Monday, July 7, 2014

Hearts of palm empanadas - great snacks for the World Cup

Hearts of palm empanadas / Empanadas de palmito

The World Cup has been a lot of fun, there have been some great matches and I think that soccer aficionados around the world have been biting their nails like there’s no tomorrow. :)

To avoid that from happening, it is a good idea to have something to snack on during the games – I’d always wanted to make empanadas and they seemed perfect for the occasion, but since I’d made sfihas weeks before I wasn’t in the mood for more beef. Therefore, I mixed Argentina and Brazil and filled the empanadas with hearts of palm, making them vegetarian and delicious – those two countries together on the field is a very dangerous thing, but the combo worked out beautifully in my kitchen. :D

Inspired by these beauties I used a 10cm cutter to form the empanadas, and they turned out tiny and cute – you may make them larger if you want, but in the end it doesn’t matter: they were a great treat for the games and went really well with a couple of very cold beers. ;)

Hearts of palm empanadas
inspired by these, dough from Epicurious, filling own creation

215g unbleached all-purpose flour
100g whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ cup (1 stick/113g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 large egg
1/3 cup (80ml) ice water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

½ tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, finely diced
1 fat garlic clove, minced
300g hearts of palm, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ½ tablespoons boiling water
¼ cup parsley leaves, finely chopped

Egg wash:
1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork, mixed with ½ teaspoon water

Start by making the dough: sift flours with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.
Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated (mixture will look shaggy) – I used the food processor do make my dough, it was quite fast and effective.

Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour.

Make the filling: heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the onion and cook until transparent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the hearts of palm, season with salt and pepper, add the water, cover and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Add the parsley, mix to combine and remove from the heat. Cool completely.

Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out until it is about 6mm ( ¼in) thick. Cut out roughly 10cm (4in) round circles in the dough. Place about ½ tablespoon of filling in the center and fold the circle into a half moon. Pinch and fold the edges to seal them, then transfer to the prepared sheet.
Once all the empanadas are formed, brush them with the egg wash.
Bake the empanadas for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 22


June Burns said...

Those look amazing! Definitely perfect for a World Cup snack. :)

Magda said...

I love empanadas. In Greece we make such types of small pies too, generally vegetarian. I have never tried heart of palm but no I will! Perhaps for the semi-final on Wednesday as my adoptive country (Holland) is playing.
Incidentally, I was reading your about page and saw that you are no longer a football fan. How come? What changed?

Display name said...

Hearts of palm...? Never seen them around here, nevertheless I can imagine the empanadas are fantastic...

ela h.

Lynn D. said...

Do you use fresh hearts of palm? I've only seen them canned here. Do you think that would work?

Patricia Scarpin said...

Lynn, I used canned hearts of palm!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Magda, I still love soccer, but the Brazilian team is ridiculous. The coach is a joke - I've been saying that for months and no one believed me, maybe now, after the match with Germany, people will. :)

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