THIS DISH IS CRAZY!
So, while watching Chopped, a cute little blurb came up on the TV that said "Now casting!". So, in my delusion, I went on the website to see how hard it would be to audition for the show. To my surprise, they have an open casting call for amateur chefs for next season. I've always dreamed of going to Chopped, but I know I can't compete with the chefs on the show. SO THIS WAS MY CHANCE. And so I applied, and they asked me to make a video. The dish in this post is the result of that video.
Behold my creation:
The concept behind it is that I chose 1 ingredient that best represented each of the 4 countries I have lived in.
Venezuela - Harina PAN
USA - Barbecue sauce
Mexico - Tomatillos
Germany - Weisswurst
So in true Chopped spirit, I tried to create something delicious out of their combination.
Weisswurst in barbecue verde sauce empanada
Servings: 2 (2 empanadas each)
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min
Total time: 30 min
4 weisswurst sausages, peeled and crumbled
2 cups Harina PAN flour.
2 1/2 cups water
4 tomatillos, in chunks
1/2 Spanish onion, peeled and in two parts
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 jalapeño pepper
2-3 sprigs cilantro
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup + 1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp paprika
salt to taste
In a small pot, add the tomatillos, one part of the onion, one garlic clove, jalapeño, cilantro and fill with water. Bring to a boil and let cook until the tomatillos get soft. Let cool for 1-2 minutes, and transfer to a blender. Add the remaining onion, garlic and salt to taste. Blend until sauce consistency. Be careful! If you blend while it is too hot it will go all over the place!
While the tomatillos are cooking, add the water to a large bowl and season with salt. If you taste the water it should be salty. Add the paprika and slowly begin adding the Harina PAN flour with one hand while stirring with the other. (Yes, you are mixing with your hands). This mixture should feel watery, because after it rests it will harden a little bit. Let it rest while you continue.
In a heavy skillet, add 1 tbsp oil and heat to medium high. Toss in the crumbled sausage and cook for about 3 minutes. Next, add the barbecue sauce and stir well, until it is all coated. Then, add the blended tomatillos (salsa verde!). Stir everything well until all flavors are mixed. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Now, making empanadas with Harina PAN is fun times. Prepare your station by cutting two plastic bags into large squares. Line a flat surface with one of them. You will need a flat cutting board or baking sheet, and a small or medium bowl.
Heat the cup of oil to medium high heat in a deep nonstick pan.
Grab an apricot-sized ball of dough and roll into a circle. Place it in the center of the plastic. Cover with the second plastic sheet, and use the cutting board to press down. A nice, awesome, even circle of dough should have appeared! Now, grab about 2 tbsp of the weisswurst filling and place in the center of the dough. Lift the half of the plastic underneath that is farthest from you, and fold it over. Make sure to match the outsides of the circle, it should look like a half moon. Grab the small bowl and press it upside down on the dough, making sure you are close to the edges. Press down firmly to cut the dough and seal the empanada. This sounds super complicated, but it isn't that bad! (Note: Watch toward the end of the video as a reference of how to do this.)
Carefully lift the empanada off the plastic and drop in the oil. Make sure the oil is hot. It should begin sizzling immediately. Fry on both sides for about 1 minute, until golden. Transfer to a paper lined plate to remove some of the excess oil. Wait before serving, they are extremely hot!
And that's it! Repeat these steps until you finish the dough or the filling :) We were very happily surprised with the results! I highly recommend that you mix salsa verde and barbecue sauce, they are miraculous :)
And if you're curious, here is the audition video: