Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dim Sum Sunday - Bakery

What to make for a baking Dim Sum Sunday? I generally don't make a lot of sweet bakery things because 1) I'm not good at resisting the temptation to eat whatever I make all by myself and 2) I'm more of a savory sort of gal. So I thought about what would be fun but would also be something quick and easy to make for lunch during the work week. Empanadas immediately came to mind.


An empanada is simply a pastry dough disk wrapped around a meat filling. Their origin is Spanish and Portuguese in nature but many countries have their versions. The recipe I used today was from the blog From Argentine With Love. There's even an adorable video of the author perfecting the rolled crimp method and the enthusiastic cook complimenting her work. Yours truly failed miserably at the rolled crimp and resorted to the decorative scallop edge. Now many of the recipes out in the internet ether mention using the Goya frozen empanada disks. If you can find them they are a quick fix but nothing beats making your own dough and producing that lovely flaky shell. Unfortunately I could not find the dough recipe referenced in the posting so I resorted to Epicurious's empanadas dough recipe. It turned out perfectly. The great thing about this dish is it's versatility. Ground meat is a wonderful canvas to play out your favorite flavors. Cumin, paprika, garlic and oregano for ground beef work well together. Because I started with an original recipe, green olives and a hard boiled egg were added. I also added some golden raisins even though this particular recipe did not call for it but had from previous experience enjoyed them in other empanadas. But you could also do so much with other ground meats. I could easily see a ground turkey with sage, dried cranberries and toasted pecans. You're only limited by your imagination.


Now I did have one regret. After I had put together all my empanadas and baked them I remembered I had some hot and spicy pickled quail eggs in the fridge. (what? doesn't everybody?) Little slices from those little gems would have powered up the flavor factor quite a bit. Ah well, next time. The bonus about these empanadas? The wonderful smell that will happen when I warm these babies up at work this week. Sorry co-workers, they're all mine.


moi said...

Oh my God. WHY your co-workers haven't made you Queen of the Universe, I'll never know. Even if they don't get these, they'll get something else.

I make calzones a lot, but I like the empanada dough a lot better. As well as the small size. Thanks for the linkee to Epicurious. I'll give it a go.

P.S. I'm up at

Happy Dim Sum Sunday and Mother's Day!

Making Space said...

Oh my god. Did you know I grew up on those things in Venezuela? People would sell them from special warming containers right on the streets. It was street food. I used to BEG my mother to buy me empanadas when we were out. My favorite version was a simple potato and cheese one.

Oh my god. Those are GORGEOUS. And bringing back some amazingly happy childhood memories.

I'm up with bacon. Which, I'm thinking, would go nicely with an empanada. What?!

Big Shamu said...

Moi, I am drooling over your tarts. And who the hell doesn't like figs???

Of course I fainted over MS's DSS post. I'm so easily swayed by bacon.

Dani said...

And this is why I love yah!!!! **swoon**

We're getting cleaned up from working outside, then we're off to the kitchen. Happy DSS. :)

LaDivaCucina said...

Your empanadas look excelente!!! I love your edges too!

You can fry them also and in the store that is dangerously, I mean conveniently located downstairs, they sell two kinds. One is from Ecuador (or wait, is it Nicaragua?) Crikey, I'm all doped up. Anyway, they have them with greens, ground meat with cinnamon, chicken and tomato. We love them.

You always impress me with how willing you are to make your own dough. Great job. Now bring me some so I don't have to cook noodles again.

Dani said...

Me and The Girlz are up!

Aunty Belle said...


Love empanadas! AND--envy rears its haid--we have the frozen Goya stuff too...but I like yore dough.

I make a picadillio wif golden raisins--so I'se thinkin' why not fold the picadillio in the empanada dough? will it work?

this is comfort food--anything in s dough pocket reminds me of apple and peach turnovers mah daddy used ter make when we wuz chillen.

Susan said...

Wow these look fantastic and ooh ahh that pastry looks some darn good.

I lived in Montreal when I was young, crazy and free spirited (uh huh it's true - moi ? FS). My boss at the time Rudolpho was from Argentina and he knew the best little shop on St. Laurent Blvd. to purchase fresh baked empanadas - I loved them !!

I completely missed this DSS (sad face) would have been a challenge for me to try baking minus butter (shortening or oodles of fat) but would've been fun to try.

Big Shamu said...

Moi, not all my co-workers share my lust for all things food. It might have something to do with the sushi for breakfast thing.

MS, glad I could inspire your cooking lust and bring back good memories.

LaDiva, I sway back and forth between the fried and the baked. I'm betting you're done with noodles for a while.

Aunty, I wondered about a sauce, even asked MS if she had one but nope, so I went naked. But you're right about peach empanadas. They are a great picnic dessert.

Look at you Susan, the Free Spirit and the St. Laurent Blvd Empanadas. I'm sorry you missed it too but maybe we'll do a heart healthy DSS if you PROMISE to share. Pinky Swear right now!

Buzz Kill said...

Look at you with the fancy edge work. You needed to take one last picture with it broken open so we could see the filling. I have hardboiled eggs in my fridge - does that count? They'll be pickled in a few months.

I couldn't convince the kids to bake for Mrs Mom. I even bought blueberries for muffins but I ended up ("I" being the opperative word here) using them in banana blueberry pancakes with bacon on the side for Sunday Morning breakfast. They came out really good but I have nothing to post about them.

Word verification: imsour

LaDivaCucina said...

Shamy, I started writing a blog post yesterday for DSS and it was full of drivel, but I could have gotten away with it. Was going to contribute a pork loin roast and turnip/potato gratin, when I saw that I could not participate on a technicality. You said BAKERY not BAKING. And fair is fair. We wouldn't want to be unfair in these cooking challenges, by any means.

And on top of that, my roast kinda sucked and I forgot to cover the gratin and it dried out. I don't cook well when unwell. GAH! :)

Buzz's comments always make me laugh.

intuitive eggplant said...

Terrific drool-worthy submissions by all! Sorry I couldn't participate and am too road-burnt to get around to everyone's blogs to comment with specificity. If only I could have come home to a real, rather than a virtual, dinner of all your offerings. Sigh.