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I think empanadas might be the pinnacle of savory baking, so I was pretty amped to try my hand at them. I tracked down a recipe with relative ease—Deb at Smitten Kitchen posted a revision of an epicurious recipe that turned out pretty awesome (though next time I would try to find a recipe for the pockets that called for a little less butter). However, the challenge of empanadas has little to do with the recipe and much to do with the process, which has always seemed hazy and difficult. I mean, how do you get those nice little braids, that decorative edge that makes the empanada look so refined? Empanadas closed with the tines of a fork seemed like something you’d make in kindergarten on Cinco de Mayo.
Who knew that About.com published anything of value? Not me! At least, not until I read this totally thorough explanation of how to make the empanadas of my dreams a reality. The braided seal? It’s called the repulgue! And closing with fork tines? That is okay if you are frying them! There’s no point in rehashing all of the really helpful pointers here, but if you ever make empanadas, do yourself a favor and read this article. Then watch the YouTube videos of the women braiding the empanadas crazy fast. Then you, too, can make the magic happen yourself.
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