Sunday, October 5, 2008

Empanada Cubana (Cuban Empanadas)

In my house my grandmother would always buy the "discos goya" to make Empanadas (pre-made, empanada disks ready to fill and fry) she would stuff them with Picadillo (Cuban Ground Beef Hash) then pan-fry or deep-fry them and that's it very simple and quick. Also she would sometimes stuff them with thick slices of Guava paste and cream cheese to have a sweet if not she'd stuff wonton wrappers with cream cheese and guava paste (I will post that one soon I have everything I need for the Wontons stuffed with Guava and Cream Cheese)

Cuban Empanadas are usually stuffed with "Picadillo" (Cuban Ground Beef Hash), Chicken, and sometimes "Ropa Vieja" (Shredded Flank Steak simmered in a tomato based sauce) and the sweet kind with Gauva paste or a combination of Guava Paste and Cream CHeese.

I always wanted to know how to make a Cuban empanada dough from scratch and Marilyn from one of my other loved Cuban cooking blog called "My Cuban Traumas" was very generous and nice to me by sharing with me her Cuban Empanada dough recipe.

Ingredients for dough:
-3 cups flour (plain all purpose/ regular white flour)
-1 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons white sugar
-8 tablespoons shortening (I used lard because I avoid hydrogenated oils)
-2 beaten eggs yolks and whites
-6 tablespoons of dry white wine (Edmundo Vino Seco Dorado is recommended for this)

(1)In a really large bowl mix well the flour, sugar, and salt. With a fork or your hands incorporate lard until you obtain a crumbly texture. Make a space in the middle and add beaten egg and wine. Stir in a circular motion until you achieve a dough consistency.
(2)Knead the dough and slam it against the kitchen counter a couple times to obtain a compact dough. (At this point you can wrap it up in plastic wrap and throw it in the fridge until ready to make your empanadas or proceed)
(3)Move over to a table or large surface and dust with flour, roll out the dough, cut into circles of desired size and place some of the filling, you can moist the sides with beaten egg or water and press and seal making a nice little ridge with a fork.
(4)Either pan-fry on medium high on both sides until golden brown or bake in oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit or 176 degreed celsius for 20-25 minutes. (We personally deep-fry it because it is way faster and tastier)
Possiblities for the fillings:
I used leftover Chicken Fricasse I made this week, I simply deboned and shredded the Chicken in the Fricasse and used that as my filling. It is a great idea to make "Picadillo", "Ropa Vieja" or "Fricasse" and just use the leftovers the next day or whatever day as a Empanada dough filling. Make sure your filling is cooled before using it. The filling can be whatever like any type of meat dish just make sure the filling isn't something really dry or really moist if to dry it will just be chocky and nasty if to moist the juices will ruin your Empanada, etc.)

(2)Here are some links to recipes I made that you can use as filling:
-Fricasse de Pollo
-Picadillo Salteado
-Ropa Vieja


Núria said...

Rico rico, Nathan :D. But I take your grandmother's path... bring the discs for me chico ;D

Marilyn said...

Great job!
I feel like a proud mom.

Mamey said...

My family also makes 'empanadas de bonito' (canned tuna in olive oil, sauteed with onions, tomatoes and pimiento-stuffed olives). Great for the beach.

FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels said...

Nathan...I repeat...'you are a cooking machine' and bravo to you for making your own shell. Like your abuela y Nuria, I've happily used the Goya product. Congrats to you -- and keep them coming!

Nathan said...

I feel so special so many comments I come back and have 4 wonderful comments ha ha.

Haha my grandmother is so practical when I mention using the oven for little Empanadas she looks at me like I'm crazy and say's, "Chico estas loco porque te vas a tardar tanto tiempo horiando eso quando esta en unos 2 o 4 minutos si lo fries en el aciete y san se acabo!"

Thanks I still need to make that Brazo Gitano you showed me, and those delicous Meringues de Cafe on your blog so many wonderful desserts you have that I want to make. Your a great teacher :)

That sounds delicous I am gonna make some Tuna one's next time.

Thanks for the motivation I will keep em coming!

Mamey said...

Nathan: You can also add hard boiled eggs and parsley to the tuna empanadas. Are you familiar with 'empanada gallega'? It's a big empanada that you cut into squares or rectangles. It was popular in Cuba and you can find it in some Cuban bakeries in Southern California.

Nathan said...

Yes I am familiar with the Empanada Gallega, in fact I made a post about it in my blog where I made the dough and everything:

However I didn't have the super large cookie sheet so had to do it smaller one round and one square. But now I have a giant cookie sheet perfect for the Empanada Gallega. Next time I make it I'm going to stuff it with Ropa Vieja and Chorizo Español yum!

Cuba Journal said...

Nathan: This is what I was just looking for. My dad used to make the best empanadas cubanas. I miss them so much, and of course, I miss my dad more than the empanadas now that he is deceased.

Would you know any variation of empanadas cubanas where they are baked in the oven rather than have them fried?

You have a great blog! Very original.

Now that I am 'retired' I have more time for cooking, so I am devoting a little more time to it. But I am trying to stay away from fried stuff on advice of my excellent doctor.

The best to you and your blog in the furure.

Nathan said...

Just use this dough and bake it in the oven at 400 degrees until golden.

My favorite recipe for fried empanadas so far however is this one:

Those can also be baked, but never tried it but sure it can be baked at 400 degrees.

The other really good baked one I've made often is this one it's not mine though:

Anonymous said...

OMG these are SOOOO GOOD!! I am a Gringa who grew up near Calle Ocho in Miami, and learned a killer Picadillo recipe that I used to fill these. Now that I am years from living in Miami, these brought me to tears - they were like 'going home', standing outside at one of the 'windows' on SW 8th street, while eating empanadas y 'un cafecito'!!! YUMMMMM! THANK YOU NATHON for bringing me back home for a few moments!!! Besos!

Nathan said...

I'm glad these worked out for you :) this is one of my favorite doughs for fried empanadas.

elmaluko92 said...

Gracias por la ayuda asere. Soy un cubano y yo recuerdo cuando mi mama cocino estos. Ahora estoy en Japon en la armada americana y tengo memorias de las comidas cubanas. Cuando encontre tu blog, empece sonreir de nuevo! Voy a cocinar las empanadas por el dia de gracias por mis amigos. Gracias!