Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Curried Pork Empanadas

Curried Pork Empanadas

This is one fantastic recipe that I came across. I found it at Simply Recipes and have made it several times since. You can make these for dinner, to freeze, for parties, etc... The recipe also allows you to be creative with whatever you want to fill the Empanada with.  The Pastry recipe is incredible and very versatile. 

Pastry Ingredients 
8 ounces cream cheese (do not use light), room temperature
4 ounces (1 sticks, 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1.5-2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten, for pastry egg wash
Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and  salt, until well blended. Slowly add in the flour, mixing until incorporated. Form two balls (it will be easier to work with 2 separate pieces of dough), then flatten each into a disk. Dust with flour, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Filling Ingredients
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 Tbsp sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins, chopped
While dough is chilling, heat a large frying pan on medium high/high heat. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon or so of salt on the bottom of the pan and add the pork. Once the pork is nicely browned, reduce the heat on the pan to medium, and remove the pork to a bowl.

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to the pan. Then add the chopped onion. Let onions gently cook on medium heat for a few minutes until translucent. Add the minced garlic. Cook until fragrant.  Add the curry powder, ground coriander, and cardamom to the pan. Mix the spices in with the onion mix. Add the ground pork back to the pan, mixing in the seasoned onion mix. Add the raisins. Add the sherry, soy sauce, sugar, and corn starch, mixing well.  Remove from heat, and chill until time to stuff the pastries.

Stuffing the Pastries:
Preheat oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured, smooth, clean surface, roll out one of the dough rounds to a thin 1/8-inch thickness. (If refrigerated for more than an hour, you may need to let it sit for 10 minutes to soften it enough to roll it out more easily.) Use a wide-mouthed jar (about 3 inches wide) to cut out rounds. Place them on a baking sheet.

During this and the next step, if the dough becomes too soft and therefore difficult to work with, put whatever you are working on in the refrigerator to chill for 5 or 10 minutes.

Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the inside edge of the rounds with egg wash (to help the empanadas seal). Place a teaspoon of meat inside each round. Fold the round over to and press the edges to seal shut. Use the tines of a fork to flute the edges. Place standing upright on a baking sheet, spaced an inch apart. (You can also lie them down, but with them upright, you'll fit more on a pan.) Use a pastry brush to brush the sides (not the bottom) of the empanadas with more egg wash.

Working in batches, cook in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Makes 3 dozen empanada turnovers.

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