Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Empanadas de Platano (Plantain Empanadas)

These are delicious it's mashed sweet plantain, stuffed with a milk custard, and deep-fried then rolled in sugar. These treats are popular in Salvadorian Cuisine, another variation is a version of it stuffed with a thick savory paste of re-fried black beans (which I've only had once)

Anyways so today my mom's friend "Gomez" (did I mention I love her well I said it now :) who is from El Salvador came over and taught us how to make these delicious treats. She told me that she likes her's best because she uses rice flour to make the custard as opposed to corn starch which is what many places that sell them too use because it's cheaper though I don't frown on it at all it's just a different style, she say's it makes it denser, and taste like a delicious rice pudding. Truth be told it does, the rice flour makes it rich, and it tastes like a creamy, thick, rich smooth rice pudding :)

By the way if your Cuban and haven't tried this you gotta try it, it has elements of SOME of the main stuff we love lol. fried sweet plantains, rolled in sugar, stuffed with a creamy custard that reminds us of a cross between arroz con leche (rice pudding) and "natilla" (spanish vanilla cinnamon pudding) and heck it's deep-fried what's better than that ay!

Ingredients for dough:
-3 lbs. ripe yellow plantain with black blotches
Ingredients for filling (this is called "Manjar" pronounced man-haar in Spanish)
-8 cups milk
-3 sticks of cinnamon
-1 fat pinch salt (optional)
-2 cups rice flour
-2 cups white sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Additional Ingredients:
-oil to deep-fry (I personally use canola oil to deep-fry it has a clean taste, high smoking point, and things don't seem to absorb it, however in Latin cooking like Mexico and Central America corn oil is very popular but I do not like it because it has a lot of omega-6 fatty acids, and leaves a heavy taste, oxidizes quicker too.)

Directions for dough:

(1) Wash plantains real well, remove ends and cut them into 3 sections. Place in a pot with enough water to barely cover and bring to a boil on high heat, then leave in medium heat until tender, they will be tender when they swell, and the peels crack open. Atleast 30 minutes you want them tender.
(2) Drain them well while hot, carefully remove the peels, while still hot mash to a paste with a potato masher like real well until you obtain a dough, it doesn't have to be a super smooth paste, just get rid of most lumps and mash well. You have to do it while hot to really make it mash up.
(3) Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
Directions for filling:
(1) Heat a large pot with milk, sugar and cinnamon stick. Allow to come to a bubble, then reduce heat to super low simmer 5-10 minutes to infuse with cinnamon. Do this uncovered.
(2) Put the rice flour in a large bowl and dilute/ whisk it with milk, to form a smooth loose paste with no lumps.
(3) Add the rice flour mixture pouring in a stream to the pot of milk, sugar, and cinnamon, and whisk it while you pour it in so it doesn't lump. Raise heat to medium high heat, whisk continuosly 5- 10 minutes until it thickens. Taste it and add more sugar if you would like to, and stir in vanilla.
(4) Turn off heat, and allow it to cool and come to room temperature, or cool in fridge.

Directions to make Empanadas:
(1) Have a large pan or several plates, ready and the surface rubbed with oil (because you will place the empanadas you make on these and don't want them to stick)

(2) Have another tiny bowl or whatever with oil to grease your hands so dough doesn't stick.

(3) Grab a ball of cooled plantain dough, flatten into a round flat not to thin disk,
spoon a tablespoon or teaspoonful of the filling (Manjar).
Close it my making all the ends meat,
like close it try to seal it,
if u don't have enough dough to close add a little patch to close it up. Roll gently into a round oval shape.
Place them on the oiled pans or plates.
Directions to finish off the dish:
(1) Heat a frying pan in my case i use a wok with generous amounts of oil (I'd say about 2 cups atleast) over medium high heat, when oil is hot slide the empanadas into the hot oil
and fry about 5-7 minutes on one side, and carefully flip them over (I use a spoon and fork you can use a ladel whatever, just be careful not to break them they are sensetive when hot) once you flip it fry another 5-7 minutes until browned.
(2) Drain on paper towels,
and while warm roll them in sugar.
(3) Allow to cool a bit and enjoy, you can eat them as snack, breakfast, dessert whatever you'd like :) If you have leftovers simply re-heat them.

This is the inside of it :)
(1) The filling called "Manjar" for these empanadas is actually a dessert on it's own, it's a type of milk custard, you can actually eat this on it's own in bowls dusted with cinnamon powder. They can also be cooled in individual serving paper cups dusted with cinnamon and enjoyed cold :)

(2) The portions can be adjusted, you want less dough use less plantains, you want more use more plantains, etc.

(3) It does take some skill to work with the dough of mashed plantains and everything but hopefully these pictures will be helpful and you can always see videos on youtube on how other people work the dough or techniques they may use. This is how I learned to make them :)

(4) Yeah I haven't bought a new camera so bare with me and if you don't want to then oh wellz toodles :-P ha ha <3 ya


Ivonne said...

Looks yummy! I've never heard of this before. Sounds like a very interesting combination. I would have never thought of putting plantains and custard together. Thanks for introducing us to recipes from other countries. :)

Allyn said...

This looks amazing!!

Nathan said...

Thanks, thank you for your wonderful Cuban blog too I love learning the different variations in Cuban cuisine from cook to cook :) you've taught a me a bit ;)

Thanks, lemme know how you like it if you ever get to it :)

Wandering Chopsticks said...

This is cool. I didn't know you could mash and make empanadas with plantains. I've just always eaten them plain, steamed or pan-fried. The custard sounds lovely.

Nathan said...

Wondering Chopsticks,
Thanks :) I always saw these in Salvadorian restaurants, bakeries, markets and stuff and always would eat them and wondered how they made the plantain dough. I had no clue it was so simple :)

TheHolyEnchilada said...

Oh, I have been looking for this recipe FOREVER! My grandmother was from Tapachula, right on the border of Mexico and Guatemala. She made these with the black bean stuffing and served them with a beautiful Soconusco coffee. It was a tradition to serve them while sitting at the front door at about 6:00 pm, when the sun went down. IT was her equivalent of high tea. :-) Thank YOU so much! I can't wait to make them.

Nathan said...

Hola Holy Enchilada :)
Let me know how it turns out :) if you want the black bean filling for a short cut you can buy the black refried beans under the brand "Ducal" I think it say's "Frijoles Negros Volteados" of course if you want to make it from scratch boil the black beans with water, onion, and garlic, then season with bouillon n salt, drain, blend to a paste with some of the cooking liquid, and throw that mixture into a hot oiled pan and stir and cook on medium heat til a thick paste is achieved :) you can use that as a filling. Also you can make a "Poleada" or "Manjar Blanco" just boil the milk with cinnamon, and sugar, and thicken with cornstarch (which has been diluted with milk about 1 heaping tablespoon per cup of milk) that one also makes a good filling let me know how it turns out :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I have been trying to find out how to make this one for a long time, even the store where I buy banana empanad a dozen at a time can't share the recipe accurately as you do. Love this food so much that I tried to make it right away and it's just perfect... Thank you again.

Nathan said...

Glad you enjoyed the recipe I too loved it sooo much and it was still kinda vague on how to prepare it/ unclear so I had to invite a salvadorian friend to watch her make it from start to finish lol.

jasb said...

oh dear! this is one of my favourite dishes, one of those that make me love being all mixed up in vultures and races, so that nothing seems fu ky enough not to be eaten.

I like the platains filled with beans and with a salsa de chile casabel... sweet, salty and spicy at the same time.

are you going to cooking school now? im loving your blog, im mexican, but my granparents moved from texas to mexico, oh well... thats what going to el otro lado was back in the days... and now i live in berlin and cook for a couple of restaurants, and must say, you seem like an amazing cook, i can taste and smell every dish from just reading the passion youput in your cooking, i wish more cooks would be like that, and as guapos as you are too.

ok, keep the good work,


Nathan said...

Thanks for the visit :) & yum I love the bean kind too. About cooking school I haven't gone to cooking school :/ (very expensive)but currently going to school for a bachelors in Nutritional Sceince/ dietetics, switching over to Health Administration (since I got a full ride through a 4 year college that's where i ended up, I will probably end up working in a hospital setting) but I do love to cook as a hobby, and for family and friends, and have considered cooking I may do it after I get my bachelors or if i go to nursing school I may do it after that when I could afford it better without having to pull out big loans :)

Anonymous said...

hola Nathan muchas gracias para tus recetas! Soy una canadiense, estoy aprendiendo espanol, la lenguaje y tambien los culturas variada me encanta mucho!

No podria esperar harcer las empanadas del platanos!

Adios de Toronto

spiritgirl78 said...

I LOVE Cokking- Mostly, Authentic Mexican food, and some salvadorean dishes. And after 15 years of eating these empanadas- I NEVER cooked them until now with your recipe- THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH! They came out delicious!

Anonymous said...

Looks so good what can i eat with this? like what side dish, meat or?

Anonymous said...

I don't know if my comment got to you so here it is again.

Looks so good what can i eat with this? like what side dish, meat or?

Nathan said...

Hi Anonymous,
You serve these as a dessert on it's own, maybe with a glass of hot chocolate or coffee for a light breakfast. It can be an afternoon snack as well, or enjoyed any time of the day when you want something filling but not too heavy.

Unknown said...

I am about to make them with re-fried black beans. I am concern about the texture of the dough, but as it sets dries a bit and makes it look like dough not just banana mush ;)
Thank you for the pix on how to prepare them it was great help

Sasa said...

I'm going to a Mexican party (I'm half Japanese but I live in New Zealand) and I wanted to make Mexican empanadas but Salvadorian empanadas is gonna take the cake! Thanks for the inspiration *^_^*

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the suggestion Nathan. I am the one who asked about what to eat with this. I ate them with butter almond ice cream! delicious!

Lina said...

Dude this was really easy to follow!they turned out delicious,thanks!

Anonymous said...

Iam salvadorean and enpanadas are a dish we eat in my country after dinner as a yummy u really brought memories back.... =)


Sounds great! I found this post because someone emailed me looking for a recipe similar to this. This is going on my "must-try" list.

lola said...

Mil gracias por esta receta! Yo Soy Salvadorena y me encantan, solo que yo las voy a hacer de frijolitos refritos negros!

Anonymous said...

Hi Nathan

Could you pls tell how many empanadas this recipe makes?


Nathan said...

About 20

Anonymous said...

This is the only dessert I crave and is so absolutely mouthwatering wonderful!! A must try if you haven't already. You won't be disappointed!!!

Anonymous said...

Can you use something other than rice flour, like regular flour? I can't find rice flour any where? Or do you have to use flour??

Nathan said...

Yes instead of rice flour use corn starch, use about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch per cup of milk. Make sure you dilute the cornstarch in some of the milk first seperately, and add some of the hot milk mixture you have in the stove so it doesn't curdle. WHen using the cornstarch be sure to turn it off as soon as your custard thickens (will not take that long as soon as it boils or bubbles it's done)... flour will work but it won't be as good I'm afraid you might have a doughy taste, so I would stick with cornstarch or any other type of starch (tapioca or potato starch) these should be readily available most stores at a fair price.

Amilcar said...

This es for argentinians and chileans clamming they are the inventors even of the word empanada. As we say in spanish: Toma tu tamal de oreja!!

Nathan said...

To each his own, we all like to think a lot of things, I love diversity and variation especially in the gastronomical world, and in the kitchen, "pues cada maestrito con su librito" :)

Unknown said...

I made them once with this recipe and they were so good, I am doing them again today :) Thank you