Three Guys From Miami: Cuban and Spanish Food Recipes

Glenn Lindgren: In Spanish, 'empanar' means to bread, or coat with bread crumbs. Empanadas are pastries filled with meat, seafood, cheese, and so on. This dish probably originated in Galicia in Spain. It is a common dish throughout Latin America.

Jorge Castillo: They are extremely popular in Argentina and many of the varieties include hard boiled eggs and raisins!

Raúl Musibay: Empanadas are a popular item for street vendors, because they are easy to eat on the run.

Jorge Castillo: Empanadas come in all sizes, from large "complete meal" versions to small little bocaditos, used as appetizers at parties and family gatherings.

Glenn Lindgren: In Cuba, the empanada was most likely introduced by the Spanish and given an island flavor with a touch of citrus, garlic, onion and pepper.

Jorge Castillo: Many Cuban families make empanadas for special occasions like birthdays, baptisms, holidays -- any occasion that would have a party associated with it.

Raúl Musibay: Seems like everybody in Miami has a different empanada recipe!

Glenn Lindgren: Some are baked and some are fried.

Jorge Castillo: There's also several different types, each a little bit different -- Cuban, Colombian, Argentinean, Nicaraguan...

Raúl Musibay: And the fillings! There are many, many things you can put in an empanada!

Cuban Empanadas


Cuban Empanadas

By Three Guys From Miami



Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 14-18 empanadas

Crisp, flaky wedges of pastry surround a filling of ham, beef, chicken and more!

DOUGH RECIPE 1 (Baked)


INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 large egg beaten lightly with 1/4 t. water (for glaze)

Sift the flour, then sift it again with the salt, baking powder, and sugar, and set aside. In a large bowl, using a hand or electric mixer, mix the cream cheese and butter together until well blended. Add the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

See Cooking Instructions for Dough Recipe 1 BELOW

Makes 12 to 14 empanadas

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons lard
2 tablespoons butter
1 whole egg PLUS 1 egg yolk
1/2 cups cold water
(Plus or minus to bring dough to proper consistency)
Sift the flour with salt, baking powder and sugar. Place half of the flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center. Place the butter, lard, eggs, and water in the well. Mix together by hand to from a paste. Continue to add more flour until all of the flour is added. You may need to add water -- slowly and in small quantities until the dough reaches the right consistency. The dough needs to be soft and pliable, like pie dough. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a clean, damp dish towel, and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.

See Cooking Instructions for Dough Recipe 2 BELOW

Dough Recipe 2 (Fried)
INGREDIENTS:

Filling Instructions for Either Dough Recipe:

Cut dough into circles
Spoon filling into dough

Lightly flour your work surface.

Divide the dough into four pieces (for the baked recipe, keep the pieces you aren't using in the refrigerator until you need them) and use a floured rolling pin to roll out the dough about 1/8 inch thick.

Cut the dough into circles, with a cookie cutter or small bowl.

Crimp edges

(Size the circle according to how large you want your empanadas. We like a 4-inch diameter bowl.)

Put a small quantity of filling in the center of the circle and fold over to make a half circle.

Don't over-fill! Seal the edges with a fork to make a scalloped edge.

You can also make an empanada of any size by taking the "freehand" approach. Just roll out your dough as large as you want it -- but remember it has to fit in the oven or frying pan!
Make a rough circle
Fold dough over
Trim the dough
Cut the dough into a large, rough circle. (Don't worry about making a perfect circle. You will trim the dough in the following steps.) Put some filling in the center of the circle and fold over to make a half circle.
Pull away the excess dough
Crimp the edges

Don't over-fill! Use a pizza wheel to trim away the excess dough and make a nice half-moon shape. Seal the edges of the dough with your fingers to make a scalloped edge.

The Fillings:

Follow the Links Below for Recipes

Empanada Recipes:

Empanadas de Camarones -- Shrimp Empanadas

Empanadas de Cangrejo -- Crab Empanadas

Empanadas de Carne Asada -- Beef Empanadas

Empanadas de Carne y Cebolla -- Meat and Onion Empanadas

Empanadas de Espinaca -- Spinach Empanadas

Empanadas de Guayaba y Queso -- Guava and Cheese Empanadas

Empanadas de Jamón o Chorizo -- Ham or Sausage Empanadas

Empanadas de Pollo -- Chicken Empanadas

Empanadas de Pollo y Queso -- Chicken & Cheese Empanadas

Preheat the oven to 350º

Place the pastries on a lightly greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart, brush with the egg wash, and bake until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. They can be made ahead of time, refrigerated, and reheated in a 350º oven for 4 to 6 minutes.

Cooking Instructions for Dough Recipe 1

Heat oil in a frypan to 350º F. (Or you can use a deep fat fryer.)

Fry the empanadas in the oil, turning occasionally until brown on all sides.

Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

Cooking Instructions for Dough Recipe 2

This recipe and editorial content from: "Three Guys From Miami Cook Cuban" Copyright ©2004 All Rights Reserved.

No copying or commercial duplication of any content (including photos) without the express written permission of the authors and proper attribution.

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