I am back with a new recipe in my personal Julie & Julia challenge from the Panamanian recipe book T’ach.
Today we arrive to the province of Colón, on the Atlantic coast of Panama. A region greatly influenced by the construction of the railway and the canal. Descendants of all ethnic groups who arrived (or were brought by force) to work in Panama more than 100 years ago live here. Currently more than 50% of the population is of African or Antillean origin.
This influence is clearly noticeable in the cuisine of Colón, full of strong and exotic flavors and recipes with names that mix English, French, Panamanian and surely some other dialect: Patí, Saus, Escoviched, Fufú… are just some of these names.
Stay here and together we will explore the exuberant gastronomy of the province of Colón.
As for the adaptations I made to the original recipe, I changed the chombo chili sauce for Tabasco sauce and used Crisco instead of lard, not because it was hard to find, but because I already had it at home. For the rest, they are all very easy ingredients to find anywhere.
For the dough
- 4 tablespoons lard
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- cold water
- 2 egg whites
For the filling
- 2 tablespoons lard
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound (500 g) ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 6 minced garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 4 chopped peppers
- 1 cup of water
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of chombo chili sauce
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
Let’s start by making the dough. Mix the lard with the flour and salt and then gradually add cold water until the dough comes together and forms a ball. I added very little, maybe 3 or 4 tablespoons; You have to be careful not to go overboard with the water because otherwise we won’t be able to work it well.
Knead a little, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
To make the filling, heat the oil and lard in a large skillet, add the ground meat and cook until it changes color. Add onion, garlic, celery and peppers. Cook stirring for about 5 minutes.
Add water and continue cooking until reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper, add the hot sauce and curry. Cook stirring for another 5 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs, stir well and remove from the heat.
Let the filling cool before assembling the patties.
Preheat the oven to 350 ºF / 180 ºC and cover the baking tray with baking paper.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface until very thin. Cut roundels and stretch a little more if necessary. Fill with a tablespoon of meat, close the empanadas by pressing and mark with a fork. Place the empanadas on the baking tray, brush them with egg white and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
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