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Empanada Gallega

Filed under :Appetizers, Brazilian Recipes, Breads, Catupiry, Chicken, The Dairing Kitchen

Patri of the blog, Asi Son Los Cosas, was our September 2012 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she decided to tempt us with one of her family’s favorite recipes for Empanadas!  We were given two dough recipes to choose from and encouraged to fill our Empanadas as creatively as we wished!

5-1/3 cups bread flour

2 cups of lukewarm water

1 tablespoon dry yeast or  (1 oz) fresh yeast

2 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons  oil (you can use oil from the pan where you have cooked the filling)

1 large egg, for egg wash

Directions:

Shift the flour into a big bowl and make a well in the middle. Rub the yeast in with your fingers. In a small bowl, mix the water and the salt.

Now, using your fingers or a wooden spoon, start adding the water and mixing it with the flour-yeast mixture. Keep on working with your fingers or spoon until you have added enough water and all the flour has been incorporated and you have a messy ball of dough.

On a clean counter top, knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes

You could do all the above using a stand mixer, in that case mix the ingredients with the paddle attachment until mixed and then switch to a dough hook and knead on low for about 6 minutes.

Clean and oil the big bowl you used for mixing and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover it with a napkin or piece of linen and keep it in a warm, draught-free place for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.

Once risen, turn the dough back into a floured counter and cut it in half. Cover one half with the napkin to prevent drying.

Spread the other half of the dough using a rolling pin. You can use a piece of wax paper over the counter, it will make it easier to move the dough around. Depending on the shape of your oven pan or cookie sheet, you will make a rectangle or a round.

Now, the thinness of the dough will depend on your choice of filling and how much bread you like in every bite.  For your first time, make it about 3mm thin (about 1/10th of an inch) and then adjust from that in the next ones you make.

Assembling the empanada:

If you haven’t used wax paper, either lightly flour or line with wax paper your pan or tray.

Cover the base and sides with the dough. Using the rolling pin or a knife, cut the extra dough.

Place the filling, making sure it is cold and that all the base is covered. Using a hot filling will make the bottom layer of the empanada become soggy. Be careful to avoid adding too much oil from the filling, try to make it as “dry” as possible.

Start preheating your oven to moderate 350°F.

Take the other half of the dough and spread it out to the same or less thinness of the base. You can use a piece of wax paper for this too. Take into account that this “top” dough needs to be smaller around than the bottom, as it only needs to cover the filling.

If not using wax paper, move carefully the top to cover the filling. If using wax paper, transfer the dough, turn upside down, cover the filling and gently peel off the wax paper.

Using your fingers, join bottom and top dough, when you have gone all the way around, start pinching top and bottom together with your thumb and index finger and turning them half way in, that way you end up with a rope-like border. As a picture is worth a thousand words, please watch this video to see how it is done.

When you are finished, make a 1 inch hole in the middle of the top layer. This will help hot air exit the empanada while it’s baking without breaking the cover.

You can use left-over dough to decorate the empanada, using rounds, bows, lines… let your imagination flow and make it pretty!

Using a fork, prick the top layer or, using scissors, make snips that go all the way through the top layer

In a small bowl, beat an egg and add a tbsp of cold water. With the pastry brush, paint the top of the empanada with the egg wash.

Place the empanada in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Check that the bottom part is done.

I used a chicken and catupiry filling. Recipe here: Creamy Chicken

Other possible fillings:

Cod

400 gm (14 oz) chopped onion (approximately 1 big onion or 2 medium-sized ones) 2 garlic cloves ¾ cup (180 ml) Olive oil 300 gm (10½ oz) salted cod, washed and cleaned (you put it in fresh water 24 hours before, change the water four times) 100 gm (3½ oz) raisins 100 gm (3½ oz) cured ham or bacon (not smoked) A few strands of saffron

  • When vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat. Add the saffron and the raisins. Cut cod and ham (or bacon) in less than bite sized pieces, and add. Stir everything together.
  • Add salt as needed (we do this at the end because the amount of salt will depend on how salty your fish remains after the unsalting and how salty your cured ham or bacon is).
  • Allow to cool for at least half an hour before filling the empanada.

Filling Directions:

  1. Finely chop the onion and garlic.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion and garlic, fry over medium heat until the onion is transparent (you do not want the onion to brown at all).

Tuna fish filling:

Ingredients

400 gm (14 oz) chopped onion (approximately 1 big onion or 2 medium-sized ones) 200 gm (7 oz) tomatoes (peeled and seeded) 1 small red pepper 2 garlic cloves ¾ cup (180 ml) olive oil 1 can (6.5 – 7 oz / 180 gm – 200 gm) of tuna fish in oil, drained 1 hard-boiled egg 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet
  2. Fry the finely chopped onions, pepper and garlic until the vegetables are soft. Add then the tomatoes, chopped small, and cook until done.
  3. Turn off heat and add the tuna fish and hard boiled egg, cut into less than bite sized pieces.
  4. If adding the paprika, do so now and stir into the frittata.
  5. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Ground meat filling:

Ingredients

400 gm (14 oz) chopped onion (approximately 1 big onion or 2 medium-sized ones) 200 gm (7 oz) tomatoes (peeled and seeded) 1 small green pepper 2 garlic cloves ¾ cup (180 ml) olive oil 300 grams (2/3 pound or 10.5 ounces) minced (ground) meat 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet
  2. Fry the finely chopped onions, pepper and garlic until the vegetables are soft. Add then the tomatoes, chopped small, and cook until done.
  3. Add the meat and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the paprika, and stir into the frittata.
  5. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Fill the empanada en bake as indicated.

Ham and cheese filling:

Ingredients

10½ oz (300 gm) ham 10½ oz (300 gm) cheddar type cheese (any sandwich cheese will do)

Directions:

  1. This is the simplest of fillings. You only need to layer prettily the ingredients, starting and ending with ham, to keep the melted cheese inside.

Pork loin and red pepper filling:

Ingredients

10½ oz (300 gm) pork loin (one piece) 1 big red pepper (capsicum) , cut into thin slices 1 small onion, cut into thin slices 2 garlic cloves 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (6 gm) paprika ½  tablespoon (3 ml) dried oregano salt

Directions:

  1. 24 hours in advance, marinate the pork loin: for this, mix the oregano, paprika and the garlic cloves (very finely chopped) with salt to taste. Rub this marinade all around the meat, put into a sealable plastic bag and keep in the fridge for 24 hours.
  2. Take the meat out of the bag and cut into thin fillets (about 0,5mm)
  3. Cover the bottom part of the empanada with the fillets
  4. Cover the fillets with the slices of onion and pepper. Sprinkle salt on top.
  5. Cover the empanada and bake in a preheated oven to moderate 350°F/180ºC/gas mark 4. As this empanada starts with all raw ingredients, it will take about 15 minutes longer to bake. Just check that the underside of the empanada is golden. If it is, it’s cooked. If it isn’t, put it in the oven again and check after 10 minutes.

Get creative!!

 


Creamy Chicken

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes, Catupiry, Chicken

For the creamy chicken recipe, you will first need to make my basic shredded chicken recipe. Here it is:

Basic Shredded chicken:

3 big boneless chicken thigh

water to cover

2 T chicken boiullon

Boil until chicken is cooked and tender.  Check and adjust for salt and seasonings while boiling it.  Shred and reserve.

*you can use chicken breasts. Just remember you will loose a little bit of the flavor and moistness by using the chicken breasts.  Sometimes I like to use both breasts and thighs.

This recipe is something I love to make, because I can make a big batch and use it in other recipes.  All you do is change the seasonings and you create a entire new dish with the same basic ingredients (boiled shredded chicken) 😉  It is also easy for busy parents to freeze individual or family portions of the basic chicken and then use it on busy days.

I also like to strain and keep the water  you used to boil the chicken.  This is chicken broth and can be used to enhance the flavor in rice dishes, risotto, coxinhas and many other dishes.  I also like to substitute chicken broth in recipes that call for wine.

Now, for the creamy chicken

1 recipe of basic shredded chicken

1/2 onion diced

2 cloves of garlic smashed

2 T oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 or 2 tomato diced (no seeds)

1/2 cup of catupiry cheese – you can purchase it here. I LOVE this cheese 😉 wink wink

1 T sliced green onions

1 T parsley

Other optional things you can add: sliced palm hearts, corn, peas, olives, bacon, etc.

Sautte the onions and garlic in the oil.  Add the chicken, salt, pepper, tomatoes and cook for a little while. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.  Add the catupiry cheese, green onions and parsley.

I like to use this chicken for pie fillings, or served with rice or your favorite pasta.  It is also good served with a nice salad 😉 Enjoy