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Video: Spice up holiday parties with empanadas

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    >>> this morning in "today's" kitchen, empanadas step by step . these dough-filled delights are perfect for your next holiday party. we have the chef and owner of doro restaurant in greenwich city. good to see you again. these are really a great dish because you can put anything in them.

    >> that's the thing. they're very versatile.

    >> and from really savory to sweet.

    >> absolutely. that's what we're going to show here today. we're going to give a quick demonstration on the dough.

    >> all right.

    >> we'll start with all-purpose flour. bring to a slight boil a little bit of water, little bit of butter and seasoning, a little bit of sea salt . so we're going to bring this over here. and you want to drop it in slowly. and let the dough hook actually create a little ball of dough. right?

    >> and it's important for it to still be hot when you're doing it?

    >> yes, because it brings together and creates a ball of dough. once you get this going here, it's going to turn into a ball of dough.

    >> can you mix the dough ahead of time?

    >> absolutely. you can have this up to a few days in advance.

    >> okay.

    >> and the important thing is to keep it covered and not let a dry skin to create on it. and let the dough rest before you use it. going out to the fillings, for starters, a little bit of ground chuck . you can add a little bit of tomato paste , tomato product, parsley, garlic, and we're going to stir that up. and let it all incorporate. once you have that going, very important when you make the empanadas is not to use the dough -- the filling inside the dough while it's hot. because when you fry them, they'll explode.

    >> that's bad.

    >> yeah. you don't want that.

    >> unless you're looking for a party.

    >> there you go.

    >> boom.

    >> now we're going to go on to three types of filling we can use. once we have the dough, this is the tomato --

    >> roll that out flat.

    >> roll it out nice and flat and you cut out a nice ring size so you can do the filling inside. we have the meat that we just prepared.

    >> sure.

    >> we have a chicken filled empanada, and this for a sweeter version, we have a sweet potato , which is my wife's favorite. little cream cheese and maple syrup . once you have the filling down like this, you're going to take a little bit of egg wash right back here to seal.

    >> your glue?

    >> yeah, this is the binding agent. so we do like this and fold it over. that's it right there. tuck it down nice and tight so it doesn't open on you. and with a fork, basically going to cramp it and make a bill it of a design. and now at this point, you can either cut them a little bit smaller or just leave it as is. let's go to the back --

    >> that's the portuguese version of a wonton.

    >> once we have them sealed off and ready, we're going to take a little bit of egg wash, put them into a little bit of bread crumbs, i'm using panko because it gives more texture.

    >> what did we do before panko?

    >> i don't know, but they're everywhere now. it's more important than the wheel. now we're going to dust this off like this and you end up with great empanadas, drop them into about 350, 360-degree oil.

    >> i notice a candy thermometer there.

    >> very important to know your temperature, because you want nice color without burning. 360 tends to cook through --

    >> how long?

    >> well, it really depends, maybe two minutes until you get nice golden brown .

    >> right.

    >> you end up with these beautiful empanadas like this. the three types we have here, these two are savory. chicken, meat --

    >> food.

    >> and the sweet empanadas.

    >> just in time.

    >> oh, no, i was looking for make-up and hair.

    >> wow.

    >> okay.

    >> what kind is this one right here?

    >> this is a chicken empanada.

    >> spicy mayonnaise. this is ground beef and empanada.

    >> these are perfect for a holiday party. thank you so much.

    >> my pleasure. happy holidays .

    >> happy holidays .

    >>> coming up next --

TODAY recipes
updated 11/29/2012 9:18:53 AM ET 2012-11-29T14:18:53

Recipe: Sweet and savory empanadas

  • For empanada dough
  • 1 qt. water
  • 3 oz. butter
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds all-purpose flour

For the empanada dough:

Bring water and butter to a boil. Turn off heat. Add flour to water in 3 parts and stir with a wooden spoon until a ball forms. You can also stir the dough in a Kitchen Aid mixer with dough hook.

Dump dough onto a table dusted with flour and knead until smooth and tightly bound together.

Cover dough with damp cloth and let it rest for 1/2 hour.

Once the dough has rested, cut it in half and roll out each half until they are 1/8-inch thick. Cut out 3-inch disks from rolled out dough.

If you can find empanada dough in your local shopping market, save yourself some work and buy already prepared dough and cut it into disks!

For chicken empanada filling:

Put left-over chicken in food processor and add mayo for moisture. Add chopped parsley and hot sauce. Pulse until smooth.

For meat empanada filling:

Sautée ground beef in olive oil with garlic and parsley. Add tomato purée and season with salt and pepper.

Note: All filling should be added to dough cold. If meat is hot when you close the empanada, you will create steam, and they will explode when frying.

Add filling to half of disk and brush the edges with egg wash. Fold the empanada in a half-moon shape and press the egg-washed edges firmly with a fork.

Dip the empanadas in egg wash and roll them around in panko crumbs set aside for frying. Fry empanadas in a pan with hot oil.

For dessert empanadas:

Make empanada dough (as shown above). Roast a sweet potato in the hot oven until tender. Add cinnamon and purée until smooth.

Add filling to disk as you did in the previous recipe, but take warm water and rub the dough’s edges until they are starchy enough to press close without having to use an egg. Then fry the dough nude, without breading.

After frying, brush the outside of the empanadas with maple syrup and roll in cinnamon sugar mix. Enjoy!

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