Thursday, November 8, 2007

A few failed attempts

I am making this one blog entry even though it was actually 2 dinners. I wouldn't say they failed, but they didn't turn out how I was expecting them to. I am sure I did something wrong, b/c the girls I grabbed these recipes from have amazing success. So I won't totally rule out making these 2 items again, but it may be awhile before I attempt.

I had been wanting to try my hand at Crab Rangoon. I had a recipe from Tyler Florence, but after reading his, it called for mayo, not cream cheese, so I went on search for another. I snagged a recipe from Joelen.
I won't repost the recipe but I think my mistakes went as follows:
a) I should have filled all the wonton wrappers with crab mixture, then turned on the oil, then I could just work in batches.
b) I used dungress crab thinking it would be better, but it made it more fishy
c) My mixture was a little watery, I don't know why, but maybe the dungress crab did it.
Anyway, the hubs said he liked these, but they definitely didn't taste like the kind you get at the local Chinese Restaurant.

Next up was my hand at homemade empanadas. When we were in St. Lucia, my husband had a little treat he called a "beef fritter". After reading the empanada post from Ally,, I thought these sounded pretty close to these fritters he had had.

The filling was delicious! I used chicken breast that I seasoned with the spices she had put on her whole chicken, then I pan sauteed the breasts & let them cool. I went on the search at the store for the empanada dough- no dice. But I had a feeling this would happen so I researched and read that you could use pie dough. That I could find.

Well, the pie dough didn't hold together, and it definitely didn't fry quite right in the pan, basically they all fell apart. The hubs said, well I think its delicious, just b/c it doesn't look good doesn't mean its bad. I wasn't so worried about it looking good, but it did not look like Ally's at all.

Onto the rice recipe of Ally's. Eek. I should not be allowed to make any rice but minute rice. I can do minute rice pretty darn good. But I tried this long grain Mexican rice & well, after 45 mins of adding additional broth, tomato sauce, etc.. The rice was still crunchy. I have no idea what I did. But it did smell good while it was cooking.

So I post these here for two reasons: One, everyone has kitchen disasters but you won't learn from them if you don't at least try to make them. I think these were pretty ambitious recipes, but hey, I tried right? Two, tips for the next time I feel like I can make these??

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am completely unfamiliar with the proportions for pie dough, but here's a good recipe for empanada dough. It's simple, using ingredients you will probably have on hand.

2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water

1. Sift the flour into a bowl. Stir in the salt and the sugar.

2. Melt the butter with the lard or shortening, and stir into the flour with a fork.

3. Stir in the water, a little at a time. The dough should come together in a ball. It will be a wet dough, but not particularly sticky.

4. If the dough seems too wet (and won't form a ball) add a couple more tablespoons of flour.

5. Knead the dough lightly in the bowl, until it seems well mixed.

6. Wrap with saran wrap and chill for at least an hour.

7. Dough will keep overnight in the refrigerator.

Makes enough dough for 10 - 12 5-inch empanadas.

Hope that helps! I hope to make some empanadas or some original tortilla soup in the next few weeks!