Holiday season is all about entertaining, which means there’s always room for another appetizer recipe.
Why not spice things up with a little taste of South America?
Chef Ricardo Valverde from Ancora restaurant his here with a recipe for traditional Peruvian empanadas.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 125 ml cold unsalted butter, cut in small cubes
- 70 ml cold ice water
- 1 egg yolk (if baking)
- Canola oil
- One large red onion, finely diced
- Three garlic cloves, finely diced
- 90 g ‘aji amarillo’ paste (available at Granville Island Public Market or online)
- 250 ml chicken stock
- 370 ml evaporated milk
- 2 slices white bread, crusts removed (soak in 120ml of evaporated milk)
- 210 g pulled poached chicken breast
- 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp. chopped roasted walnuts
- ½ cup fresh chopped parsley
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix flour and salt together in a food processor.
- Add the cubes of butter and pulse until dough is mealy.
- Add cold water, as needed, pulse and mix until clumps of dough start to form.
- Remove dough from food processor and knead until a ball is formed.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for at least one hour.
- To make the empanada discs, roll out the dough into a five-millimetre thick layer and cut into circular shapes (approximately 12cm diameter) using a mold or a small plate.
- Dough can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge up to three days.
- In a frying pan, sweat the onion and garlic with canola oil until translucent over medium heat.
- Add the aji amarillo paste and sweat for 10 minutes.
- Add the soaking bread, stirring continuously, and let cook for two minutes.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients – except for parsley – and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Remove from heat.
- Once mixture is cold, mix in parsley
- On a floured surface, remove rolled dough and place 1.5 oz. of filling in the middle of each circle of dough.
- Brush the edges of the dough with beaten egg mixture.
- Fold the pastry over to form a half circle pocket around the filling.
- Using a fork, pinch down the edges to seal the empanada.
- If baking, brush dough on both sides with beaten egg and cook in oven for 15-20 minutes at 375°F or until golden brown.
- If frying, cook at 350°F for three minutes.
- Serve and enjoy.
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