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Monday, March 26, 2012

Pinoy Empanada

An all time Filipino favorite --empanada!  It is a stuffed pastry with minced meat, carrots, potatoes or anything that your heart and tummy desire.  The word empanda comes from the word "empanar" which means to wrap or coat in bread.  It has been in existence since the 1500s probably originating in Galicia, Spain and Portugal.  (wikipedia) It became popular too in Italy particularly in Sardinia. It was brought to the Philippines by the Spaniards when they colonized the country.

Empanadas have different variations when it comes to fillings and the sweetness of the dough used for pastry.  Philippines' pastry is usually sweet.  I love mine a bit sweet too even when I started making empanadas 8 or 10 years ago back in the Philippines.  Many recipes would usually ask for half a teaspoon sugar but I love adding a teaspoon and then experiment with the other components.  I am proud to say that this pastry recipe is tried and tested for a number of years.  I never had a problem with making them at all.

When it comes to fillings, as I have said, you can use anything you want -- corned beef, menudo, asado etc.  You can also imitate the famous Ilocos empanada recipe where they add mung beans, grated green papaya, chorizo and eggs (usually egg yolks).  I promise to post the recipe soon. They are quite yummy! When we went to Ilocos Norte in 2011 January, we were lucky enough to get a pension house near the plaza where the famous Ilocos empanadas are sold.  At just before sunset, we all went there to get a taste of this pastry with vinegar dip.  There were so many karinderias (small eatery) selling empanadas and mami and they are always next to one another so it was just a question of who can salestalk us to eat at their eatery (we were 12 people).  We decided to eat at the eatery before we got to the last one and oh dear were they sooo yummy!  Both empanadas and the mami were so delicious.  We really enjoyed every bite and every sip. 

In the Tagalog region we would usually add a minced meat dish similar to picadillo.  In my younger years, we would always buy those ready to eat ones from the bakeshop but gee some of them would have more potatoes than meat! That's why we would call them empatatas not empanada...hahaha!

My husband had manned the election here in our place (state election) last Friday and since he cannot come to eat, I decided to just bring him his food.  I brought him some empanadas and he shared them with our friends (who were also manning the election) and they all loved them!  They are all Aussies so the empanadas must be really good!

Oh anyway, try this recipe and savour every bite!

Pastry Dough
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp water, cold
1 piece raw egg
1/2 cup butter, cold
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

For the Filling
There is no written rule on what to add as fillings. In this dish I used the left over picadillo we had.

Egg Wash
1 egg white
1 tsp  milk

Procedure for the Pastry Dough
Mix the flour and all the try ingredients in a bowl.
Add in the butter.  You can use your hands or a pastry cutter in mixing the butter with the dry mixture. 
It should come together. Knead a little in a lightly floured surface. 
Form a big ball of dough. 
Butter lightly the bowl.
Place the dough onto the bowl and cover with a clingwrap.  Let rise for 30 minutes in room temperature.
Roll the dough into a log and divide into 12 pieces. 
Form 12 balls of dough.
Flatten onto a lightly floured surface with the palm of your hand.
Make the dough thin  and in a shape of a circle by using the rolling pin.  If you want to have the same size and shape of pastry, you can use a cookie cutter.
Place 1 tbsp of the meat mixture at the center of the dough. 
Fold the dough making sure the edges touch each other. 
You need to have a shape of a half moon.
Fold the edges starting from one corner using your thumb and forefinger.  Fold little by little (towards the direction of the meat) until you reach the other end of the pastry.
Place the empanadas in a baking pan or cookie sheet with 1 inch space in between.  You can place a baking paper on the pan if you want.
Brush the empanadas on both sides with egg wash.

Bake in 180C preheated oven for 25 minutes.

A comment or two will be appreciated...

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