Saturday, December 22, 2012


This fall I visited the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. They had a fun exhibit of American Indian musicians from 1900 to current.  It was fascinating to see how many artists are of American Indian decent.  It also encouraged me to add some music to my iPod that I normally wouldn't have on my playlist.  The BEST part of the visit was the American Indian Museum was the cookbook I found. :)  Yes, I added another cook book to my growing collection.  It is called Foods of the Americas, Native Recipes and Traditions by Fernando and Marlene Divina. I am blown away by how many of the recipes I want to make in this book!  The influences from this book are far reaching from South America to Canada.  The first recipe I tried out of this book is for Empadas.  They are best described as meat pies.  They remind me of Samosa's from Asian restaurants.  The flavor was UNIQUE!  I was half expecting a Mexican flare...which it had, but there was a major twist.  You CERTAINLY need to check this recipe out!

Empada's modified recipe:
Pre-made Pie Filling

1/4 cup tomato salsa
1 tablespoon corn oil
1 small white onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground beef
3/4 cup diced russet potato
1/3 teaspoon ground allspice
1 small chile, seeded and minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock

Flour for dusting
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
Pinch of sea or kosher salt

Heat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.  Add the oil, onion, and garlic and cook without browning for about 5 minutes.  Add the salsa, beef, potato, allspice, chile, bay leaf, salt, pepper and chicken stock.  Cook, stirring often for 15 to 20 minutes, until the meat is browned and cooked through and the liquid has nearly evaporated.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.  Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Lightly oil and flour a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

To assemble the empadas, lightly flour a work surface.  Cut the dough in half horizontally and cover one half with a clean kitchen towel to keep moist.  Roll the other half of the dough out to about 1/8 inch think.  Cut into 12 squares or rounds about 3 1/2 inches wide.  Place a generous tablespoon of the meat mixture in the center of each piece of dough.  Roll Out and cut the other portion of the dough in the same manner.  Whisk the egg with the water and salt to make an egg wash.  Brush the edges of the bottom dough pieces with the egg wash.  top each with another dough piece and drip the edges with the tines of a fork or your fingertips.  Place the empadas on the prepared baking sheet.  Brush the tops with the remaining egg wash.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve warm.

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