Empanadas de Platano




To most people, empanadas are calzones filled with a combination of different types of cooked meat and veggies.  To the Salvadoran however, empanadas are a dessert food and something entirely else all together!  In El Salvador, empanadas, also called empanadas Salvadorenas, are sweet inside and out. 

The outer shell of a Salvadoran empanada is made out of platanos.  Platanos, also called plantains in English, are a type of tropical banana that are firmer and lower in sugar content than the typical "dessert banana" we know and love in North America.  Whereas the common North American banana is usually eaten raw, platanos are generally cooked before they are eaten, regardless of whether they are cooked while still green or cooked when they become overripe and sweet. 

Inside of a Salvadoran empanada one will find a creamy, sweet milk filling that is a little like a custard and a pudding combined.  This heavenly filling is called "leche poleada", or just "poleada" for short, and could not complement a sweet platano any better than it does. 

To spice things up a bit and put my own twist on this very old recipe, I like to serve empanadas de platano in martini glasses.  I fill martini glasses with some of the leche poleada filling and then I garnish each glass with a finished empanada - see my pictures above.  The result is a very modern and sophisticated looking empanada that tastes just as good as your abuelitas!

This recipe will make about 10-15 empanadas and will fill about 5-7 martini glasses.  You can let your the kids snack on the leftover empanadas.  Here is my tried and true recipe for empanadas de platano:


Empanadas Salvadorenas:

Leche Poleada:  

Note:  This makes enough to fill about 5-7 martini glasses.

Ingredients:

2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of granulated, white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract (I like to use Mexican Vanilla, it has a stronger taste)
3 egg yolks
4 Tbsp. of rice flour

Directions:
    • Beat the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of the sugar until thick and creamy.
    • Add rice flour into egg mixture and mix well. Set aside.
    • Place milk, remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, and vanilla extract into a saucepan and heat on medium-high, stirring constantly until mixture starts to boil, and then turn off heat but keep pan on stove burner.
    • Add some of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture and stir hard and fast.  This is to prevent eggs from scrambling when you add the egg to the entire milk mixture.
    • Add the egg and milk mixture to rest of the milk mixture in the pan.  
    • Whisk very fast for two minutes. 
    • Mixture will begin to thicken suddenly. When this happens, immediately remove mixture from pan and pour it into the martini glasses. Set one glass aside for the empanada filling. 
      Empanada Dough:

      Note:  This makes  about 10-15 empanadas.  

      Ingredients:

      4 medium sized, overly ripe, (has a lot of black on them), platanos
      2 Tbsp. of granulated white sugar
      A pinch of salt
      2 tsp. of vanilla extract
      Approximately 1.5 cups of rice flour or Bisquick flour - The amount will very slightly based on the size of the platanos used.  Your aiming for a dough that sticks together but is still moist and not overly dry.

      Directions:
          • Slice the plantains in half and cut off their ends at each side.
          • Boil plantain halves in hot water for about 20 minutes, or until skin starts to fall off.
          • Remove plantains from water and immediately peel off and throw away skin.
          • Put boiled plantains into a large bowl and mash with a fork.
          • To the plantain mixture add, while it is still hot, the sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.
          • Once mixed, add the rice flour and knead well with your hands, adding more flour if necessary, until you have a firm, but still moist, pliable dough. 
          To Assemble the Empanadas:
          • When you are ready to start forming the empanada dough, add a little less than 1/4 cup of water to the dough mixture and knead it into the dough to ensure your dough will remain moist during this process.  If the dough cracks or falls apart while kneading, you need to add a little more water until it is moist and pliable.
          • Take a chunk of the dough into your hands and mold it into a ball shape.
          • Place the ball between two small sandwich baggies.   Note:  This is the same process we use to shape our tortillas.  See pictures of this on my post for making Tortillas de Maiz.
          • Using a small clear glass plate, press down on the ball of dough so that you make a flat tortilla shape.  We use a clear see through plate so we can keep an eye on how flat we are making our ball.
          • Now fill half of the empanada with about one spoonful of leche poleada.
          • Fold the other half of the empanada on top of the half containing the poleada so that you make the crescent moon shape that is characteristic of an empanada.
          • Pinch edges down with a fork.
          • Repeat all of the above steps until you have used up all the dough.  And remember, you can add more water to the dough during the process to keep your dough balls moist and without cracks.
          To Fry the Empanadas:
          • Heat frying oil to 375 degrees either in a deep fryer or in a skillet on medium-high if you don't have a fryer.
          • Once oil is hot, place a few empanadas into the oil. Let them sit for about one minute on each side, until golden and toasted looking in appearance.
          • Once the empanadas are done, remove them and place on a plates lined with paper towel to catch any excess oil.
          • Once the empanadas have cooled, place one on its side into each martini glass to garnish and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

          Buen Provecho!

          Below is a step-by-step gallery of the empanada - making process:





































          Here's a picture of a bunch of leftover empanadas, a great present to give your hubby to take to work and earn some extra points with his co-workers and boss!












          Here I have a little empanada - bandido that I caught!  He was quickly trying to devour the empanada he snatched before I could catch him!


          23 comments:

          Parsley Sage said...

          AWESOME! I adore empanadas but I've only had the savory kind. I bet a plantain based sweet version is out of control good :) Buzzed!

          Cook with Madin said...

          I love your version of empanada, plantain, we usually just fried them and sprinkle with white sugar. I will definitely try this recipe, your taste-tester got me. Thanks for sharing.

          Blackswan said...

          Dropping by from Luxury Haven. Thks for the add @ FoodBuzz!

          Very nice recipe & a pretty blog! Do chk out mine too & looking fwd to sharing :)

          baobabs said...

          yums!!!! looks amazing! thanks for sharing!

          Corrine said...

          looks delicious!! Great blog, following you now, come stop by mine if you get a chance: http://indulgebakery.blogspot.com/ :)

          Shirley said...

          That makes me hungry!

          beproverbs31woman said...

          This recipe looks delish! I can't wait to try it out!! Great shot of your taste tester - by the way!

          Dee said...

          Those look wonderful, I'm impressed by this & the use of rice flour.

          Anonymous said...

          I'm Mexican & hubby is Salvi :D he loves these empanadas but I had no idea how to make them. These are the best and most comprehensible directions I've found. Totally looking forward to making them for hubby & surprising him tonight! Thanks for posting :D

          La Cipota said...

          @ Anonymous - Thanks so much for your comment! I truly love comments like this because that was the entire purpose of this blog, to help women make this stuff! Best of luck with your empanada- making, I know your hubby will love them! Bendiciones! Sincerely, La Cipota.

          Jaqui said...

          This looks delicious. I'll be making these for my brother's engagement party - they want typical dishes and it doesnt get better than this1

          Anonymous said...

          I'm Salvadorian.I never even dare to try to make this things. My husband is from Spain but he would love for me to make this dessert. He loves platanos lol.. :) this is Marilyn and Norma jejjejeje. Nice blog we love it keep it up.

          Valerie said...

          Happy New Year and thank you sooo much for your amazing blog!!! I'm Salvy born in Southern Cali my Husband and parents etc. are all Salvy's born there. They laughed when I said I'd try making my 1st tortilla from maseca and now they're spoiled, Tried and accomplished pupusas, pasteles and this was a biggy. My husband doesn't think I can make them BUT like you i'll surprise him with super yummy delish snack when he gets home!! THANK you soo much

          La Cipota said...

          @ Valerie - you are SO welcome That's why I do this blog! Thank you so much for the comment, it is so encouraging!! @ Jacqui - That is awesome you are making them for the engagement party, yay!! I am so excited, let me know how they turn out! This is why I do this blog!! @ Norma and Marilyn! Thanks for checking my blog, I love you guys!! :)

          mimi said...

          hi; my name is mimi.you or amazing i have ben in america for the last 14 years in i always complain not to have the pleasure to enjoy in autentic comida salvadorena but you impress mi i im a salvadorian pastry cheff but i dont have no to coock far so is y idont cook but i i"m so proud the a american women find the way how put all this resetas together;THANK YOU SO BERY MUCH.
          YOU MAKE ME FEEL SALVADORIAN AGAIN.
          IS LIKE BE IN MY PULGARSITO DE AMERICA.

          Anonymous said...

          hi my name is maria im from san salvador i leave in the states for the last 22 years i leave in the midle of no were i look for salvadorenian recipes and im so happy and bless to find youre blog my family will love this recipes thank you so much for chering and God Bless

          Tara said...

          Those look so good!!

          pabloplato said...

          another one i'll have to try....and bookmarked!

          Anonymous said...

          WHATS THE CORNSTARCH FOR??

          espm23 said...

          Hi!!! I have a question? Is it possible to substitute rice flour for wheat flour? I like very much this recipe, but here i cannot get rice flour :(

          La Cipota said...

          Hi espm23 - Wheat flour will have too much protein and will make the empanadas more like bread, not pastries. If you cannot get rice flour, I would look for pastry flour. Buena Suerte! Sincerely, La Cipota.

          Anonymous said...

          cipota, I've seen this reccipe without the rice flour just the plantains.....and look yummy too. why do u add rice flour???

          Nancy Fuentes said...

          YOU JUST MADE MY DAY! My dad loves these. I am going to make it for him.

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