Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Empanadas


I recently discovered a wonderful New Zealand food magazine called Cuisine.<Hausfrau bakery in Yarraville thoughtfully has a stack of food magazines and cookbooks available for customers to browse through as they sip coffee and munch on one of their delicious European-inspired cakes. I picked up Cuisine and was instantly impressed. The photography is wonderful and inspires you to try the wide range of recipes. It is a little simliar to the Australian magazine Delicious, but obviously the food and wine news is centred on New Zealand. Cuisine was recently judged the best food magazine in the world at the Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards, beating other prestigious food magazines such as Gourmet Traveller, Vogue Entertaining & Travel and Donna Hay magazine (all of which I love as well), so I thought it was definitely worthwhile surfing around on Cuisine's website to learn more.

Cuisine
has a great website, with an archive of more than 1000 recipes to search, as well as a recipe of the day to try. A recipe for beef and spinach empanadas was recently featured and, with a backyard vegetable garden overflowing with fresh spinach, I decided this would be a good recipe to try. The empanadas were easy to make and extremely delicious. We ate them as a main course with sweet chilli sauce for dunking and a salad on the side, but they would also make excellent nibbles at a party. I'm looking forward to trying more Cuisine recipes soon.

BEEF AND SPINACH EMPANADAS

For the pastry
3 cups white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup ice-cold water

For the filling
300g minced beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 large tomato, chopped
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 chilli, chopped
1 large bunch spinach, washed, wilted over heat in a saucepan then chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
vegetable oil for frying

To make pastry: place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, tip in the oil until it is all incorporated. Add the water slowly and, when the dough starts to come together in beads the size of tiny pearls, switch off the motor and tip the mixture out onto a floured board. Draw the dought together by kneading gently. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. (Note: I found the dough quite dry and needed to add some extra water).

For the filling: heat a large frying pan and cook the mince for about 10 minutes until it is crumbly and lightly browned. Add the onion, garlic and spices and cook a little longer until the onion softens. Add the remaining ingredients, except the spinach, and cook over a high heat until the juices start to evaporate. Stir in the spinach and adjust the seasoning. Allow to cool.

To assemble the empanadas, roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick. Using a 10cm-diameter pastry cutter, cut out 15-20 circles. Place about one heaped tablespoon of the filling in the centre of each dough round and fold over to form a half-moon shape. Seal the edges with a little water and crimp together. Heat oil to a depty of about 2.5cm in a frying pan until it is quite hot but not smoking. Fry the empanads until golden brown on each side, about 3-5 minutes. Drain and serve.

3 comments:

Deborah said...

I love empanadas, although I have never made them at home. These sound wonderful!

Toothfairyrecipes said...

They look great, I will try them.
Thanks for sharing.
X Matin

Melinda said...

Hi Deborah and Toothfairyrecipes - good luck with making the empanadas. They are easy to make and definitely worth it!