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Fried Empanadas

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2009
Oh, my God! I'm Chilean. Empanadas, are among my favorite traditional food. Chilean empanadas are unique in texture and taste. This recipe is great! You can also substitute the meat filling ("el pino") for Mozarella cheese, poultry, or seafood. When you use cheese, don't use any of the ingredients for the meat one, just the cheese! Sparkle confectioner sugar on the top of the fried cheese empanada before serving. This recipe should've been called "Fried Meat Empanadas" (Empanadas Fritas de Pino). "Pino" is what we call the mix of all the ingredients in the meat. For all empanadas, slide ur clean, wet index finger on the edge of the dough before folding and cooking. This prevents the filling from dripping or falling out while fryng the empanada. Poke the top of the dough with a fork about 3 times before frying so air can exit and prevent dough for exploding while frying. Look for the recipes for all of them and try them. You and ur family will just love them all! Your guests will love them, too. Make at least a dozen of them for a family of three or four. For parties, make sure you make at least 2 per guest. Cook time is less than 5 minutes. Two or three minutes of deep fry should be enough. IMPORTANT: Pls, don't use supermarket dough. The dough recipe is as important as the filling to taste the true Chilean empanadas. Add spices to the filling as per your taste. Don't substitute anything! Enjoy! :)
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Pisco Sour

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2009
I'm Chilean, too. Of course, I'm biased and find Pisco sour much better than Tequila. However, I do not agree with those that recommend confectioner sugar to regular sugar. Would you suggest the same for a Margarita? Pisco sour is traditionally served like a Margarita with the ring of sugar on the rim. Regarding the eggs white issue . . . This is a drink that has been used to celebrate the Holidays in Chile, especially Independence Day for at least 3 centuries and the egg whites have not been an issue. People might get sick of alcohol intoxication but not egg white in the mix. I have not tried the Peruvian version. Perhaps, the Peruvian version uses too many egg whites in the mix. When prepared well, you don't even know that the egg whites are there. I am diabetic so I prepare mine separately by substituting the sugar in the mix for Equal (Aspartame) or Nutrasweet (same as Equal). Other sugar substitutes are horrible so the only ones that do it for me are the above-mentioned. However, I do keep the ring of sugar and slice of lemon on the rim. When you prepare it, just follow the recipe and do not use more than one egg white. You'll love it but drink in moderation because you can get quite drunk with 2 or more glasses of it. Pisco has a high content of alcohol, as much or more than Tequila. If you are in Chile, try "Agua Ardiente" (Scorching Water) which is almost pure alcohol. Again, moderation . . .
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Baked Flan

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2009
This is very similar to the Spanish Flan (my favorite). I'm from Chile and this is a very popular dessert over there. A tip to prevent sugar from crystallizing is to add a few drops of lemon (2-4) while stirring the sugar in the pan. If you don't want to worry about burning the sugar, it's best to use the "wet" method which simply means adding a few drops of water (10-20) to the sugar so the sugar will be all wet but still solid in the pan and stir it until it becomes liquid and brown. You don't need to use the lemon when you use the "wet" method. Also, after you mix all the ingredients and pour the mix into a deep baking pan (like those for cakes), you place the baking pan on top of a "handless" deep pot that is filled with water half way. Then, you place both in the oven and cook it as per cooking time. I used to use a tooth pick or knife to check for consistency/texture before taking it out of the oven. Once the flan is ready, you prepare the caramel as per above instructions and pour it over the cooked flan when you are ready to serve it (not before!). Let it stand at room temp or in the fridge for about 20 minutes until the caramel is fixed to the top of the flan. I prefer to let it stand at room temp so only the top caramel will be solid at time of serving because it only takes a few seconds for the caramel to solidify. If still in doubt, check the recipe for Spanish Flan (which is the original) for detail instructions about the caramel. Hope this helps. :)
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