June 07, 2008

Empanadas! Who Would Have Thought...

Rebecca of From Argentina with Love has started an Empanada of the Month event and since it’s been quite a while since I featured an empanada recipe here, I figured it was time, (especially considering my two year blogiversary is fast approaching). I really should have made a proper mango salsa to accompany the empanadas but quite honestly I was lazy and just sliced some fresh mango and ate it along with the empanadas dipped in sweet chili sauce, (to which I am hopelessly addicted). Besides, I went through the trouble of making my own dough, (which was really no trouble at all) and I think that should count for something, I can’t do everything all the time.

Now is probably a good time to explain how my blog came to be named Jumbo Empanadas since it’s been a while since I’ve done that too. It’s not because I’m an empanada expert or have an undying love of empanadas, (although they are admittedly quite tasty) or because I’m sponsored by the North American Coalition for the Empowerment of Empanadas. No, the reason is much simpler. One day I was having lunch with my friend Len, (move back to Toronto Len, I miss you!) and we were eating empanadas and talking about future plans, (or lack thereof) when I brought up the subject of the Julie/Julia Project and told him how Julie Powell had started out blogging her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking and ended up with a book deal. In typical Len fashion he said that was nothing and that I could do it too. I jokingly replied that I should call my blog Jumbo Empanadas in honour of our lunch and not too long afterwards when I actually did start a blog that was the only name I could think of. I have since developed a love of empanadas, but that wasn’t the reason for the name from the get-go.

I’ll leave you with a question for bloggers- how did you get your blogname? I’d love to hear some stories.

Receta por Empanadas Medocinas de la familia Oliva-Quiroz

(Mendocino Empanadas from the Oliva-Quiroz family via Argentina with Love)

For the filling:

2 lbs. ground beef

1 cup shortening or lard (you can add less or omit this if necessary)

2 lbs. onion

3 Tablespoons smoked paprika

4 teaspoons cumin

green olives, pitted and cut into slices, as many as is necessary

3 hard-boiled eggs, cut into rounds

salt and pepper to taste

crushed red pepper, to taste

For the construction: A glass of water 1 egg, beaten flour for the pan. The meat can be made a day in advance. Put the onions, sliced finely in rounds, in a frying pan and salt them. Add the ground beef and cook, then add salt and pepper to taste. Next add the lard and mix well, so that it's incorporated-the lard, the meat and the onion together. when it's all cooked, add the crushed red pepper (to taste) and the cumin and mix well. When the mix is ready, let cool and add the paprika and stir well.

The assembly: Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the tapas, (dough circles) on a flat surface, lightly floured. With a tablespoon, put a little of the meat filling in the center of the dough round. Add a slice of the olive and a piece of the hard boiled egg.

Then moisten the edge on the top half of the round with a little water on your finger. Fold the bottom half of the dough up until the edges meet and seal with your fingers by pressing down. The empanada should have a half-moon shape.

Use the palms of the hands to pack the filling firmly in the center. Next, fold the edges with the Repulgue: using your fingertip, fold one corner of the empanada over, pressing down firmly. Go to the edge again and repeat, pressing firmly each time. Go around the edge of the empanada and you'll get a spiral pattern.

Beat an egg in a shallow dish and paint the top of each sealed empanada so that when they bake, they have a shiny, golden shell. Spread flour lightly over several cookie sheets, and place the finished empanadas on top. Put the empanadas in to bake for 12 to 15 minutes-they should be sizzling and very golden brown on top. Take out and eat very carefully while hot!

***Empanada Dough recipe can be found at Laylita’s Recipes.

I didn’t change much in the recipe, but I omitted the lard and halved the rest of it because there was just me eating them. For a full photo demo of how to properly fold and crimp the empanadas, (which I didn’t do correctly) visit Rebecca’s blog. Also, empanadas are especially nice when accompanied with salsas and I vow to make one next time.

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LyB said...

I've never eaten an empanada in my life, but I'm bookmarking this recipe for sure, I want to try this! I think your blog name story is so cool and as for my blog name, And Then I Do The Dishes, well, I think it's self explanatory. ;)

Susan @ SGCC said...

I enjoy eating empanadas more than making them I've tried it twice and both times- they were blech!

I was going to call my blog Ciao Thymes. As I was setting it up on Blogger, I was watching a show on the Food Network and they were making the most fabulous cinnamon rolls. The words, sticky, gooey, creamy, chewy just came to me and the next thing I knew I had typed them in my Blogger profile.

KJ said...

Your empanadas look great. I've only tried empanadas twice, once from a Cuban stall and once from a Chilean stall at a local food festival. They were simply sensational!!! I have tried making them myself, with no luck whatsover. Sadly, mine were just awful.

As for my blog name - A Cracking Good Egg, it's the first thing that popped into my head. It's a combination of 'a cracking good read' and describing someone as 'a good egg'.

Manggy said...

Yum! Empanadas from Brilynn, yay! :D I thought at first glance it would be a fruit pie, like peach-mango or something :)

My blog name "No Special Effects" refers to me: how I don't set out to impress other people, but just try to be my best self :)

Anonymous said...

LOL...so that's how this blog gets this very unusual and fun name!
My blog name (One Hot Stove) came from my New York City kitchen where I started the blog. It had only one working burner on the stove, and the kitchen being tiny (it was carved out of a closet), it would get real hot in there!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I've recently discovered a great product from Goya, in the freezer section of supermarkets that carry a lot of products for the Latino community. They are small (maybe 4-inch?) rounds of dough, all ready for empanada filling.

I named my blog after the title of a class I used to teach -- the notion of The Perfect Pantry is that your pantry should be perfect for you, and if it is, you can simply add some fresh produce and come up with a great meal. When I decided to start blogging (almost two years ago, same as you), I thought it would be fun to learn more about what really is in my pantry. And what's there, but doesn't need to be.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! I just made a strawberry rhubarb empanada for the Cook Think recipe contest! I love, love, love empanadas (grew up on them), so I am always thinking of new fillings for them. I will definitely make these!

Anonymous said...

there's some irony in your post. when i lived in DC, i used to eat lunch all the time at the best empanada spot in the city. and it was called Julia's Empanada's! I miss that place. She had all kinds of 'panadas. Can't really find them here in GA.

i got my name from a short brainstorming session with my fab graphic designer. I love flan, something my mom used to make like every 3 months. It was so good, but so small, she used to have to ration it all 6 of us. And then I wanted the blog to kind of be outside the box, ergo FlaNboyant... a word play of both! ha.

wheresmymind said...

I based my blog name after the graphic novel/movie "V for Vendetta" (C for Cooking)

jasmine said...

Mine is far too utilitarian to mention. A few years ago I was asked to write a column for an ezine. Once it was to centre on demystifying spices and food, I decided on putting cardamom in the title. I'd also heard somewhere that words like "Diary of" or "Secrets of" caught people's eyes...so "Confessions of" was added (for alliteration) and then I decided "Addict" would be good as those who had no clue what cardamom was would probably be shocked to find someone writing about spices. The column lasted a while and then I ditched it to start the blog. Decided to keep the title...


Anonymous said...

oh, the mysterious name has been solved now! I was always curious about yours :) mine is from a fiona apple song. I used to have a big obsession with fiona and would listen to her as I baked in my lonely apartment all by myself, and this song, Slow Like Honey, was my favorite. It still is.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Lovely empanadas, so good to eat. Never made one and should.
20 years ago when my boys were getting ready to fly the nest i started putting together some recipes for them. Thought it should have something about the recipe like where we had it or what happened. Just a little history with the recipe, like a half cup. When the recipes were together and into a book, it needed a name. It seemed right.

Chibog in Chief said...

i love empanada but always do it with chicken, i'll probably try this recipe of yours :-)

dhangit's kitchen...dhanggit is actually my pet name made by my friends. dhanggit is actually a dried fish popular in southern islands of philippines..all my friends knew that i don't eat fish so to tease me they call me this :-) this blogname story is such a great idea

Anonymous said...

Nice empanadas! I love them but haven't quite gotten the dough to taste the way I think it should yet.

Redacted Recipes is named after a food column I did for a very short-lived online magazine.

Fruit tart said...

Yum! Every thing's better with mango!

Fruit Tart, with "Crisp crust, soft in the middle, and fruity on top . . ." as the secondary heading, originally was a general blog that I revamped to be all food a little more than a year ago. I make a lot of fruit tarts for social events but the secondary description sounded like me and my ideas -- sometimes people think I'm a little crisp on the edges, but I'm soft in the middle, and sometimes a little silly ;-)

Elle said...

I love empanadas, and these sound delicious!

My blog name--self explanatory, I suppose. My kitchen, in New England...Elle's New England Kitchen.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I absolutely loved knowing how your food blog's name came out. your friend is a good friend and I'm glad he convinced you to start blogging, my dear!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I've never tried an empanada. One of these days you'll convince me to, as your look quite toothsome.

I like the story of how your blog was named. Mine is pretty obvious, I think. Especially to those who know me.

Anonymous said...

My blog name was suggested by my husband: Frutto della Passione, because cooking is a passion with me and both the things I make and my blog are a result of that passion, plus I live in Italy sooo... Frutto della Passione!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great write up and for participating!! Those empanadas look fantastic! Glad to know where the name of your blog came from! ;)

My blog name...we were trying to think of catchy names because we knew the blog would be all about Argentina--and what could we call a blog that would convey the beauty and passion and taste and sights of such an amazing place? I think we imagined the blog being like old-fashioned love letters sent from very far away describing all the wonderful and amazing experiences we've had there.

Deborah said...

What a fun post! I just read through the comments and found it all very interesting!

My blog name is actually the second I chose. It was originally "Working Woman Food" because I was going to feature food that could be made by someone who works full time and rushes home to make dinner. But after about 2 days, I kept thinking that "working woman" sounded like something scandalous - I'm not selling myself for food!! Taste and Tell popped into my head, and it stuck!

Anonymous said...

Yum! Yum! Yum!


Anonymous said...

I do enjoy hearing how people come up with their blog names. Initially I made a long, loooonng list of possibilities, then did a Google search on each. Nearly all of them were already taken - either a website or a blog. But tasting spoons was still available
(tastingspoons.com). I have this very large stack of sterling silver spoons (very old, very dented, but still quite functional) that I use all the time for tasting as I'm cooking. So, the name is partly a tribute to my mother-in-law (now deceased) who gave me all the very pretty spoons. I use them every single day.

Anonymous said...

Wow, your empanadas look fab! And giggle about the origin of your blog's name! Mine is pretty much obvious....I'm an American girl living in the Canary Islands. :)

Anonymous said...

Well gee. I know I'm late on this and all, but if Bryllin asks, Brillyn gets.

I have never made an empanada in my life. As a matter of fact, I've only eaten two. I suppose I should rectify that at some point, but the recipe looks great!

As for the name of my blog... It's just the way I cook. Walk in, find something and see if everything else smells like it should go with it. Generally speaking, it works pretty well!

And in case I miss it, happy bloggiversary!