I was about to apologize for not posting in such a long time, but I guess I should first apologize for my title…#sorryimnotsorry #fml #lol
OK, let’s get the fuck down to business. A few days ago I made some empanadas, using this recipe for guidance. Empanadas are baked/fried pastries filled with whatever-the-hell and found in Latin American, Southern European, and Southeast Asian cuisine. The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread (all of this via Wikipedia. Ermahgerd, Werkerperderer!) I’m surprised the translation specifies wrapping something in bread…does that happen so often that it warrants its own verb?
Oh, I forgot about tacos. And burritos.
Since I’m rapidly progressing in my culinary skills, and also because I couldn’t find any pre-made at the local Kill-Me-Now-Kroger, I made my own empanada dough. I don’t think I did it the authentic way, which I’ve heard involves using lard (I could have finally made use of Cat!), but I did do it the really freaking simple way.
Basically, you mix 3 c flour with a couple pinches of salt, 1 1/2 sticks of cold butter (this one’s for you, Paula Deen), an egg, and 4-5 tbsp. water. I kind of eyeballed everything and mixed it all together with my hands, but I’m guessing a food processor would have been helpful.
I had a couple of friends over to help me cook/eat the food. Stephanie acted as sous chef and took photos. Leanna rolled out the dough with an empty wine bottle (who has a rolling pin?) and, employing the use of her production design skills, grabbed a vase that I had totally forgotten about to cut out small circles.
While she worked with the dough (which, shit, I forgot to mention—you need to chill it for, like, 30 minutes before handling it), I started the empanada filling.
Here’s what you’ll need:
• 1/4 of a large white onion, diced
• 1 c green peas (the original recipe calls for “fresh shelled,” as well as “twice peeled fava beans,” but I’m not a fucking trophy wife with enough time and money to prance around organic markets in 6-inch heels and buy esoteric beans for my personal chef to peel, not once, but twice, so I bought a can of green peas), for Christ’s sake
• 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
• 1 tbsp. chopped thyme (I didn’t have this…)
• 1/2 lb of asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces. We used a whole bunch, so I had leftover filling that I later used for pasta. Genius!
• 2 tbsp. butter
• Salt and pepper
Melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the diced onions and cook for a few minutes, then add in the asparagus and, like, half a can of drained green peas. Or thrice shelled mystical fava beans, if you’re a princess. Add in some herbs, salt and pepper to taste, and then mix in the goat cheese. The filling will become creamy and delicious-smelling.
To assemble, take your little circles of dough, place a spoonful of filling in the center, and then fold the circle in half. Make an egg wash with a whisked egg and some water and brush this around the edges to help seal the pastry. Score around the edge with a fork to finish the packaging process, and brush your egg wash over the tops of each empanada.
If you feel like it, you can also make an empanada-cat. Empanacat. Catpanada.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, or until the tops and edges are golden brown. Naturally, my oven charred some of the edges and left the tops baby-bottom white.
Now for the important part. This sauce is crucial. Like, seriously. It’s a balsamic chimichurri sauce that I found on the same blog—super easy to make, fresh-tasting from the herbiness, and totally something that I want to pour over my face and naked body.
Hmm, scratch the last part.
Here’s all the shit that you need to mix together for the sauce. Try to use it the same day you make it.
• 3 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano (I didn’t have this but used dried instead)
• 2 tbsp. chopped parsley (yes! The parsley I’ve been growing finally came in handy!)
• 4 minced garlic cloves
• 5 tbsp. olive oil
• 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
• 1 tsp. chili powder
• 3 tbsp. finely chopped green onions (or scallions…aren’t they the same thing? Or are scallions those little oniony-looking things?)
Mix all of these things together, and enjoy. We opted to drizzle it over the tops of the empanadas in a very chic way.
The dough was a little dry, so I would recommend looking for a more authentic recipe or simply buying pre-made dough. Enjoy!