Thursday, April 10, 2008


So I am ready to give you all more.
Hate me because I am beautiful but do not hate me because I had to take a vacation, short but boy was it good!
But I am back sort of in the groove of things.
I am ready to face the world again!
Went to Puerto Rico as a tourist rather than as a "resident" and guess what: I had a blast!
I discovered a lot about my food culture again.
Coconut Cachapas with Bacalao (Cod)
Bacalaitos(Cod fritters)
We fry a lot of stuff, one such treats are the now popular Empanadas.
Yes we make them out of everything and anything you can imagine from Pizza to Dessert. Nonetheless we tend to stuff them with something rateher savory.
Here is my own version of them.

Empanandas de Piquito

Buy at the store "Plantillas"
(Ready made turnover dough sheets available frozen in any supermarket with a latin food section, you may try substituting them with Wonton Sheets or any such sheet of dough that is thin, wheat and not self rising)

Not available? Well make your own it may be more fun, though I can not guarantee the results!

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 Stick of Vegetable shortening or butter
1/3 cup of room temperature water
teaspoon of oil.

Make the Dough dry and plastic, play with the water but retain the oil/butter ratio
roll flat on a flour dusted flat surface and wort to a desired thickness with a roller. Cut in circles with a large cookie cutter pattern.
Keep them dusted on both sides.


Cut bell peppers red and green in small cubes very small.
Cut onions in small pieces
Chop one clove garlic
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup Apple Vinegar
One ripe Banana
1/8 cup of chopped walnuts and chopped parsley Mixture.
Minced(Ground Beef) or Dry Shredded Beef (Ropa Vieja)
In a large pan fry in olive oil all the vegetables until soft.
Add salt to taste
Strain remaining oil from vegetables on a paper towel
Use the same pan to cook the Minced Beef keep loose by constantly straining extra liquid and cutting lumps with the spatula.
Mix all the vegetables and meat stirring to keep mix loose, add Vinegar, Walnuts, parsley and the banana keep stirring.
Set aside leave in the refrigerator for one hour to marinade.

Fill the Empanadas as follow:

Lay the dough sheets flat on a waxed paper
Spoon (Table spoon no more) the filler in the center.
Fold the circle in two matching all the edges
With a fork gently press the edges together to seal the filler.
Pressing too hard will break the edges and prevent them form sealing the contents.
Pass a wet finger on the edge and keep on the waxed paper until ready to fry.
You may freeze them at this stage for later use.
Deep fry them or use a large pan to fry each side carefully turning them over after about one minute in the hot oil if fresh or two minutes if frozen.

Ideally they should blister and turn golden yellow.

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