This is definitely a case of cooking by the seat of my pants. I was thinking about flavor combinations the other day while snacking on leftover pork roast with caramelized apples when before I knew it, I was making pork & apple empanadas.
I don’t know of too many flavors that go together like pork and apple (trust me, I’ve used this combination a lot, like in my Apple Bourbon Glazed Pork.), and that’s what gave me the seedling of an idea that grew into a profound need to make this dish.
Unfortunately, as far as I know I’m the first one to try these combinations as an empanada. I scoured the web and all my favorite food blogs looking for something similar or even remotely similar, but there was nothing that I could find as a jumping off point. I was on my own, which in my case is always the best way to be in a situation like this.
I knew the combination of flavors would work. The trick was in how much I wanted to bring the traditional flavors of cumin and chilies in with the apple.
Did I want to add some cinnamon to elevate the apple flavor? Why yes. Yes I did. Cilantro? Probably should… But in what amounts? It would be very easy to take this particular combination way to far, and in the process take a great flavor pairing and ruin it completely.
Luckily, I guessed right. The apple and cinnamon pair wonderfully with the more traditional pork filling. It actually came out tasting a little like I’d used Chinese Five-Spice powder in preparation, but I didn’t. They were moist, succulent and savory in ways I have to revisit again. And Again. And again. And… Well, you get the point. Pork & Apple Empanadas, A surprising twist on a classic empanada recipe.
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 108mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 13g
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
Pork & Apple Empanadas, A surprising twist on a classic empanada recipe.
I think next time I’ll slice some onions and caramelize both them and the first batch of apples for a deeper, richer flavor and a bit more moisture in the filling. Otherwise, these were a really big hit. Give ’em a shot!
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