By Web Master, 4-15-12
There are almost as many different versions of savory stuffed pastries as there are cultures around the world. Eastern Europe has the pierogi, the Irish have the pasti, in India they make samosas and in Spain and Latin America empanadas are very popular as street food and in tapas bars for a delicious late night snack. As part of our most recent Spanish dinner at the Culinary Design Studio we made this version of empanadas, filled with spicy chorizo and sweet corn and garnished with organic baby arugula for an amazing start to our meal.
To get started you will need to gather together the following ingredients ...
For the pastry:
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2-3/4 cup cold water (this will vary depending on the freshness of your flour and the humidity in your kitchen)
For the filling:
1 pound fresh chorizo, casing removed
4 oz. sweet corn kernels
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 pasilla pepper, minced
1/2 russet potato, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. ground cumin
1 T. chili powder
Salt and pepper
1 egg yolk + 2 T. water, for egg wash
The pastry needs time to rest so we will start by making it first. To do this, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse two or three times. Next, start adding the oil, pulsing as you go until the mixture starts to come together. Then slowly start adding the oil, pulsing as you go, until it becomes moist and holds together when pinched between your fingers. Remove the dough from the food processor and knead a few times to create a large ball and place it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap and let it rest for one hour at room temperature.
While the pastry rests we will make the filling. In a large skillet or nonstick sauté pan, heat a little olive oil over medium/high heat and add the chorizo. Cook the chorizo for 10 minutes, then add the onion, peppers, garlic, corn and potatoes and cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the filling to a mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to cool. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Now back to the pastry. Lightly flour your working surface and turn your dough out onto it. Divide the dough into 16 to 20 equal-sized pieces depending on how large you want them to be. Combine the egg and water with a pastry brush to make your egg wash.
Take your filling out of the cooler. Working one at a time, with a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a circle about an 18th of an inch thick. Lightly egg wash the top edge of the dough. Place two T. of the filling in the center and fold the bottom half over the top to make a half circle. Crimp around the edges to seal them and place the completed empanada on a baking sheet. Repeat this process until you have used all of your dough. Lightly egg wash the top of the empanadas and bake until golden brown, 25-35 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature, with some sour cream and salsa ... Enjoy!
Joshua Auerhammer is chef/owner of Culinary Design Studio in Bigfork.
[End of article]