Cooking instruction and fun in the kitchen continues. Cedo makes great empanadas! Last week she came over and taught me how she does it.
It starts with chicken and corn. Cook two chicken breasts and grind about 20 ears of corn.
Cook the chicken with onion, garlic, Maggi builion, culantro, and a package of tomato sauce
Maiz nuevo – it can be found in most of the little produce markets, but I have found the best deal is to buy it from someone selling it out of their truck. There always seem to be a few trucks by the side of the road the goes north just west of the old McDonalds.
Clean off the silk and cut the corn off the cobs
Run the corn through the grinder
It must be totally ground with none of these bits of solid corn left, or the bits will cause holes in the empanadas when they are formed and cooked.
Next step is to prepare the filling
Finely dice the potato, some onion, and some green pepper (or other colors if you have them for looks)
Saute the veggies until they are soft
Add the shredded chicken meat
Strain the cooking liquid from the chicken.
Add the liquid to the mixture and cook down until there is little liquid left.
You can add a handful of raisins if you like. I like a bit of sweetness that they add.
Now, it is time to prepare the shells and fill them. For me, this was the hardest part. I was always tearing something and repairing holes.
Knead the corn until it is very smooth, adding a bit of water if needed to make it soft enough.
Take a ball of dough and pat it into a flat circle
Pinch the edges until they make a slight bowl shape. Cedo could do a half dozen of them in the time it took me to do one!
Put in a spoonful of filling, and fold it together to form a pocket.
Pinch the edges together and then use a finger to make the scalloped edge. It took me a while to get the hang of this too. I suppose you could do anything you like with the edges as long as the pocket is totally closed.
Empanadas ready for frying
Now, they are ready for frying! Keep them covered with a towel so they don’t dry out while they are waiting to go in the oil.
Fry them in enough oil so they can float freely, and don’t crowd them in the pot. She tested the oil by dipping in an end of an empanada and if it sizzled, the oil was hot enough.
Fry until golden, drain on paper towels, and they are ready!
- two chicken breasts (can be made with other meat if you prefer), cooked with the following, and then de-bone and shred the meat.
- couple leaves of culantro
- half an onion, sliced
- couple cloves of garlic, sliced or smashed
- couple cubes of Maggi bullion
- half a green pepper, sliced
- packet of tomato sauce
- 20 ears of corn, cut off cobs and finely ground
- For the filling – one cooked potato
- 1/4 diced onion
- 1/2 diced green pepper
- handful of raisins (optional)
- vegetable oil for frying
As with any recipe, you can change things to suit your own tastes. These are a fair amount of work and I tend to avoid fried foods, but for an occasional treat these are really good!
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