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Baked or Fried EMPANADAS (large)???

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hiya all! Great site, this is my first post !!

In the USA, what with all the new hype about Latino Foods (not Mexican), what would be the best seller: FRIED or BAKED Empanadas?

In S. America they mostly bake them, but the Islands fry.

Is frying "bakeable" items a no-no in the USA, now that all the health and over-weight issues are growing?

Gracias and all the best!
post #2 of 13
If your kitchen has the ability, offer both. While people pretend to eat healthy, fried foods still outsell nonfried.

Ciao,
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post #3 of 13
The great thing about empanadas is the fact that the permetations are endless. You can do either fried or baked, both come out great and both would sell equally well, IMO. Just make sure you choose the right dough for whichever type of cooking you prefer. I really think the choice is yours to make based on what is the easiest for your kitchen to handle.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Tks Steve, I had a feeling that would be the answer.

Pete, gracias. Can you recommend RTU doughs for both Baking and Frying?
post #5 of 13
I know I'm not Pete but... If you're looking for an RTU, I'd check into either a Pillsbury or Sarah Lee product. It might be just a matter of rolling the fried item a little more to thin it down.

Ciao,
Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
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"It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." Frank Zappa
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Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Tks SteveA. Most Latin recipes call for manteca animal (animal lard) in the dough. For the RTU doughs/sheets, for baking and/or frying, would you spray or brush on those pastries? Crisco, for vegetarian empanadas, what method?
post #7 of 13
For frying you won't have to worry about a spray. Worst case scenario for baking would be either an egg white to seal the empanada as one might when making wontons or water and crimp.

If you test that and find it doesn't look brown enough, brush a little bit of milk on the dough prior to baking.

My guess would be to prep all your filling beforehand to allow a decent drainage of anything that may potentially cause a wetness problem. You could either batch prep a variety of fillings and cook to order or have everything ready to put together per order. My gut feeling would be to start out with a loaded sheetpan ready to cook off as needed. If you find you're not selling enough to warrant a lot of prep, then you can change your operation mode to cooking to order.

Hasta luego y Ciao,
Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Tks SteveA. The Lard is not for coloring, but actually for flavoring the dough. The animal lard I've used is very similar in look and texture to Crisco, so I gues to "infuse" that taste on the dough it may be better to brush the room-temperature spread rather than spary (for baking and frying)?
post #9 of 13
I'm afraid the flavor of the lard (or your substitute) might be lost in a fryer. I would suggest an herb or spice sprinkled on the dough which would compliment the product inside.

As for baking, perhaps a little bit of butter or ghee brushed on the dough would add a dimension you might find pleasing.

Ciao,
Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
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"It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." Frank Zappa
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post #10 of 13

Dessert or Savory?

I grew up with sweet empanadas that were baked but savory empanadas that were fried. Unless your sweet filling takes well to deep frying, I would recommend baking sweet and frying savory.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Tks Stewey! Mine will be savory, and I really want to bake them, more "professional" feel, IMHO. But, I want that dough to be as flavorful as possible, and no South American recipe calls for any flavoring other than Lard. So still my question is: how do I impregnate the RTU puff pastry or other RTU dough with that special Lard flavor?
post #12 of 13
Make your own dough and use lard. But since you want RTU, that's probably out of the question. Perhaps melt some lard and brush it??

Ciao,
Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
- * - * - * - * -
"It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." Frank Zappa
Reply
Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
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"It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." Frank Zappa
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post #13 of 13
What about mixing your filling with lard? As the lard melts, the dough should absorb the flavor. You may need to mess with the amount of lard you use or the baking times to prevent the dough from becoming too saturated with lard which would prevent thorough cooking.
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