| Joe Yonan |
WASHINGTON (WP-BLOOM) – Jose Garces wants his empanadas to be juicy,” says chef Louis Goral. “Super juicy.”
Goral is referring to Jose, the Philadelphia-based chef and empire builder who opened the Argentine-themed Rural Society in Washington this past summer.
To achieve empanadas that pass muster with the boss, Goral and his team stuff a soft dough with a filling of Swiss chard and cheese.
Caramelised onions and bechamel sauce add to the juiciness.
If everyone made them this way, nobody would get a dry empanada again.
Swiss Chard & Cheese Empanadas (photo below) Ten servings
1. Use your fingers to blend one-third cup cornstarch and six tablespoons softened, unsalted butter in a bowl.
Combine three cups flour and two teaspoons salt in a separate bowl.
Add one cup water and three tablespoons distilled white vinegar; stir to incorporate.
Add the butter mixture; use your hands to fold it into the dough, kneading until blended.
Transfer to a floured surface and knead a few more minutes, adding flour as necessary, until the dough is elastic and tacky but not sticky. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
2. Strip the leaves of one pound Swiss chard from the stems, discard the stems, and cut the leaves into strips.
3. Melt one tablespoon unsalted butter in a skillet over medium heat.
Add two chopped scallions and cook until tender, two to three minutes.
Add the chard and cook until it wilts and its moisture mostly evaporates, three to four minutes.
Add three-quarter cup caramelised onions and one-quarter cup Pernod and cook for three minutes, until the filling is moist but not soupy.
Add three-quarter cup bechamel sauce, bring the mixture to a gentle boil, and stir in three ounces grated (about one cup) Idiazabalor aged manchego cheese.
Stir in half teaspoon kosher salt. Refrigerate until cold.
4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. To form the empanadas, transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll it to a quarter-inch thickness.
Trace and cut out 10 four-inch rounds, gathering up the scraps and rerolling as necessary.
Lightly whisk one large egg, then brush a little on one edge of each dough round.
Scoop three tablespoons of the chilled filling into the center of each round.
Fold each into a half circle.
Pinch half inch of dough together around the outside, then crimp the edges to seal.
Transfer the rounds to baking sheets; brush the empanadas with more egg.
- Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.