A Baker’s Tour


This month My Kitchen My World traveled to Argentina.

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And it was a delicious stay. Trying to find just the right recipe was not an easy task. There have been so many countries through history that have influenced the cuisine, like just about every other country in the world, that there was a lot to choose from But finding an historically traditional Argentine recipe (Did you know they have Gnocchi Thursdays?) was not so easy. Thankfully I had help from several sources. So….

For lunch the other day we had….

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    ….Empanadas de Carne

for lunch. It seems every culture has some type of meat pie in their cuisine. The English call them Hand Pies and they were common fare for the working man. In India, Pakistan, and other countries of that area one will find Samosas. Kreatopitas in Greece, Pierogies in Poland, and Biff paj in Sweden, Chinese Pot Stickers/Dumplings (aka Gyoza in Japan). And in the South we have Meat Pies as well. The Spanish Empanada is very similar to the ones here in the deep south. That could very well be due to the Spanish influence in our early history. In Argentina there is a slight twist on the Spanish Empanada as you will see in the recipe.

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    Empanada de Carne

      BEEF FILLING
      3 tablespoons vegetable oil
      1 large white onion (about 12 ounces),finely chopped
      1 pound ground chuck
      1 bunch scallions, white and half the green part, thinly sliced, about 3/4 cup
      1 teaspoon salt
      1/4 cup sugar
      1 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
      1 tablespoon qji molido or sweet Spanish paprika {I used Spanish smoked Paprika}
      3/4 cup pitted Spanish green olives
      5 Large eggs, hard-cooked and chopped

To prepare the filling, heat the oil over medium heat in a large saute pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is limp and translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the ground beef with a wooden spoon and break up any lumps with the spoon. Cook the beef until it is no longer raw-looking, or until any accumulated water in the pan evaporates and the beef is sizzling, about 10 minutes. Scrape the beef mixture into a large mixing bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients, one at a time. Taste the filling for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the filling until you are ready to form the empanadas. The filling will keep well for up to 3 days.

To form the empanada crusts, remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a floured surface. Flour the dough and roll it to a 20-inch square. Use a plate or a cardboard pattern as a guide to cut the dough into 5-inch disks

To fill the empanadas, place 2 tablespoons of the filling on the lower half of 1 disk of dough. {I did not include the dough recipe. I used my go-to pie crust recipe and it was perfect.} Use a brush or fingertip to moisten the edge of the dough with the sugar syrup. Fold the dough over to cover the filling and meet the other end of the crust. Press firmly with fingertips to seal the 2 layers of dough together. Starting at one
side of the edge, make a small fold about 1/4 inch deep from the outside of the empanada toward the center, or seal by pressing hard with the tines of a fork. Continue making little folds until you reach the other end of the semicircular side of the empanada. Repeat with the remaining crusts and filling.

The Empanadas are sealed with a sugar syrup.

    SUGAR SYRUP FOR SEALING THE EMPANADAS
    3/4 cup water
    2 tablespoons sugar

To prepare the sugar syrup, bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring a couple of times to make sure the sugar has dissolved. Cool the Syrup store it in a covered jar in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

To fry the empanadas, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven to 375 degrees. Fry 3 or 4 empanadas at a time. As they are fried, drain them on one of the prepared pans. Repeat with the remaining empanadas, making sure that the oil does not start to foam and boil over.
Drain on paper towels.

These are best devoured eaten the day they are made.

I found this recipe in Nick Malgieri’s A Baker’s Tour (page 300) They are from Ana Rambaldi and are from her native Argentina. What makes these different, says Ana – “…is flavored with an Argentine type of crushed red pepper that not hot, called aji molido, or ground pepper, you can substitute sweet Spanish paprika, but the taste will not be exactly the same. In typical South American fashion, the meat filling here is sweetened with sugar. Most Americans would probably prefer less sugar or none at all-the choice is up to you.”

What also makes them different is the inclusion of the boiled eggs and Spanish olives. Deliciously different!

After that we needed a sweet.

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How about Tarta de Coco y Dulce de Leche | Coconut and Dulce de Leche Tart which I found on Katie’s Site. Katie is from Philly, living outside of Buenos Aires and learning to cook the local dishes. This one is a simple tart with a layer of Dulce de Leche covered with a tasty coconut custard. One half of the recipe yielded 3 mini tarts. Perfect.

Come by and visit with us at My Kitchen My World. Next month we are visiting…….

This month My Kitchen My World made a quick visit to Portugal….

portugal

..a small country on the west coast of Spain. Portugal is known for its culinary diversity. Cooks pair meat with fish, fish with fruit, fruit with eggs, eggs with beans. Vasco de Gama found the water route to the east and introduced the spices of India, Africa, and South America to Europe. Today all those spices are incorporated into native seasons to add robust flavor to the dishes of Portugal – especially the seafood and water fowl, which, being a coastal country, is abundant.

I have been waiting for a recipe to use some ducks I had in the freezer. This one was perfect. So for supper last nite we had….

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      Arroz de Pato {Braised Duck and Rice}
    A duckling weighing 5 to 51/2 pounds, with its giblets {I had 4 wild ducks and no gibliets}
    5 cups cold water
    1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
    2 large carrots, peeled and sliced thin
    10 peppercorns
    1/4 pound prosciutto, in one piece
    1/4 pound slab bacon, in one piece {For both bacon and prosciutto I had slices but it worked just fine.}
    1/2 pound chourico, chorizo, or pepperoni, in one piece
    2 cups converted rice
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons cold water

1. Pull all excess fat from the neck and body cavities of the duck and discard; prick the bird well all over with a sharp-pronged fork, then refrigerate until needed. Place the water, duck giblets and neck, onion, carrots, peppercorns, prosciutto, bacon, and chourico in a large heavy kettle, and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Adjust the burner heat so mixture bubbles gently, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
2. With a slotted spoon, lift the duck giblets and neck, the prosciutto, bacon, and chourico from the kettle and reserve. Now place the duck in the kettle, breast-side up, bring the
liquid to a gentle simmer, cover, and simmer 30 minutes; turn the bird breast-side down, re-cover, and sim- mer 30 minutes longer. Remove the duck from the broth and cool until
easy to handle. Strain the broth, discarding the solids. Now skim as much fat as possible from the broth-there will be plenty of it! This is a job requiring patience.
3. Preheat the oven to very hot (450°F). With poultry shears, cut the legs and wings off the duck. Divide the breast in half by cutting down the middle of the breastbone, then cut each half crosswise into three chunks. Remove as much meat as possible from the back of the bird.
Place all pieces of meat, skin-side up, in a shallow 3-quart earthenware casserole. (It should measure about 12 x 9 inches, or 11 to 12 inches in diameter, and be 2 inches deep.) Place the uncovered casserole on the middle shelf of the oven and bake the duck until lightly browned-about 15 minutes. Remove -the casserole from the oven and set aside; reduce oven heat to moderate (350°F).
4. Pour 1 quart of the skimmed duck broth (reserve any extra to use in making a soup, sauce, or stew) into a large heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat; add the rice and pepper, bring to a simmer, adjust the heat so that the mixture bubbles gently, then cook un-
covered about 10 minutes until the level of the liquid is below that of the rice. Meanwhile, cut as much meat from the duckling neck as possible and reserve; discard the neck bone. Also, coarsely chop the giblets, and dice the prosciutto. Add all to the rice, cover, and cook 5 to 8 minutes longer until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
5. Meanwhile, dice the bacon and brown in a small heavy skillet over moderately high heat until most of the drippings have cooked out, leaving crisp brown bits-about 5 minutes. You’ll have to stir the bacon frequently to keep it from burning. With a slotted spoon, lift the crisp brown bits to paper toweling to drain; discard the drippings or reserve to use another time. Slice the chourico ‘/4-inch thick; stir into the rice along with the bacon bits.
6. Spoon the rice into the casserole covering the. duck completely. Drizzle the surface first with melted butter, then with the egg yolk mixture. Cover snugly with foil and bake 15 minutes; uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer, just until the rice is faintly golden. Spoon rice mixture onto serving dish or serve directly from the casserole.
{Note: Because ofthe saltiness of the ham, bacon, and sausage used, you will not need to add any salt.} Country Living September 1987

This was really good but took about 4 – 4 1/2 hours to make. The flavor of the bacon and prosciutto was all through the rice and the ducks were very flavorful. I am glad I made the full recipe so we could have leftovers.

For dessert we had….

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      PÃO DE LÓ

…a golden sponge cake layer that appears in its paper wrapper in markets and pastry shops throughout Portugal.

    2 large eggs, at room temperature
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup sugar
    4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
    1/3 cup unsifted all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 9-inch round cake pan. Cut a 15- by 12-inch piece of parchment paper and fit into pan, allowing edges to extend beyond rim (see
Note). Grease paper on bottom and 2 inches up side of pan.
In medium-size bowl, with electric mixer on high speed, beat eggs with salt until light and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar until soft peaks form. Add yolks, 2 at a time, beating 3 minutes after each addition.
Sprinkle flour over egg mixture. With rubber spatula, very gently fold flour into beaten egg mixture until uniformly combined. Spread batter into prepared pan.
Place another piece of parchment over cake, resting on extended edges of the parchment pan liner and being careful to avoid top of batter.
Bake 15 minutes or until center appears set. Remove top piece of parchment. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Using edges of parchment pan liner, lift cake to serving plate and set aside at least 1 hour before serving.
{Note: The cake may be baked without parchment, but the surface will be darker. To do so, grease 9-inch round baking pan and line bottom with a circle of waxed paper; grease paper and side of pan.}{Country Living June 1997}

This cake was a perfect foil for ice cream or caramel or chocolate but by itself a little bland. I would definitely make it again tho. Very simple and quick.

Sure wish y’all would join us in visiting the cuisine of different countries. Just check

with the mkmwlogowebsite each month to see what country we are visiting.

HINT:: March we are going to Liechtenstein.

Yes, this month we are visiting the penninsula of Spain. Hanging out all by itself (well along with Portugal…) and protecting the Mediterranian from the Atlantic ocean it is a country of cultural contrasts. What do you think of when you think of Spain?

Flamenco?

Running of the Bulls in Pamplona (Crazy People)

Bullfighting?

Or is it the food of Spain that intrigues you? The Food – of course!! And the food changes through out the different culural regions of the country.

    CRISP FRITTERS FROM CORDOBA Buñuelos de Cordoba


“These delicate fritters from southwestern Spain are popular throughout the Hispanic world in many different forms. In Mexico they may be made flat like tortillas, or shaped like doughnuts.”

    3 large eggs
    J/4 cup light or pure (not extra-virgin) olive oil, preferably Spanish
    V4 teaspoon suit
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
    1 1/2 quarts vegetable or mild olive oil for frying
    1 1/2 cups sugar for finishing

2 jelly-roll pans lined with parchment paper for holding the bunuelos before frying, and 2 more lined with paper towels for draining them

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl, then whisk in the oil and salt. Use a large rubber spatula to stir in the flour and baking powder to make a soft dough.
Scrape the dough from the bowl to a floured work surface and fold the dough over on itself, using a bench scraper to flip it. To make the dough smoother and somewhat elastic. Form the dough into a ball. Flour the outside, and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 1 hour, or as long as overnight.
When you are ready to fry the bunuelos, remove the dough from the relrigerator and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Use a bench scraper or knife to cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece to a cylinder 12 inches long. Cut each cylinder into 1-inch pieces.

Roll each 1-inch piece of dough under the palms of your hand lo a 3-inch length. Pass a rolling pin over the dough to flatten and lengthen it slightly. Moisten one end of the dough and join it to the other, pressing to make the 2 pieces of dough stick together, forming a circle. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, arranging them on one of the prepared pans, not touching each other.
To fry the bunuelos, heat the oil to 350 degrees in a large Dutch oven. Fry 5 or 6 bunuelos at a time, turning them over once they have turned a deep golden color on the bottom. Remove and place on one of the paper-towel-lined pans to drain. Repeat with the remaining bunuelos.
5. After all the bunuelos have been fried, put the sugar in a shallow bowl arid roll the warm bunuelos in it.
SERVING: Pile the bunuelos on a platter. They are a good snack or a very casual dessert.
STORAGE: Keep the bunuelos for up to 6 hours after frying before serving them. Fried pastries such as this don’t make good leftovers.~~A Baker’s Tour by Nick Malgieri~~

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Along with paella, the ubiquitous Spanish omelette is perhaps one of the best-known Spanish dishes.

    Tortilla de Patatas

Ingredients
* 1/2 pint of olive oil
* 5 medium (40 oz each) baking potatoes, peeled, sliced and lightly sprinkled with salt
* 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 5 eggs
* Salt
Heat the olive oil in a 9-inch skillet and add the potato slices carefully, because the salt will make the oil splatter. Try to keep the potato slices separated so they will not stick together. Cook, turning occasionally, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain into a colander, leaving about 3 tablespoons of oil in the skillet.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt. Add the potatoes, and stir to coat with the egg. Add the egg-coated potatoes to the very hot oil in the skillet, spreading them evenly to completely cover the base of the skillet.

Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook, shaking the pan frequently, until mixture is half set.

Use a plate to cover the skillet and invert the omelette away from the hand holding the plate (so as not to burn your hand with any escaping oil). Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and slide the omelette back into the skillet on its uncooked side. Cook until completely set. Allow the omelette to cool, and then cut it into wedges. Season it with salt and sprinkle with lemon juice to taste (optional).
Serve warm or at room temperature.

I enjoy a good omelette and this is simple and delicious. Good for lunch or dinner. Or just anytime. Most Tapas bars will have this omelette in their repertoire. And depending on where you are in Spain it may include mushrooms, tomatoes, or spinach. Sometimes served with a heaping tablespoon of mayonaise. (Paraphrased from Spain Recipes)

Please visit the other participants from My Kitchen My World for their Spanish (and British) recipes.

You know what they say about best laid plans, right?? I had so many recipes laid out for our Journey to Greece. It was going to be a glorious meal.

    Moussaka!
    Spanakopita!
    Pastitsio!

{All of which we have had before – but in my Pre-Blogging Days!!} Ah, well. At least we got dessert!

      Revani

Revani is a Semolina Sponge Cake that is soaked with a Lemon Syrup It is easy to put together and quite citrusy since there is Orange Zest in the cake and Lemon Syrup over the cake. Which makes it very moist! And very lemony! And quite sweet, but not overly sweet. {Especially since I added an extra 1/4 cup or so of lemon juice to the syrup.} The cake’s texture reminded me of cornbread

Did I mention there is also BRANDY in this cake? Ordinarily I don’t have Brandy in the house, but when I helped my Mom move she had these cute little bottles in the cabinet. Fortunately she didn’t know she had want them!!

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By the Way, we don’t publish recipes, but you can find Malgieri’s Recipe [from his A Baker’s Tour] – HERE!!

And Visit after June 1st to see the round-up for Greece.

Καλό φαγητό!

    Bon appetit!

      Enjoy your Meal!

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