Thursday, August 8, 2013

Easy Family Style Empanda

Like most foodies I am addicted to watching cooking and restaurant related T.V. shows of all sorts.  I found one called Made in Spain featuring Chef Jose Andres.  I really enjoyed his energy and he was also very informative.  Spanish food looks exciting and fresh and full of flavor.  When I saw him use a pre-made, store bought puff pastry sheet to make a baked, family style empanada I was floored.  The concept is just so simple and can be the base for so much more, I am thinking quick meat pies!
I decided I was going to make my own version of this Empanada.  I started out how I usually do, with a trip to the market for some inspiration.  I often just walk around the grocery store looking at all the products.  I not only look for new and exotic ingredients, I look for deals, cooking as a hobby can get costly!  I found this beautiful Pork Shoulder for $5.00 and knew right away that it was bound for my Kitchen and my Empanada. 
I am not going to post an actual recipe with this one.  What?!?!?!  Yea that's right.  I want you to build your own and come back and share with me what you did!  Just leave a comment below with the recipe and or a link to a recipe.
I started by scoring the skin on pork, and seasoned it with some salt, black pepper, thyme, and rosemary.  I baked it  to perfection then let it cool so that I could pull the pork apart by hand.  In two hours I had the most tender and juicy pulled pork just waiting to be knocked up another notch or two.
I decided I would use a chicken stock and simmer the pulled pork with Carrot, Celery, Onion, Red Bell Pepper, and Green Bell Peppers.  When my Veggies were cooked aldente it was time to put this bad boy together. 

     Be sure to build this on a non stick baking sheet and you need to poke holes in the top to let the steam escape or you will have a pastry that you can't move and will be soggy after baking. 

Roll or pinch the edges together, make sure to form a good seal.

Follow the baking instructions on the packaging of the pastry that you bought and you are done!

You can go all crazy or keep it simple, just get in the kitchen and have fun!  Cooking is only as difficult as you make it!
Be sure to come back and share what you made!
Writing this blog has connected me with some wonderful people.  One such person is Steve DiGioia.  He has a wealth of experience in the service industry and has written blogs and has a book published (Earn more tips on your very next shift...even if your a bad waiter).  I have the awesome opportunity to let him do a guest post on Wichita Falls Foodie!  The next post will on this blog will be a guest post by Steve and I think those of you who are passionate about the service industry will find it very entertaining, interesting and informative.  Come back soon and check it out and follow the links above to take a look at Steve's LinkedIn profile and his book on Amazon.
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