Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mexican Empanadas

Salty/Sweet and wrapped in dough. What could possibly be bad?

250g/8oz Flour
1/4 tsp salt
6tbsp lard, diced (I used Trex (Crisco) instead)
4tbsp butter
6-8tbsp iced water
beaten egg for glaze
sesame seeds

for the filling:
1&1/2 tbsp oil
75g/3oz chopped onion
1 garlic clove, crushed
250g/8oz Pork fillet, diced (I used mince)
175g/6oz, firmly packed grated sweet potato
4 juicy prunes, stoned
125ml/4oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1tbsp tomato paste
2tsp chili powder

Heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic till soft. Add pork and cook stirring till it is lightly browned, add in all the other filling ingredients and continue cooking till the excess liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and cool.

Put the flour salt and fats in the food processor, and process till it resembles bread crumbs. Add enough iced water to make a soft dough, shape into a ball and chill for 20-30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll them out to 6 inch rounds. Put one eighth of the filling in each one, dampen the edges and fold over to make half moon shapes. Press the edges and crimp with a fork. Place on a greased sheet, brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 190c/375f for 35-40 minutes

Another from the book "Essential Mexican Cookery", which I found at a car boot sale (yard sale) for about 50 cents. This was the best 50 cents I think I ever spent.

This is very different from the Spanish Empanada that I made some weeks ago. That one was one massive pie, where as these are nice small individual ones (kids love small individual anything). Also this was a much more simple pastry dough, and obviously a very different kind of filling. This one was so super easy to make, and in the end, my husband said he liked it better.

I have to admit, it was totally spot on (though I still love the Spanish one too). The filling had the salty sweet combo that I am so fond of. The pineapple juice and sweet potato were well balanced by the chili powder. It had the nicest kick to it. The sesame seeds too, really good touch, don’t skip them.

These are also a fun group cooking activity. Unfortunately my son was in the throws of a tantrum at the time, so he missed out on helping, but my mom (who is here visiting right now) made some very nice ones!

Super fun, extra good, all around fabulous recipe!!

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