Empanadas with cheese and guava paste filling

Ingredients  ( for 15 medium discs )

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 6 oz of cold unsalted butter ( cut in 12 pieces)
  • 1 egg
  •  4 – 5 Tablespoons of cold water

Preparation 

  • Mix  flour and salt in a food processor
  • Add butter, egg and water until the dough gets clumpy (small balls of dough)
  • Form a ball with the dough and let it rest in the refrigerator for half an hour
  • Get the dough from the refrigerator and work on the dough with a pin or a roller until it gets very flat
  • With a small round plate or a round lid, cut out as many circle shapes as you can
  • Use immediately to make empanadas or put them in the refrigerator to use later
  • Place the filling at the middle of the circle
  • To close the empanadas, I recommend you use the white of egg for the edges to seal very well
  • Fold in half and use a fork to press the edges for both sides
  • If you have time, put them in the refrigerator for half an hour before baking to avoid opening
  • To have a nice bright color,  paint them with egg yolk before baking
  • Preheat the oven to 400F
  • Bake them for 20 – 25 minutes or until it gets golden color

Filling

For the filling, you can use whatever you like, salted or sweet. You can put  just cheese, chicken, beef or any filling that you prefer.                                                                            In this case, I used mozzarella cheese and guava paste.

 Ready to eat…. Enjoy!!!

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Cilantro Sauce

Cilantro Sauce

Ingredients

2 bunches of Cilantro

1 cup of mayonnaise

1 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of water

Salt and pepper

Preparation

Cut the cilantro roots and wash them very well, put in the blender with the all ingredients and do several pulses until creamy, add salt and pepper to taste. You will have a perfect sauce for grill beef or chicken, bread, potatoes or even vegetables. Enjoy it…

Pan de Jamón

This is a traditional bread from Venezuela, especially cooked during Christmas time.

Pan de Jamón

Pan de Jamón from Venezuela

Ingredients
For the dough:
200 ml warm milk
2 beaten eggs (+ 1 extra beaten egg for final brushing.)
2 tablespoons of yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
50 g of sugar
50 g of margarine melted
500 g of all-purpose flour

Filling
400 g of smoked ham
300 g of smoked bacon
Raisins
Boneless green olives
Honey

Preparation

The Dough
Mix well the sugar, salt and yeast in a medium sized bowl. Make a hole in the center of the mixture and add the beaten eggs and the melted margarine. Mix until smooth. Place the dough on the table and sprinkle it with flour and knead it for 10 minutes. The sticky consistency will be disappearing while kneading it. Sprinkle it with flour until the dough does not stick to the board.
Cover the dough with a cloth and place it in a warm place, it could be inside the oven while turned off. Let the dough rise until doubled in size (approximately 30 minutes).
Sprinkle the board with flour and extend the dough from the centers to the corners to make a rectangle. Sprinkle it with flour as much as you need to avoid the dough stick to the board. Make sure the rectangle is not wider than your oven.

The Filling
Brush the extended dough with a thin layer of honey. Make a layer of smoked ham, another layer of smoked bacon 2 cm apart from each other. (The bacon can be fried or put it in the microwave wrapped in paper towels for few minutes to reduce fat).
Put as many raisins and olives as you like. Note: filling portions can vary according your preferences.
Roll the dough up carefully and tightly, moistening the edges and the ends to keep the roll well sealed.
Cover it with a plastic wrap and let it rise for 30 more minutes. Remove the cover and brush it with a beaten egg and pierce with a fork to avoid unwanted dough openings. Place it in a 350ºF preheated oven for 40 minutes or until golden.

Majarete

Majarete

Majarete from Venezuela

Ingredients

1 coconut
1 cup of precooked cornmeal
2 cups of whole milk
2 cups of warm water
¼ kg of sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Cinnamon powder and pinch of salt to taste

Preparation

Cut open the coconut, extract the pulp and cut it into pieces. Put the coconut in a blender with one cup of warm water and blend it for two minutes at high speed. Strain it and squeeze the pulp until one cup of coconut milk is obtained. With the coconut pulp left, repeat the process with an extra cup of warm water to obtain a second cup of coconut milk.

In a medium sized bowl dissolve the cornmeal with one cup of coconut milk. Add the two cups of whole milk and blend it for about a minute.  Put the blended mixture into a deep pot and bring it to boil at low heat with a cinnamon stick and a pinch of salt. Add the sugar and the remaining cup of coconut milk, stir well for three more minutes. The consistence should be very thick.

Remove it from heat and put it in a container to set. Sprinkle with cinnamon powder on top and let it cool. This dish can be served warm or cold.