About a month ago, one of T’s Tasty Bits awesome twitter followers had a request for an empanada recipe, al estilo Chileno, or Chilean style (by the way, why aren’t we tweeting?). Then, a very dear reader was wondering how to make a type of empanada that had a sweet filling inside. And yet another wondered about the empanadas that have a simple cheese filling commonly sold by street vendors in Ecuador. So I said to myself, “SELF! It is time for some Empanada Epicureanism!” Is that a real word? In Ecuador, you can find all sorts of types of empanadas – fried or baked, and with different types of fillings. We will explore the most popular ones here on T’s Tasty Bits. AREN’T YOU EXCITED???
First up, empanadas estilo Chileno. So what makes an empanada Chilean? For one, the filling, known as pino. Pino is a filling that consists of ground beef, raisins and olives, among other seasonings. From my understanding: no ground beef, NOT pino. While this is the traditional filling of the Chilean empanada, it doesn’t mean you can’t substitute for other meat if beef isn’t your thing. Of course, the dough wrapper is equally important – you need a crusty on the outside, yet soft upon biting wrap for this kind of empanada. After several trials and errors, this dough I share with you is a keeper. For full disclosure, I made this dough on a very humid day, as in the day before Hurricane Irene. I figured, if we were going to be flooded and without the ability to go anywhere, we might as well have something good to eat. Sometimes, air conditions have an impact on preparation and baking, but let me tell you, rolling out this dough on this day was a cinch.