Kulinarya’s theme for the month of March 2010 is EMPANADA.
This Spanish influenced dish is always a favourite in parties and as a snack. Filipino Empanada can be sweet or savoury and usually fried as most Filipinos doesn’t have an oven at home. I tried to be daring during the week and attempted the Ilocano Empanada, twice…. both were miserable failures and went straight to the bin. One thing I’ve learned, no recipes in the web works and if you don’t have the right ingredients for the filling, forget about it. Wait till you can go back to the Philippines and eat all the Ilocano Empanadas you want. For those who are not aware of Ilocano Empanadas, they are deep fried big crispy orange empanadas, filled with mung (monggo) beansprout, shredded unripe papaya/pawpaw, Ilocano longganisa and whole egg, served with Ilocano native vinegar…..just thinking about it makes me drool!
My plan B was this Pork Empanada Recipe, with buttery pastry and savoury/sweet filling, what more could you want….so sinful, I tell you!
Filipino Fried Pork Empanada
2 tbspn cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, diced (optional)
1 large onion, diced
1/2 kg pork mince
1/8 cup tomato sauce
1 knorr pork cube
1/4 tspn salt/pinch of pepper
1/4 cup sultanas or raisins
1/2 cup frozen peas (thawed)
2 medium potatoes, diced
1/8 cup water
1 1/2 tspn sugar
3 cups plain flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn table salt
250g butter, cubed
1/4 cup cold water
*oil for deep frying
*used U.S Measuring Cups & Spoons
1. Sauté garlic and onion, then add diced tomato, cook till it’s soft. Add in pork mince, pork cube, tomato sauce and salt/pepper, keep stirring the mixture to break up the clumps and once the mince is partly cooked, add the potatoes and water, cook for 5 minutes in medium heat. Stir the mixture often while you are cooking it.
2. Combine the diced carrots and raisins, cook for a further 10 minutes. In the last 2 minutes, stir in the peas and sugar. The filling mixture should have hardly any liquid. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Let it cool down before using the filling.
3. Combine all the pastry dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add in the cubes of butter.
4. Rub in the cubes of butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
5. Add in the egg and water to the buttered ingredients and knead till you have a smooth dough ball. Texture wise, it should feel like a smooth play dough.
6. Line a large chopping board with a sheet of baking paper, dust it with spare plain flour. To avoid the dough sticking to your hands, dip your hands into some plain flour. Grab approximately 1/4 cup size dough and place in on the baking paper, flatten with a rolling pin until you have 0.5 cm thickness.
7. Place 1/8 cup of filling on the upper side of the pastry.
8. Fold the lower side of the pastry over the filling and make sure you firmly pressed the dough that surrounds the edge of your encased filling. Trim the excess, leave a 1.5cm round edge to fold.
9. With floured hands, crimp the round edge, slightly flatten the dough edge before folding each turn. Once you have reached the end, tuck the last fold on the back, you can dab a bit of water to make it stick nicely.
10. Place the uncooked empanadas in a floured flat tray.
11. Repeat steps 6 to 9 till you have finished your dough.
12. Heat cooking oil in a medium saucepan and fry the empanadas, 3 pieces at a time at medium-high. Make sure you keep on flipping the empanadas so that they will not get burned. Be gentle on handling the empanadas as the pastry is very delicate.
13. Drain the cooked empanadas in a large bowl lined with kitchen paper towels.
BUSOG! SARAP! TIPS:
- You can add chopped boiled eggs in your cooked filling.
- I refrigerate my filling overnight before I make my empanadas as I find it less messy when I fill up my flatten dough.
- If you have any excess filling without the boiled egg, you can freeze it and use it again when you feel you want to cook some more empanadas.
- You can buy Knorr pork cubes in any Filipino Stores.