinegar and salt in a large bowl. Add flour and butter. (Yes, dry to wet, who can say why, it worked.) Work dough adding flour until it's not wildly sticky. Roll out in a long roll and divide into 8 pieces. Roll out into 6-7 inch circles. This is not easy dough cos it keeps springing back smaller. Plonk 1/8th of the filling in the centre leaving about 1/2 inch all around to fold over and seal. Scallop edges. In about 1 inch of oil (we used MUCH less. It's basically a shallow fry) fry both sides until golden. This is a good time to have a partner, one rolls and the other fries. Faster AND fun. Drain on paper towels.


They're a FANTASTIC next-day meal, on a journey, at work, whatever. very self contained, they can be eaten with minimum fuss and attention.

No comments: