1/2 recipe Pesto Pine Nut Bread, pgs 98-99,
We can make substitutions, but share what and how we substituted with the group in our blogs.
4 c AP, 3 1/4 c WWW (white whole wheat for whole wheat)
Added 2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Added 1 ½ c chipotle salsa
3 tbsp sliced pickled jalapenos
I love any kind of Mexican food…as I’ve mentioned before we were sailing along the Pacific Mexican coast for 9 months on our way to Panama a few years ago. We stopped in many ports and coves, enjoyed so much wonderful food, both peasant and haute cuisine types. One of our favorites were empanadas. These wonderful stuffed doughs ran the gamut from savory to sweet, and were always best from the places the locals frequented.
So when I saw the ingredients required in this dough, I couldn’t even think of making a bread with it at first. But, I will say, the very first thing I thought of with this dough was a wrap. I tried making some with the ½ recipe but they were awful. I couldn’t get the dough to roll out well. I’m not sure if it was because I had originally used the Pesto dough or not.
What I did was make a full recipe of the dough for the Pesto dough which calls for spelt flour as well as whole wheat and all purpose. After mixing the dough, I then split it apart, in half, and added the pesto to the first hal. In the other I added the guacamole which I made by mashing an avocado and adding a cup of chipotle salsa I bought at Sam’s. I was very surprised that the avocado stayed bright green. Yet, the pesto (homemade last summer from basil I grew) turned brown due to oxidation.
Anyway, as I said the wraps were a dismal failure (no pictures). The pesto dough did do well made into pitas. I’ll talk about those in the next segment.
But I didn’t want to give up on the Avacado-Guacamole dough. So I mixed up a full batch of the recipe but added 1½ c chipotle salsa, and 2 c shredded sharp cheddar. Then I couldn’t resist adding 3 tbsp pickled jalapenos to add that extra kick. The dough rose beautifully, and felt much resilient and very workable.
In the morning I mixed the filling:
From a roasted chicken debone and dice 1 breast, 1 leg and thigh, put into a bowl and add the following, then mix it all up:
1 c chipotle salsa
9 oz frozen corn
1 small can green chilis, chopped
One 14.5 oz can black beans
8 oz. queso fresco (Mexican cheese)
I weighed out 5 ounce lumps of dough and formed them into balls. Then let them rest for a few minutes. At first I tried using my turnover shaper that my sister had given me a few years ago. But the rolled out dough stuck to the form. I then switched to just forming the empanadas by hand. After I rolled the dough out into a round about ¼” thick, and brushed it with beaten egg around ½ of the round edge, I put about 3 spoons of filling it in, then folded over and pinched the edges together.
The filling recipe made 12 empanadas before I ran out of filling. With the last of the dough I made 5 rolls that will be perfect for chicken sandwiches or hamburgers. After letting them rise for about 30 minutes, I brushed the tops with a beaten egg, and baked in a 450 degree oven for 30 -35 minutes. While there was a bit of leakage out of a few of the empanadas, they all came out beautiful and delicious smelling.
I let them cool for about 10 minutes, and then cut one in half and put on a plate.
Again harkening back to our time in Mexico, I could only think of serving the empanada with tropical fruits. So I cut up a perfectly ripe papaya and placed about ½ c of it on slices of pineapple. But wait…it wasn’t a perfect meal yet!
Agua de sabors were a big part of our days in that tropical heat in Mexico and Central America. The “water of the day” as it translates was whatever fresh fruit was available…watermelon, papaya, mango, guanabana, banana, passion fruits. Another big favorite is rice milk laced with cinnamon. The first time I was offered rice milk I thought it was made with milk and declined it since I am lactose intolerant when it comes to straight milk. But then I learned that it is made by cooking rice in about 2x the amount of water you would normally use to cook rice, and you can add a vanilla bean to it. After the rice is cooked you blend it until very smooth, strain it and then add more water to taste. Once I learned THAT’s what rice milk is I drank it every chance I got. Here in the states I’ve usually bought rice milk but it’s loaded with sugar! So I’ll be making my own soon now that I’ve found a good and easy recipe for it.
OK, back to how rice milk enhanced this meal, I simply poured rice milk into a glass and sprinkled a bit of cinnamon on top. What a wonderful breakfast this was! Even Ken loved the empanada!
Wanetta and Wayne, and another taster, Rosalind also loved the empanadas…in fact all three said they wanted them again, soon!
One final note:
Since I was in the mood for agua de sabors, I decided to use the last of the pineapple, some of the papaya, some rice milk, and blended it with ice and a bit of Splenda. What a refreshing drink! I sometimes throw in some soda water but this time thinned it with just regular water. We drink this type of concoction a lot during the hot days of summer.
See part II to see how I had fun with the pesto dough!