Friday, 9 November 2012

Empanadas or bust!

Another week, another person exits Strictly Come Dancing and this week, I can’t say I was sad to see Colin and Kristina go. When Kristina first joined the Strictly team, she blew me away – she was exciting and ‘gave it’ more than any other professional (except maybe Brian Fortuna who partnered her in those first couple of series!) but I have found my soft spot for her slowly hardening up.. I guess it’s perhaps a hangover from all her bad partners, but I find her routines are very ‘Kristina’ focussed and don’t showcase her partner enough! Ah well, she’s gone again for this year – shame Colin had to go though, now there was a man whose voice I could listen to all night!

Good grief – the Plum Pudding wasn’t a disaster by any means, but it took us almost 17 hours to steam the thing… 17 hours! Our house was like a roman baths and because it also turned into this enormous thing, we didn’t have a pan big enough to steam it in so used our brand new wok – which is now wrecked! I honestly didn’t expect it to be such a hassle (my poor husband was up until 4,30 in the morning, topping up the water, checking to see if it was finally cooked!). I am most definitely having myself a slab on Christmas day, even though I’m not actually a big fan – give me chocolate log every time! Sorry – no picture this week, but in it’s current state, it’s just a big pudding basin covered in cling film so not much to see!

On to this week and as mentioned last week, I haven’t done much savoury baking – I certainly have a sweet tooth and for me anyway, that’s the joy of baking. However, I thought I might take the plunge and so have decided to try and create some empanada’s. These lovely little Portuguese pockets* sound fairly straight forward although I will be heading into the world of home made pastry.. I’ve always used shop bought before (why wouldn’t you!) but it’s a skill I need to perfect if I’m ever going to start banging out quiches and tartlets and pies!

As always, like to do a bit of digging around my chosen bake and who’d have though it, but there is a province in Argentina which hosts its own empanada festival! The Tucaman national festival of the empanada is held every September and has quite strict rules – for example, the meat filling must be minced into 3mm pieces! – but sounds like a great excuse for a party! You can even go on the Ruta Empanada Tucumana, a tour around several big Tucaman cities eating nothing but juicy, spicy meat pies – yum!

To sign off this week and keeping in the party spirit, I love this!

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world”
J R R Tolkien

* They come from all over as this entry shows but I liked the way Portuguese Pockets sounded!

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