Eva's Chicken Empanadas

eva's chicken empanadas | apt 2b baking co
eva's chicken empanadas | apt 2b baking co
chicken empanadas | apt 2b baking co
chicken empanadas | apt 2b baking co

So many fall cookbooks, so little time! Today's recipe comes from Eva Kosmas Flores, who you may know from her beautiful blog, Adventures in Cooking. She also hosts the dreamiest-looking workshops all over the world that are so beautiful and inspiring. Maybe one day I'll get to join in....This is all to say, that her new book Adventures in Chicken came out last week and it is chock-full of so many (150!) inspiring ideas on how to use everyone's favorite bird, all photographed in Eva's signature moody style. 

I don't talk much about savory food here, which is something I am trying to switch up, so when Eva asked if I'd like to check out her book I totally jumped at the chance - I still made something baked, of course :) There were tons of baked options to choose from, but these cute little empanadas caught my eye, and I'm so glad they did. I have to admit, even as a pie-pro, making the adorable braided edges of traditional empanadas (called the repulse) escaped me a bit...but they puffed up quite a bit in the oven and ended up looking pretty cute if I do say so myself! I served these empanadas room temp with a little non-traditional yogurt sauce spiked with lots of salt, lime, cumin, and chili powder and they were such a satisfying comforting meal. 

There are so many more recipes that I can't wait to explore including lots of appetizers, a galette, a couple of pot pies, casseroles, ways to use less appreciated parts of the bird (like livers and feet), and many ways to roast a bird - all with thoughtful twists that make them feel really special. Congrats Eva, on an amazing accomplishment (developing, styling, and shooting 150 recipes is a gargantuan task) and gorgeous book!

Chicken Empanadas from Adventures in Chicken by Eva Kosmas Flores

makes about 24 empanadas

Dough

2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon onion powder

pinch kosher salt

1/2 cup lard (I used vegetable shortening)

1 large egg, beaten

4-6 tablespoons vegetable stock 

Filling

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

 1 medium hello onion, diced

1 serrano chile, seeded and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced

1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water

For the dough, in a large bowl mix together the flour, onion powder, and salt until combined. Add the lard and pinch it with your fingers until a crumbly sand-like mixture forms. Add the egg an knead into the dough. Add the vegetable stock, 1 tablespoon at a time kneading until a smooth dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes or up to 2 days.

For the filling, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, chile, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until softened and the onion becomes slightly translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken, cumin, salt, chile powder, and pepper and stir to combine. Cook, stirring every 2 minutes until the chicken is just cooked through 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the eggs, and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Roll out the dough on a clean and lightly floured work surface until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Use a 4-inch circular cutter to cut one dough round. Spoon about 1 heparin teaspoon of the filing onto the bottom half of the round. Dip your finger in a glass of water and trade it around the edge of the top half of the dough. Fold it over the bottom half and press the edges together to seal.

To create the repulse (the braided-looking edge) start at one corner of the sealed empanada and fold the corner up over the top, pinching it together with the top once you fold it. Repeat this again with the new corner that formed at the base of the last fold and continue until sealed all the way along the edge. Place the empanada on a baking sheet. If you don't want to to the repulse, you can press the edges together to seal then roll the sealed edge towards the filling to make the seal more secure.

Repeat with the remaining ingredients, spacing the empanadas about 2-inches apart on the baking sheet. This may take some time, so I recommend keeping a kitchen towel over the rolled-out dough to keep it from drying out and becoming unpliable. Brush the empanadas with egg wash and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until puffy and golden. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Molly's Scallion Pancake Challah

scallion pancake challah | apt 2b baking co
scallion pancake challah | apt 2b baking co
scallion pancake challah | apt 2b baking co
scallion pancake challah | apt 2b baking co
scallion pancake challah | apt 2b baking co

We are having another quiet weekend around these parts, complete with lots of lounging on the couch, and cozy eats. We also just got back from a SUPER fun road trip to Virginia that I can't wait to tell you about, spoiler alert - we ate a lot of good food and saw a lot of beautiful things, and Arlo is an excellent road trip companion - but after almost a week on the road, I was ready to get back to my own kitchen. This weekend's dreary weather really kicked me into action. I made baked pasta with bolognese for dinner last night, and then not so accidentally fell asleep on the couch at about 9:30. This is my 30s guys, what can I do? I love an early bedtime.

Another great thing about getting back from the road was that I have been cooking from the killer new fall cookbooks that have been stacking up on my coffee table. If you've been on the internet lately, I'm sure you've heard of the gorgeous book, Molly on the Range, by my my pal Molly Yeh, creator of the award-winning blog My Name is Yeh. It is so delightful, and so very Molly. From the fun recipes that reflect her Chinese-Jewish heritage to the adorable illustrations, thoughtful writing, and beautiful minimal photography, this book is a perfect extension of the work that Molly does on her blog and such a delight to flip through!

Molly said this recipe is basically her in bread form - Chinese, Jewish and a pretty doughy. We attacked the warm loaf with our hands and ate about half of it in one go, then enjoyed the rest with eggs for breakfast which I think would be very Molly approved. The recipe only calls for a 1/2 recipe of dough, but I figured I could find a home for a second loaf of challah so I went for it and made the whole recipe - half plain and half scallion. You should too! Molly also gives lots of other fun suggestions of what you can do with challah dough in the book. It also calls for sprinkling the dough with sesame seeds, but I was out when I went to make this...it is much cuter with sesame seeds on top :)

SCALLION PANCAKE CHALLAH FROM MOLLY ON THE RANGE

makes one loaf

from Molly on the Range

1/2 recipe dough from Basic Challah (recipe follows), made through the first rising

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

3 scallions, minced

Kosher salt and black pepper

Crushed red pepper

Egg wash: 1 large egg yolk, beaten with

1 tablespoon water

Toasted sesame seeds

 Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and roll each part into a 12-inch log. Gently flatten each log so that it is about 3 inches wide. Brush each with sesame oil and sprinkle with scallions, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Roll the logs up lengthwise like a jelly roll and pinch the seams to seal. Lay the logs seam side down next to one another and pinch them together at one end. Then braid the logs and pinch them at the other end. Place the loaf on the lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

 Brush the loaf with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds and black pepper.

Bake until the loaf is golden brown and has an internal temperature of 190ºF. Begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes. Let cool slightly and enjoy.

MOLLY'S BASIC CHALLAH

from Molly on the Range

Makes 2 loaves

4 ½ teaspoons (2 envelopes)

active dry yeast

1 ½ cups warm water

1 teaspoon plus ¼ cup sugar

6 ½ cups flour, plus more for dusting (or sub in up to 2½ cups whole wheat flour)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 large eggs

⅔ cup flavorless oil

¼ cup additional sweetener: sugar, brown sugar, honey, or molasses

Egg wash: 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water

In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar and give it a little stir. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl or in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the flour, salt, and remaining ¼ cup sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and additional sweetener.

When the yeast is foamy, add it to the dry mixture immediately followed by the egg mixture and stir to combine. Knead, either by hand on a floured surface or with the dough hook until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough, 7 to 10 minutes, adding more white flour as necessary (but resist any urge to add too much!).

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, and let it sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours. (It will take slightly longer if you’re using whole wheat flour.) Alternatively, you can stick it in the refrigerator overnight and then let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before shaping.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half and, working with half of the dough at a time (keeping the other half covered), pat the dough out into a long rectangle, roughly 3 inches by 12 inches (this doesn’t need to be exact). From this, cut 3 long and skinny rectangles and roll them out a bit to get 3 long snakes. Pinch them together at one end and then braid the snakes and pinch them at the other end. Transfer the loaf to a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining half of the dough. Let them rise, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes.Preheat the oven to 375º F.

Brush the loaves with a thin even layer of egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and have an internal temperature of 190ºF. Begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes.

Let the loaves cool until they’re jusssst cool enough that they won’t burn your mouth, and then enjoy with lots of butter.