Empanadillas stuffed with stewed pork fan, in Joselito's (Madrid).
Since the duo Tuesday and Thirteen made her the protagonist of the New Year's Eve in 1985, the empanadilla has taken many turns. Traditional or contemporary, today it admits masses and fillings of all kinds
Crescent shaped, usually fried and with a recognizable filling. Yes, we talk about dumplings. Almost certainly, the first ones that most remember are the ones he has eaten at home as a child : tuna with tomato and sometimes with pieces of hard-boiled egg. What great use our mothers and grandmothers gave to those famous wafers found in almost any supermarket!
We could go back to a Persian origin, when they were cooked not as an outlet for leftovers but as a true preparation, exclusive and almost as a gift . They arrived in the Andalusian era and little by little they adapted to the new customs, as Juan Vallés collected in his manuscript Gift of human life (16th century), calling them pan pies and making them both sweet and savory, for example , from white delicacy (a sweet cream with cinnamon and lemon peel) to cow canes with bird figs.
Already in 1878 the Jesuits cited recipes for fried fish patties in aceyte -antaño were made in butter, as Juan Vallés explained-, similar to those stuffed with that tasty tuna with tomato that have reached our days, although in recent years this Format has varied in ingredients, forms of cooking and types of dough. It is what globalization has, which dominates gastronomy .
For the most classic and supporters of the usual, a good option is Melo's, that bar in the Lavapiés neighborhood (Madrid) that only opens in the afternoons and that counts among its specialties - in addition to the well-known shoe , a large lacon sandwich and cheese- with the traditional tuna .
The industrial frozen ones have little to do with those doughs that suffer slightly in the oil, crispy with an interior that differs from a real stew and that looks more like a paste. Also in the capital are the Empanadillas de Angélica that Paco Quirós serves in La Maruca , as a way to recover his mother's homemade cuisine: «Bonito, tomato and hard boiled egg, little else», explains the Cantabrian.
For him it is essential the fried tomato, which must be well seasoned, with the right touch of paprika and, of course, the empanadilla would win whole «if, in season of beautiful, it is oneself who pickles it or cooks it in oil».
Once done, it must be introduced in very hot olive oil, at about 190 degrees , although before-if possible- it would be advisable to give the snack about three or four hours of rest so that the dough settles and the joints seal well » and its content is perfect, explains Quirós.
As those of a lifetime are those of La Cueva , by Alar del Rey (Palencia), always available in his bar. And traditional and essential are those of tuna that sign in the centennial and historic Casa Ciriaco , in the main street of Madrid, whose tables passed illustrious characters such as Julio Camba or Ignacio Zuloaga and who, after a couple of months closed in 2018, was happily reopened and renovated.
More current are those of Santerra, which with Galician crab are dispatched in its most informal space , on the top floor. In its beginnings Arallo , that "Atlantic / contaminated" bar, was launched with some of chocos in its ink, really delicious, which have now mutated to give birth to an open that wants to approach the pie, but without losing the fried of the dough, and with xoubas inside .
More proposals in marine code: black fill , with squid in this case, are those served in La Lorenza , that good Lavapies bar opened a few months ago. Very close there, in La Fisna , they offer a really successful mussels .
We continue with contemporary entrails and also in Madrid. In Joselito's Velázquez they are filled with a fan - that fatty part that covers the ribs of the Iberian pig - stewed; of leeks and ham in El Quinto Vino and the Casa Labra veal and those of the mythical Jurucha , whose dough - which they prepare themselves - wrap their tuna and tomato mix.
Although its essence is frying - we already said that, originally, they were called "pan fried" -, there are those who prefer to finish baking in the oven, like Isabel Maestre, in whose store dozens of tuna are sold daily . For the same elaboration, some of the Argentinean cut go through, much thicker and with multiple possibilities of content. Thus, in recent times establishments that dispatch them, including Las Muns , have flourished in the capital, with fillings ranging from traditional spicy veal to vegetable meat (attentive, because there is a new fad), even some sweets, with Chocolate and banana
But on the other side of the puddle they also make them fried, as Javier Brichetto shows in Piantao, with his wonderful Creole meat pie cut by knife . The same nationality are those prepared by Carito Lourenço and Germán Carrizo in Doña Petrona (Valencia), an Argentine food house where the protagonists are Creoles, and those made in El Laurel (Barcelona), which are accompanied with live music until High hours of the morning . More transnational are those of La Fábrica , another icon of Barcelona, with scalded, spicy Creole sausage and even with vegetable wok .
Do not believe that the thing is here, because this famous half moon has reached the haute cuisine, thus losing the informality that the bar of the bar gave it to become part of tasting menus. Ángel León offered them in Aponiente (El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz), in 2016, with plankton inside , but with the peculiarity that the exterior was a very fine turnip turnip, just like those of Casa Manolo (Daimuz, Valencia), with sepia stew and sauce of its inks .
As an aperitif they are in the kitchen bar of the Valencian Ricard Camarena Restaurant, where they are almost a rite those of celery ball, silky texture and with mustard chicken inside. Also in Mediterranean lands Quique Dacosta Restaurant (Denia, Alicante) bet, in 2013, for a vegetable exterior -beet- to wrap a crab filling . The Canary Islands are known with their own name: trout. Very popular, especially at Christmas festivities in sweet code, they usually hide sweet potatoes, angel hair and even almond cream. In Gofio (Madrid), Cook Safe Cruz reinvents them in salty format and with a traditional stew from the islands, the rabbit in salmorejo . The salmorejo caldito is injected in front of the diner - just at lunchtime, so that it retains juiciness and the outer layer is not soaked - and it is crowned with ventresca of medregal (canary lemon fish) cured and roasted only by the the skin. The Canarian tradition taken to the maximum expression.
FROM DIM SUM TO GYOZA, PASSING THROUGH SAMOSA
Renowned prestige they have acquired dumplings made in China or dim sum, typical snack of Cantonese cuisine that later spread throughout the country and later around the world, and which is now even more famous than our classics ... What not Have we seen in a dim sum or a gyoza? Its name literally means "take a bite", and that is the same as with the traditional homelands, they are usually used as snacks, for lunch or dinner, and in infinite versions: salty, sweet, steamed, Iron or fried .
They are characterized by being wrapped in a fine mass of rice flour or wheat and, although their usual contents are vegetables, pork or prawns, their success has been such that they are offered for all tastes. For example, Dabiz Muñoz presents them in StreetXO (Madrid) accompanied by fried ear and strawberry hoisin sauce . Also in DiverXO the Madrid chef plays with them, with versions that usually appear on his menus: dumpling of black leg soup; of rooster with its crests ; steamed lasagna with three different fillings and even hake cocochas.
In Kabuki, Ricardo Sanz bets on the cheeks or the txangurro . If we talk about essential dim sum, we must not forget - for its impeccable and silky elaboration - of those of the renewed Don Lay , or those of Nakeima , where almost since its opening some succulent shao mai de papada are offered, in addition to having incorporated new proposals, such as fried wontons (the most similar to our empanadillas) of shrimp or dim sum of gratin scallop.
What in China they call jiaozi, in Korea it is mandu and in Japan, gyoza - and in Castilian, empanadilla, to make it clear. Precisely, from the Japanese tradition they recover in Chuka Ramen Bar the hanetsuki gyoza or gyoza with wings or comb, which refers to the crust that unites them when cooking on the plate, a technique that the architects of the Madrid restaurant saw during a trip to Japan at the Gyoza Center, in Hakone, near Mount Fuji. Here they are filled with old cow and yellow pepper, tikka masala chicken, shrimp pork and Xo sauce, edamame and white miso.
In Direkte - opened last year in Barcelona - they opt for a very thin dough gyoza that contains a freshly opened Normandy oyster and capipota juice (typically Catalan stew that is made with the head and leg of the cow and carries paprika, garlic, onion, sausage, smoked bacon and stale wine).
Likewise, India has its own empanadilla, the samosa , whose dough is made with flour - although in modern versions it has been seen with a layer of phyllo pastry - and contains a mixture of vegetables, potatoes and peas seasoned with curry, which then it is fried according to the custom of each zone of the country. A good capital direction is Tandoori Station, where they prepare their own dough, which they complete with potatoes, peas and coriander seeds or with meat, onion and ginger.
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