|Whole Foods didn't have ham with pineapple,|
so enjoy a picture of ham with cranberries instead.
What amused me most while searching for the history of ham as an Easter food? Coming across this story about George and Martha Washington and how they were famous for their hams.
National Empanada Day
This almost became a "Oh, no, I failed!" day. I looked up a bunch of empanada recipes and picked a dough recipe. I messed up that batch of dough and almost gave up. My roommate came to the rescue with an empanada recipe dating back to her high school days. I used the dough portion of her recipe, but made my own filling.
Empanada Dough Recipe
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
0.25 tsp salt
0.25 cup shortening
0.25 cup milk
Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles crumbled cornmeal. Beat egg with milk and add to flour mixture. Stir until combined, using hands if necessary. Form dough into a ball, cover and chill in fridge for an hour. Roll dough out onto lightly floured surface until about 0.25 inch thick. Cut into rounds (I was able to make 10 using a 4.5 inch diameter bowl as a guide) and use immediately for empanadas. When empanadas are filled with filling of your choice and sealed (see the rest of this post) brush with an egg wash (one egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water), bake on a cookie sheet in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until a light golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.
|Everything cooled and waiting|
to be put into an empanada.
Now, the important thing about empanadas? Repulgue, the technique for giving empanadas that nice edge. There are many different repulgue techniques and some restaurants use different techniques to help identify what filling is inside the empanada. You can just use a fork to get a pretty seal. I tried the most common one which is similar to the braiding technique used on pizzas. I didn't quite get it down this time, but I improved as I went along. (You can easily tell which ones were the first empanadas I sealed.) This YouTube video, while out of focus for some shots, gives you a good idea of the typical repulgue method.
There are so many different types of empanadas, you're sure to find one you'd like to try. Empanadas can be sweet (using fruits as a filling) or savory (meats as a filling.) Empanadas Mendocinas seem like an intriguing flavor combination - ground beef, green olives, and hard boiled egg? Definitely not a flavor combination I would have thought of.