Micah: Unmitigated


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Posts Tagged ‘empanadas’

Someone’s in the Kitchen

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

My love for Empanadas has been well documented. Though I ate many in South America, I never did learned a recipe, but I do consider myself an expert on what style is the best. I had an opportunity to make some the other day and photographed the event, thus the following is a rough version of my recipe.


There are a couple different parts – The Filling, The Condiments, and The Dough – so I will do each separately and quickly. I must admit though, that I don’t remember exact measurements or even ingredients, so this may annoy some people. Also, I made way too much filling so please take it down a notch if you try this at home.

Filling #1: Beef, Potato, Onion, Egg, and Hogoa sauce

3 lb – Beef Bottom Round Roast (or any type you like)*

6 – regular size Potatoes

1 – White Onion

4 – Eggs

1 – Oven

– Water, Beef Bouillon, Butter, Hot Sauce, Salt-N-Pepper

*One alternative (easier) method, would be to use Ground Beef instead and do it all in a frying pan. You could also just cook the roast however you want. The whole goal is to get everything cooked, diced, and mixed together. But here is my method.

Step 1: Heat Oven to 375, throw some butter into warm roasting pan, place Meat in pan, brown meat on sides while chopping veggies, Dice Potato and Onion (very small) and put into pan, add water and a couple Bouillon cubes, sprinkle some seasonings and hot sauce on top, After 30 minutes – reduce heat to 300 and let Bake for another hour.

Step 2: When Potatoes are cooked, remove them and onions to large bowl and check meat doneness. Put meat back in if necessary, otherwise you can let your meat cool before finely dicing – then to the bowl with it. Save the remaining broth.

Step 3: Hard-boil the Eggs, let cool, remove shell, do the “sign of the cross” to show remorse for killing an unborn chicken, dice’m, then into bowl.

-Now you make the “Hogoa” sauce to mix with filling.

2 – large Tomatoes

1/2 – Red Onion

1 or 2 – cloves of Garlic

1 РJalape̱o

– Cilantro, Olive Oil, Cumin, Cilantro, some Beef broth from your roast

Step 1: Heat oil in saucepan, finely chop everything, add all to pot, stir and let cook for a few minutes.

*You don’t want the filling to be too dry, so add as much broth as necessary to increase the volume of your Hogoa.

Step 2. Add sauce to filling bowl and mix together.

Filling #1 is now done and can be set aside or in fridge until packing time.

just a little too much liquid

just a little too much liquid

Filling #2: Chicken, Rice, and Tomatillo sauce

6 – boneless Chicken breasts

2 – cups of uncooked Rice

1 – Grill

– Hot sauce, Chicken Bouillon, and Butter

Step 1: Marinate chicken in some hot sauce for a few minutes before throwing on grill.

Step 2: Cook until desired doneness. Chop into small pieces and place into large bowl.

Step 3: Use bouillon to make 4 cups of Chicken broth, add butter, Cook the rice in the broth until all liquid is absorbed.

Step 4: Combine all in large bowl and mix.

— Now the Tomatillo sauce (I made way too little of the sauce but here is what I did)

2 – Tomatillos

2 РJalape̱os

1 – clove of Garlic

1 cup – Chicken broth

1 – Food Processor

– Cumin, and ??

Step 1: Place Tomatillos, Jalapeños, and Garlic into a thing that processes food. Grind them down to a liquid.

Step 2: Pour processed food into a saucepan and add Broth – Cumin – and any other spices you like. Heat through.

Step 3: Pour sauce over Chicken & Rice. Stir. Set aside.

Filling #2 = complete.

pre-tomatillo sauce

pre-tomatillo sauce

Condiment #1: Pico de Gallo

Everybody has a version of this and I encourage you to search the web and find one that’s right for you. But here is quickly what I did, though it might not be accurate. The dishes all tend to run together in my memory.

3 – Tomatoes

1/2 – Red Onion

1 РJalape̱o

1 – clove Garlic

2 – Limes

– Hot sauce

Step: I pureed everything (the zest of 1 lime and the juice of both) in the Processor so that it could be easily spooned into an Empanada. Turned out ok, probably too much lime and could have used some more heat. Set aside.

Condiment #2: Spicy Mayo

I love Mayonnaise and the wide variety of mayo based toppings is one reason I loved eating Empanadas in South America. Theirs mostly had a greenish tint so this recipe will not recapture that glory.

1 – Squeeze bottle of real Mayonnaise

– Hot Sauce, Garlic, Chili powder, Lemon juice

Step: Add all to food processor and mix well. Using a funnel – put mixture back into squeeze bottle.

The Dough: Corn Meal Style

I don’t have much experience with dough, so this was adjusted on the fly.

2.5 Cups – Corn Meal

2.5 Cups – regular Flour

1 – large stand mixer, rolling pin, spatula, large wooden board

3 cups – Chicken broth (or 3 bouillon cubes + water)

1 Tbls – Brown sugar

Step 1: Combine 2 cups of Corn meal + 2 cups of Flour, into your mixer bowl. Heat broth to a boil- add brown sugar.

Step 2: Slowly add broth to dry stuff, while the mixing mechanism is turning. It takes about a minute for the machine to work it’s magic. (Combine the remaining Corn meal and flour for future dusting of the dough.)

Step 3: At this point, I just dump the mound onto a dusted cutting board, and use my hands to work in more dry stuff – if needed. (The stuff must be dry enough to roll out and not stick.)

Step 4: Grab a small handful, form a ball, flatten with roller (constantly dusting where sticky), They don’t need to be perfect circles.

Step 5: Spoon a small amount – of the filling of your choice – into the middle of the rolled-out dough. Fold one side over the other and press edges together. Dust it a little more on each side. Then, move to a plate for the upcoming deep-fry. (These amounts make about 20 Empanadas – the size of a small taco)



The Fry:

Heat lots of oil in a pot and deep-fry ’em. It is best if they can be fully submerged. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes – or until golden brown.

Let them cool a little as inner contents may burn your mouth. Enjoy them with your condiments and eat with your hands.

Completed Emps

Completed Emps

Results: Good. They had that corn-meal flavor – which I will argue is the best way to go. Though, I will tinker with other varieties of corn flour products in future preparations. The Mayo topping was great and really complements the meal for me. Being my first time, the whole process took too long, but once you have the large batch of filling, it become fairly easy to mix up some dough, fold ’em, and fry ’em.

Go West

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Coming to you live from Guayaquil: This is not the prettiest of big cities, but it satisfies a few of my current needs. The street market is loaded with cheap electronics and the food market is loaded with cheap fish. It feels good to be back near sea level and to wear shorts again. Plus, empanadas are so abundant, they can be used as a form of currency.

Getting here was a long 7 hours of bus trips through rain and fog. It was fun to watch the scenery change to tropical, with flat land and large banana plantations. At one point, the driver blasted an unedited version of Eminem’s song “Without Me” for all ears to hear. I like to think that since it is in a foreign language, to them it sounds beautiful, like opera to us. Maybe some Ecuadorians think he is holding back tears while talking about love and women, and how his heart feels everytime his wife touches his hand. Or, is all of the opera I have listened actually vulgar and obscene. I vote for us all just listening in ignorant bliss.

Being Ecuadors largest city, the bus station here is enormous. In an attempt to get a cheap ride to the city center, I observed the 100+ route city bus system for about 30 minutes, but was unable to crack the code. With the sun setting, I opted for a $4 cab ride to a known hotel but walked to a cheaper hostal a block away.

The main drawback of this city is the cost of accommodations. My first night was $10 for a decent room. Walking the streets later, I saw a sign adverstising $6 rooms and decided to make the switch the next morning. Upon my arrival, they informed me that the cheapest room was $11 and that the sign was incorrect. So, I wandered the downtown streets some more and settled for another $10 place. It is not as nice as the first, but they might be doing my laundry for free. I was directed up, past the unfinished 3rd and 4th floors currently used to contain dogs, to a sink with a scrub brush. With the going rate only about $3 a load, I figured I would just take it to a shop, but the owner said that she found someone who would do it for me, and I handed my bag to a young lady.

Monday: After all of the the hostal switching fun, I hit the market for a delightful lunch. First, a bowl of some fish soup that was nice and thick. Then, a plate of rice with shrimp ceviche and a cup of juice. All fresh, tasty, and only $1.50.

Satisfied, I strolled the Bahia Street Market to hunt for bargains. Purchased some rechargeable batteries and got numerous wide ranging quotes for an 8gb USB storage device. I had one guy down to $21, but he was unable to locate the desired product in his storeroom. So, I went through again today, ready to haggle, and I think came away better off. I picked up a 16GB Kingston for $24, and so far it appears to work.  Hopefully, I am now done with all necessary electronics purchases.

The cleanest part of the city is their “Malecon 2000”, a long riverfront promenade. There are many shops and restaurants, but mostly just a nice boardwalk passing by a small zoo and a natural history museum. I followed it the whole length and climbed the stairs through the  historic neighborhoods on the hill. At the top, a tourist lighthouse with good views of the city and river.

view through the rain

view through the rain

Even strolling the dirty areas of the city, I kind of like this place. I like it when local action is going on all around me and for the most part, I am left alone. I like that they have a city park filled with free roaming large Iguanas and a turtle pond.



I think it is cool that for protection in the park, they just have 2 rangers armed with what look like tranquilizer shotguns. I enjoyed hanging out at the local empanada stands along their main commerce thoroughfare. A group of university students chatted me up in English, the best they could, with one girl calling the stand owner mom, while the owner called the girl crazy.

Today: Another market lunch, watched the Iguanas explore the park space some more, and made my daring though possibly stupid purchase.

Tonight: More empanadas and, now that I got my long pants back from the laundry, possibly some casino fun.

Tomorrow: Heading farther west, I hear life is peaceful there in the open air.  Though I feel like I haven’t been doing all that much over the past week, I think the beach will be good for me. No commitment yet on the Spanish school, I want to check out the city first and didn’t feel right about making a down payment online. Also, just found out that one of my favorite bands, “James”, will be doing their once a decade stop in Portland this October. That will be tough to miss. Animo a todos a ir a verlos.

E = 64