Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Empanada de Puerco

My favorite way to end any weekend is to relax with a good movie.  After the bustle of a few jammed pack days we deserve it, right?  That is why I prefer to prepare some make ahead trays of finger food such as these Empanada Puerco.  This recipe makes 2 dozen which left plenty for Monday's sack lunch.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Empanada Dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons garlic powder
3/4 cups of chilled butter
1 egg
1 1/4 cups water
1 additional cup of flour
1 additional stick of butter
Mix flour, salt, sugar and garlic in a large bowl (sugar and garlic powder are optional, but I think they add better flavor to the crust).  Cut in butter using a pastry cutter, or fork until dough is nice and moist.  Beat egg and stir into flour.  Slowly add water about 1 tablespoon at a time until dough is stiff and hard to stir.  You will probably not require all of the water suggested.  Cover dough and set aside while you prepare the filling.
Rallado Puerco
 2 lbs pork
4 crushed garlic cloves
3 green onions chopped
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup chopped green pepper 
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup water
Salt & Pepper
Cook pork until soft enough to pull apart using two forks.  Continue pulling pork with forks until all pork is finely shredded as pictured.  Place all ingredients in a skillet and heat together for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Turn dough from bowl onto a heavily floured surface and kneed for abut five minutes.  Cut the dough in half.  Roll one of the halves until fairly thin (but not translucent).  It may take a few tries to get the feel of the exact thickness needed.  Using a large round object (my cereal bowl worked perfectly for the proper size) cut a large round disk from the dough.  Place 2 tablespoons (more or less as you prefer) spread along one side of the dough (as pictured).  Fold the unfilled side over leaving 1/2 inch of the dough exposed.  Fold the 1/2 inch of the dough over and pinch the two edges together (as pictured).  Continue the process until all dough is exhausted and you've used both halves.  You will need to make sure you have plenty of flour on had to cover the surface of the dough so it does not stick.  As you roll the dough it will become stiffer.  Add a few drops of water to the dough and knead again it so it will soften it up.  Than roll it and cut as before.
Once you have filled and rolled all empanadas place them on a large cooking sheet.  Gently brush on melted butter to both sides of each empanada.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and coat both sides again with melted butter. Serve warm, or cold with queso, or guacamole.

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