Sunday, September 19, 2010

Griggs Empanadas

One of the recipes in Mrs. Griggs cookbook that I've been wanting to try is the empanadas; it's one of the many dishes from Griggs Family Restaurant that I miss on a regular basis.  Mincemeat empanadas were the perfect dessert after a plate of red enchiladas. Today seemed like a good day to try my hand at it.

You can see from the recipe that it's simple enough, in fact, sparse in the instructions, but I like the economy.  If you don't have a jar of mincemeat and have instead, as I did, a box of the kind that needs to be reconstituted, you ought to do that first.  Then:

Mix 2 cups of flour,  1 tsp. salt and 2 tsp. baking powder by sifting it together.   Cut in 2 tablespoons of "shortening" which I took to mean Crisco into the flour.   Then the recipe says, "Add only enough milk to make a medium dough."

Well.  Hmmm.  I thought about that, and decided 1/2 cup of milk would probably work,  and luckily I was right.  I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap and went out for a while to play with the pup.

About 30 minutes later I rolled it out, as instructed, very thin.  This is important!  I found out why when I fried them.

She said to cut them in circles 3-4 inches in diameter.  I found a saucer that seemed about right, and cut 5 out of the first rolling.  Then I took the scraps and rolled it out again for 2 more, so I had seven in all.  I think if I had rolled it just a little bit thinner I could have done 8.

 When you fill them, paint some water on half of the inside edge and put a tablespoonful of filling in it.  Close it up by pressing the edges together and then crimp the edge with a fork.
Do not poke any vent holes in the crust, you don't want the filling leaking out into the hot fat.

Yes,  I said fat!  Mrs. Griggs says fat, which I take to mean lard, and that's what I used.  And I learned something about frying in lard.  First of all, it makes a beautiful brown crust, and two, it cooks really, really fast.  This isn't like frying chicken, where you can toss in the chicken and turn away for a couple of minutes.  This will burn very fast if you let it!
Empanadas cooked perfectly brown in a minute or so on one side, then the other.  If your dough was too thick it would be raw on the inside.
A shake of powdered sugar on top, and they are ready to try.

Yep.  Just like I remembered.  Mrs. Griggs surely has a winner there.
Griggs Empanadas

Sift the following:
2 C. AP flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1tsp. salt

Cut in
2 T. Crisco

Mix with 1/2 C. Milk until it forms a ball
Rest the dough 30 mins.
Roll out very thin.
Cut into circles 3 to 4 inches diameter.
Brush water on half of the edge of the circle.
Place a heaping Tablespoon of filling slightly off center.
Fold long side over and press closed, then crimp with fork tines.
Fry in hot lard until golden brown.
Dust with powdered sugar.
Serve warm.

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