Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Traditional Guam Empanadas

Meat pies in w/ a blush

Biting into one of these empanadas is a surprising treat.  The Mixed Stew has enjoyed these since childhood and we hope you’ll enjoy them, too.

What you will need:

1 long wooden spoon
1 pair of tongs
1 cutting board
1 metal baking pan with wire rack
1 cast-iron skillet
1 large stock pot w/ lid
1 large baking sheet
Wax paper
1 rolling pin
1 metal fork
2 packs Goya brand discs for empanada (10 per pack) Select the red colored ones.
Meat of 6 chicken drumsticks, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped small
3 tablespoons cooking oil (for filling)
2 ½ cups canola oil (for frying empanadas)
2 cups chicken broth
2 ½ cups water
3 garlic toes, minced
1 to 3 jalapenos, chopped
1 tablespoon achiote/ annatto powder
1 cup corn meal
¾ cup cream of rice
Salt to taste

Cooking and Directions:

Meat filling

Heat stock pot at medium-high heat.  Add oil, onion, jalapenos, and garlic. Stir well.  Let ingredients sautee until onion turns translucent.  Pour in chicken pieces and let pieces cook.  Add salt to taste.  Stir well.  Pour in chicken broth, achiote, and water.  Cover pot with lid.  Lower heat to medium.  Ingredients should reach a slow simmer and cook for 15 minutes. 

Next, gradually stir in cream of rice and corn meal.  The broth should thicken into a porridge-like consistency.  Mix well.  Return lid and let filling cook for another 10 minutes on medium-low heat.  Be careful not to burn filling to bottom of pot by occasionally stirring.  Remove finished filling from stove and let contents cool to room temperature before stuffing empanadas.     

Stuffing Empanadas

Pull Goya discs packages out from freezer the night before.  Place them in the fridge overnight to defrost.  Take packages out of fridge about ½ hour before it’s time to stuff empanadas.  Prepare a clean cutting board, wax paper, and rolling pin for handling dough.  Line the bottom of metal baking sheet with wax paper. 

Handle discs of dough with wax paper since they’re fragile.  You may roll dough into larger (in diameter) discs to make even bigger turnovers.  Place each discs between two leaves of wax paper then press and roll dough from the center of the discs to the outer edge until content with the larger size. 

Spoon chicken filling onto ½ of each disc then fold over the other half of the circle to form a turnover.  Press dough edges together with metal fork.  This seals and forms the empanada.  Repeat process until 20 empanadas are completed.  Let empanadas rest on baking sheet (lined with wax paper) for at least 20 minutes before frying.  You may choose to freeze empanadas at this point in time to fry at a later date.

Frying Empanadas

Heat cast-iron skillet filled on medium-high heat.  Pour in canola oil and let it heat to 350 degrees.  The oil needs to be hot!  Carefully place 3 or 4 turnovers (depending on size) in skillet.  Let the empanadas fry on each side until golden crust forms.  Place crispy empanadas on wire rack over baking pan.  Let them rest for at least 10 minutes.  Repeat process until all turnovers have been fried.  Enjoy! 

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