..Miss Gracie's Sweet Shoppe..
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Friday, January 25, 2008

Beef Empanaditas

These aren't exactly "sweet", but they are still a pastry, and since I have been asked to cater a open house with NOTHING sweet, I had better get out of my comfort zone and start with the "savories". My last week has been spent gathering and trying out savory recipes. The most helpful resource so far is: Martha Stewart's Hors D'oevres Handbook - thanks to the library, but I think I will have to add it to my permanent collection. It has been a nice change of pace from the regular sweets, I will admit.Beef Empanaditas( from Martha Stewart's Hor D'oeuvres Handbook, but with a few changes)

2T olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 t grated fresh ginger
1 lb lean ground sirloin
2 medium tomatoes, seeds removed, cut into small dice
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons chili pwd
1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries, roughly chopped
1&1/3 cups tomato juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
1 T milk
1 recipe Empanada Dough
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. 1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions and ginger and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cherries, and chili flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is cooked through, about 5 minutes. 2. Add the tomato juice, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 12 minutes over low heat; set aside. 3. Keep your oven at 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, lightly beat together the egg and milk. Set aside. Roll the dough out to a thickness that is between 1/16 inch and 1/8 inch. Using a 3¼-inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds, rerolling the dough one time. Place the rounds onto the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.4. Place scant tablespoon of the filling in the center of 1 circle. Use your finger to brush a little of the egg wash onto the inner rim of the circle. Fold the circle in half, forming a half moon. Pinch the edges together with your fingers, and use a fork to seal the empanadita. Using your forefinger, push the sealed edge of the dough toward the filling to form the fluted edge. Brush the top of the empanadita with the egg wash and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with all of the empanaditas and bake until dough is golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Empanada Dough
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 t kosher salt
1 T sugar
6 T vegetable shortening
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1/2 c plus 2 T ice water
In a bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt , and sugar. Add the vegetable shortening and the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, slowly add the water through the feed tube, and pulse until a ball of dough forms. Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap. Use your hands to pat the dough into a 4-inch disk. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, or overnight, until completely chilled.

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