Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Roast Remakes: Pork Fried Rice & Pork Empanadas

So like I said yesterday, I have a lot of leftovers from our slow-roasted pork. Luckily, the possibilities for using them up are endless .. and delicious!

Yesterday's dinner was pork fried rice and today's was pork empanadas. Both were amazing .. so amazing that I'm not even sure I could pick which I liked better. The fried rice recipe was one of the recipes to follow the original in the "One Great Roast, Three Great Meals" chapter in Cooking for Two 2011. The empanadas were in the same chapter, following a slightly different recipe, in the 2010 edition.

I modified both recipes a bit (the empanadas more so than the rice), but at least used the books as guidelines. I suppose you could say I got a bit brave with the rice, swapping out a few ingredients and incorporating a couple different techniques (the steaming of the broccolini, for example). Luckily, my changes worked well - because this rice was SO much better than take-out! I changed the flavor profile of the empanadas by omitting called-for raisins and green olives (which would never fly with Bill), and kicking up the heat with a chipotle chili. I also made a yummy pineapple salsa (my very own recipe!) to accompany it, which cooled it down just enough!

Pork Fried Rice
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup long-grain white rice
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bunch broccolini, stems trimmed, chopped fine
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
4 oz. white mushrooms, chopped
1 shallot, sliced thin
3 scallions, white parts minced, green parts sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups cooked pork, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in rice and cook until edges of grains begin to turn translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in water and salt, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, 16 to 18 minutes.

Off heat, uncover saucepan, add broccolini to pan, and place clean kitchen towel folded in half over pan, then replace lid. Let rice and broccolini stand for 10 minutes (the steam will cook the broccolini).

Heat non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add egg and cook, without stirring, until just beginning to set, about 20 seconds, then scramble until egg is cooked through but not browned, about 1 minute longer. Transfer egg to small bowl.

Combine soy sauce and hot sauce in a small bowl. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in mushrooms and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in scallion whites, shallot, ginger, garlic, and sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in pork and soy sauce mixture and continue to cook until rice is coated in sauce and pork is warmed through, 2 to 4 minutes longer.

Off heat, stir in scallion greens and scrambled egg, season with additional soy sauce to taste, and serve.

Pork Empanadas with Pineapple Salsa
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
10 oz. cooked pork, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
1 recipe Empanada Dough (recipe follows)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Pineapple salsa (recipe follows)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, chili powder, and chipotle chili, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth and cheese and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Off the heat, stir in pork and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll each out into a 10-inch round, about 3/8-inch thick, on a lightly floured surface and cut each in half. Spread 1/2 cup filling over half of each piece of dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border along the edge. Gently press the filling to compact it, then brush the edge of the dough with water. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling, press the edges to seal, and crimp with a fork.

Transfer the empanadas to the prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Empanada Dough
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, chilled, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup ice water

Process flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor until combined. Scatter the butter over the top and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the water over the flour mixture and stir it in with a stiff rubber spatula. Stir in remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pressing the dough against the side of the bowl until it sticks together.

Turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Shape each one into a ball and flatten into a 5-inch disk; wrap each piece with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Before rolling out the dough, let sit on the counter to soften slightly, about 10 minutes.

Pineapple Salsa
1/2 of a fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and chopped fine
1/4 of a red onion, minced
1/2 of a jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, minced
1 galic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
Juice plus zest of 1/2 lime

Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Toss. Chill until ready to serve.


  1. So empanadas are kind of like Mexican pierogi or potsickers? But bigger? Either way.. anything with dough, meat and cheese all in one is for me. And the pineapple salsa! Jalapenos are perhaps my favorite pepper. I can eat an entire jar of the slices ones by myself, as an accompaniment to nothing! But with pineapple..mmmm! Raisins and green olives sound interesting for the filling, I'm curious as to how that would have turned out!

  2. The olives and raisins seem to be a pretty typical addition to Spanish empanadas ... maybe we'd say mine were more Mexican. I actually think I'd like the olive-raisin combo, but Bill isn't that adventurous ... yet :)