Freitag, 19. Juni 2015



My friends Phil and Olli are amazing cooks. They also are amazing musicians, you can listen to their latest album here .

They sometimes cater events and serve their famous empanadas. One time, when they cooked empanadas I offered to help out and we turned out to be a pretty good team. 
Phil rolled the dough, I filled and shaped the empanadas and Olli had the honors of frying them all. 

When they asked me to help out again a few weeks ago, I did and snapped a few photos while we were at it.

It came in handy that Olli's kitchen table is black, what a nice backsplash for food photos!

For about 50 empanadas you'll need:

1 kg corn flour
1/2 kg wheat flour
1/2 l water
1/8 l sunflower oil
1 tbsp paprika powder
2 tbsp salt

Mix everything, and incorporate the water, folding and rolling the dough, ideally on a flat surface, not in a bowl. Take your time, the warmth of your hands will help smoothen the dough, and it's also pretty relaxing.

If the dough still proves to be too hard, add water. If it's too sticky, add flour. 

The dough can be used immediately, or you can even freeze it (or half of it) for another time!

In addition to the yumminess of the taste-testing (somebody's gotta make sure everything tastes right), we had a great time talking, and Olli has an incredible record collection. So anytime the record stops, one of us - usually the one with the least floured hands - will get up and pick another record. It's always a wild mix and basically heaven on earth.

We prepared two fillings, one vegetarian (if you leave out the feta cheese it's vegan), and one with meat.

For the vegetarian filling you'll need:

2-3 sweet potatoes
500 g of spinach, fresh or frozen (if frozen, cook it first)
400 g of feta cheese
1 onion
salt, pepper, provencal herbs, garlic, nutmeg.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into small cubes (they'll cook faster!) and cook them. Once they are soft, add the spinach, feta, and herbs to your liking. Mix with your hands or with a spatula.

For the meaty filling you'll need:

300 g of minced beef
4 potatoes
1 onion
1 can of peeled tomatoes
1 cup of long grain rice
chilli powder, salt, pepper, garlic

Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes. Cook the rice. Roast the onions with the minced meat until done. Add the tomatoes, the rice, the potatoes, and lastly, the herbs.

Olli recommends to form a dough roll with an approximate diameter of 4 cm (about 1.5 inches). We then cut pieces off the roll with a lenght of 4 cm, too (no need to use a ruler, just make sure they are all about the same size). Phil flattened the dough with his hand and then rolled the pieces out to thin, slightly oval discs.

I added one large tablespoon of filling to each disc, folded the dough over the filling and pressed the edges down with a fork, which secures the filling in place and looks nice, to!

Add sunflower oil to a deep frying pan on high temperature. When it's hot, slowly add the empanadas to the hot oil and fry on both sides until golden.

Olli created his own sauces to go with the empanadas but they also go great with guacamole, ajvar, or hot chilli sauce!

Last but not least, I asked Olli for tips and he said: make sure the empanadas are tightly closed, or the filling will spill once you put them into the pan. Do not drop them into the frying pan, let them gently slide into the hot oil (also: less spilling!). 

And most importantly, he said: do it with love.

So, on that note: Have a great weekend everyone and lots of love to you all!

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