It all started 2 Friday’s ago as a means to bring in the lunar New Year-the year of the horse.  Ryan had the idea of making dumplings at home rather than dealing with the crowds in Chinatown.  They were amazing, so the following week I thought we should put our empanada making skills (gained from Argentina) to use and host a similar event.

Dumplings were incredibly easy to make-just flour and water, but took quite some to roll out the dough.

For the filling we mixed together ground chicken, mushrooms, ginger, bamboo shoots, scallions, sesame seeds, sesame oil, pepper, paprika, and salt.

By the way, the mushrooms we used were huge! This picture does them no justice.

Once all the dumplings were made they took no time to cook up-browned with sesame oil and steamed.

Served along with steamed bok choy.


The empanada dough was a bit more tricky.  We also had more guest so we needed to double the recipe.  We used 4 1/2 cups of flour, 2 sticks of butter-frozen and shredded into the flour (yep shredded with a cheese grater!!), and 3 tsp of salt all mixed together.  Once incorporated into a meal consistency we added 2 eggs, and 2/3 cup of ice water all mixed together.  This was enough for 24 small empanadas.

After forming the dough into a ball, we set the dough aside while we worked on the fillings.

3 fillings were in the works:

1. Carmelized onions (1 quart of chopped onions-it was something like 3-4 onions) made enough for 8 empanadas. Wish I had a picture of the condensed onions.

2. Root vegetable mix-sweet potato, white potato, carrots, with cumin, chili powder, nutmeg, cayenne, pepper, and salt.

3. The final filling was beef and onion-1 to 1 ratio of beef to onion with the same seasonings as above (well paprika instead of cayenne pepper).

Ryan then got to making the dough.

And our dinner guest got to filling.  The empanadas were topped with egg wash and popped into the oven for 20 minutes at 400*.

Viola, end product.

For dessert I sauteed a chopped pear with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

And served a top of a caramel bar.

Notice the bars are cut into hearts?

T’was delicious!