Fun Fact Friday: More on empanadas and Dulce de Leche (poll)

Uggg.

Empanadas are hard to make. Well, to be specific, they’re hard to “repulgue.” Watching the videos in yesterday’s post made me think “Wow, this is going to be a breeze.”

So naive. So VERY naive.

The videos made it look easy breezy because those people had probably repulgued (can you say that?) thousands of empanadas. When you have made zero, repulging (probably can’t say that) is not easy at all.

So, I hope you’ll cut me some slack when you see what I made for this weekend. At least I didn’t resort to the fork (although I thought about it).

Although the empanadas look like the product of a kindergarten craft project, lots of love and effort went into their making. My friend and I spent the better part of the day making dough, cooking the filling, cooling the filling, filling the filling into the filling… huh? what?

Sorry, I had some sangria in there somewhere, too.

Now that you’ve been updated, let’s talk dulce de leche.

Dulce de leche is made by cooking sweetened condensed milk for several hours until it thickens and turns a caramel color. Cooked for a shorter time frame makes a more runny sauce, cooked for longer makes for a solid texture.

Dulce de leche can be used on a number of foods like ice cream, cookies, cheesecake, etc. In fact, Dulce de leche is used a lot like caramel sauce.

Two ways to make dulce de leche:

1. Poke 2 holes in can lid. Place can in a pot of simmering water for 2-4 hours. Keep water level one inch below can edge at all times.

2. Poke 2 holes in can lid. Place can in a crock pot filled most of the way with water. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Store the dulce de leche in the fridge for a while, but don’t take my word for how long, since I get scared and throw things out sooner than I should. Except for prunes because a little old lady at Sams Club told me they’d keep forever in my fridge. So there they’ve sat, forever.

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Comments

  1. Jessica Bennett says:

    I’ve always thought repugling would be easy too (empanadas have been on my cooking to-do list for a while- don’t know why I haven’t given it a try yet). What makes it difficult?

  2. The YouTube video of folding the edges into a lovely scalloped work of art, which Sasha and I watched just before trying it ourselves, made it look pretty quick and simple.

    But just because you’ve stopped along the river in Paris to watch someone paint the local scenery in under an hour, or paid to have your caricature drawn at Disney World doesn’t mean you can replicate what they did so flawlessly just because you’ve seen it done.

    Were we working with PlayDoh, I think we’d have succeeded at the decorative folds on the first try, but no one would have eaten those empanadas. The problem came with the complex texture of the pie dough, in that it yields when pinched into place and then changes its mind when direct pressure is removed. It’s probably a sign of good fresh dough that it has a mind of its own, and trust me, the results tasted just as good on the early attempts as the ones that almost looked like the picture (only Sasha’s)!

    Don’t let our sangria-doused misadventures discourage you from trying it. In fact if you succeed at it, let us know your method.

    • Jessica, Tina summed up our difficulties perfectly.

      I would only add that perhaps my dough should have been rolled out thinner and been drier (I even cut back on the water, but could have cut back even more). I only say this based on my experience with making pasta and ravioli – its easier when its thinner and on the drier side.

      Tina, you should start a food blog. You are such a great writer! Some of your stories yesterday about cooking for the family would translate well to blogger land. You would have a following of underappreciated moms (aren’t we all?) in no time :)

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