Friday, September 26, 2008
Filipino Empanadas

Today brought about some big changes, but more on that later. Before all that I was given one objective, to take on the empanada. Now I've never been very fond of empanadas, it's not that I don't like them, I began to look at them as so commonplace that it just became a habit to overlook them whenever they were offered amongst other more enticing dishes. The poor little empanada is always overshadowed by the ever popular lumpia. So when my mom asked me to make a large batch of empanada to sell at church I was excited to get to know it better.

I didn't have to make the filling, my mother made that on her own, it consisted simply of ground beef, peas, and carrots, but the variations of filling are endless. It was my task to make the dough and assemble the empanadas, which didn't seem so daunting until I saw that the large container of filling waiting for me in the refrigerator.

The process overall was quite laborious, if only because of the sheer volume of the batch. But afterwards I was rewarded with my first taste of my hard work. There's definitely something different about fresh baked goods, especially when you had a part in it. I'm not sure if it was because I stubbornly searched for a dough recipe that used butter instead of the traditional shortening, but the crust was unlike any empanada crust I've tasted before. Sometimes a small change from the traditional can make a world of difference and I think that butter crust does just that. The filling by nature is simple, which truly lets the crust take center stage, but hey, maybe I'm being biased, I've always been a devoted crust-lover.

Unfortunately, I could only savor one of my creations before speedily brushing my teeth and hopping into my car to drive to my orthodontist, where...I got my braces put on. I suppose this marks an inevitable downward slope for my eating adventures, at least for the time being. The range of foods I can eat is significantly narrowed and the cravings and hunger pangs are only dulled by the aching toothaches. Alas, I won't allow this to deter me and for now I will simply take this as a challenge to explore other textures in hopes of finding flavor beyond the bland instant oatmeal that I've been having nightmares about.



Nate-n-Annie said...

Butter makes everything better!

Sorry about your braces. Hope they don't last too long!

We did some steel cut oatmeal recently that was hardly bland.

mayan. said...

Dear Nate-n-Annie,

Two years for my braces. And it's really more of the instant oatmeal that I'm afraid of, I've been looking up all kinds of interesting homemade oatmeals in all variations that I'm very excited to try however. Breakfast Polenta is on my list too! These braces won't come in between me and my love for food and flavor.