This is the first time that I have made a corn empanada and, as I mentioned earlier, I love to experiment with the masses, and this is going to be a major challenge due to how old and unusual it is, although it has become very fashionable nowadays. In itself, its mass comes from the “millo” bread or “borona”: that yellow bread that was eaten among the peasantry, because it was much cheaper than wheat and, unlike it, its cultivation occurred anywhere in Galicia. Today, this empanada, like rye, has aroused a lot of interest among people looking to “eat healthy” since it seems that, since this cereal contains iodine, it is very appropriate for human metabolism and especially for reducing cholesterol. , in addition to other properties.
However, none of these reasons have sparked my interest in her, but rather the fixation I have always had for the “borona” of my childhood. The loaf that was made with this cereal always seemed miraculous to me because of its beautiful appearance and how unusual it was in my house; perhaps for that reason, it brings me many evocations of the children’s world. In my house the bread that was eaten was white, but sporadically the milkmaid brought a loaf of borona, perhaps in gratitude for the purchase of the milk. Me and my beloved girl D. loved that bread that the peasants ate, perhaps because of how rare it was because it was not sold in bakeries; This made us implore the milkmaid to bring us a piece of her leftovers. This girl, the daughter of some villagers who sold milk, was a young girl, dark complexion, large red cheeks, curly and tousled hair, bright eyes and mischievous smile; her punctual presence in the kitchen was an entertainment that broke the daily routine, especially when my mother was gone and she sat quietly over a “cup” of coffee, that exquisite delicacy of pucherete, for which I still feel nostalgia. Of natural language and very precocious for his age, he told all the news of the village where he lived, and he also supplied himself with the gossip of the people; he loved to “party” and his favorite comments were “those not suitable for minors”, which were preceded by a wink and a: “go to the window, lest your mother appear”. I don’t know very well what my level of consciousness was at the time about these things, but I did understand that this phrase clearly foreshadowed that what followed was the climax of the story. Everything around her seemed to me of the greatest interest, but what I appreciated most was the “pouquiño” of the delicacy of borona that she brought us and that we shared out very equally. For years I have searched everywhere for the “borona” without any success, since the one that is now sold is neither yellow nor has the taste of my childhood.
As for the empanada de “millo” (corn), I have not found anything currently that resembles that combination of borona and “amoado” of razors; for this reason, today and after intense research, I am going to offer you one of the best empanadas that the Galician land gives, trying to preserve the most genuine pairing of “millo” bread with the filling of this mollusk. The razors, in my town are known as “longueirós”, and they live buried in sandy substrates that penetrate 20-40 cm; but in the living tides of September they reveal their habitat with the trace of a small hole, which guides the shellfish fishermen where to nail their hook and extract the exquisite delicacy.
My girl D. was an expert in capturing these shellfish from the tesón (a type of dune that appears at low tide and the estuary is almost devoid of water); he used to shellfish at dawn, provided only with a few cauldrons and a kind of hook or “sachito” to nail it in places where, in addition to a wave in the sand, a visible hole was perceived, which did not always lead to its precious delicacy. But in his case, all the attempts were successful due to his expertise, and by ten in the morning he returned with one or two buckets full of those alive longueirós, who would make a spectacular empanada which together with the lamprey, is the queen of empanadas. The whole process seemed magical to me and, many of the things that later I have lived as extraordinary, I have found them vulgar compared to this Arthurian feat.
In the language of cooking recipes, there are two main genres: 1. those that objectively and accurately relate the quantities, ingredients and how to make them; and 2. those who consider that all readers already have a series of acquired knowledge that enables them to infer quantities, and also assume that the ingredients set the tone for how to act with them. If you pick up the wonderful Picadillo book (Galician cuisine) You will not find a single proportion, but yes, it is full of anecdotes that make the recipe seem more like a comic than a purely informative genre. The wonderful Cunqueiro said that when “literature” is added to the recipes they create in the reader a fictional dimension that makes them much more attractive to eat. For example, knowing that the lamprey was eaten only by the Roman emperors or the great abbots of the monasteries, makes this dish cover itself with a halo of legend that makes it much more romantic and is desired with more zeal.
Today I am going to tell you what this second option would be like with the recipe for the dough for this empanada:
-Tell me carefully how you make the corn pie.
-It’s very easy for you. You put the cornmeal in a large bowl, and then you add wheat or rye because the corn does not bind without the wheat or the rye, and then you put a piece of baker’s yeast or “sourdough; if you use yeast you undo it in lukewarm water with a little sugar that doesn’t hurt – and then you already add the water.
– Yes, but what quantities?
– Baby, it depends on how big you want it.
– But tell me roughly.
– Well, if you put 4 cups of corn flour, you add it like a cup of wheat, and maybe then ask for something else to knead it, but you can see that.
-What about water?
– That and what the mass asks for.
– But my masses do not speak.
-Woman, don’t be disgusting, a cup or maybe two.
-There are some who add oil or butter, but I keep “pocillo” (cup) of the “amoado” sauce (filling) and pour it in, and this is the secret.
– And how long do you knead it? And what kind of kneading?
– A little while until everything is well linked and the bubbles start to appear and it takes off. Then you put it to soften for about an hour, with a rag that shelters it well; and when the dough rises you can already put it in the can; This dough does not allow you to stretch it with the roller because it breaks, and you will have to take small pieces and spread them by hand, as if you were putting scraps. First you make the base and then the top cover. With a knife you have to make it as a sign to be able to cut it well, because the bark breaks easily.
– What about cooking?
– You can take her to the bakery.
– Where I live there are no bakeries with ovens, I have to cook it in my kitchen.
– Well then, you put the oven strong and when it is golden brown you take it out.
I suppose that with these instructions, only people very used to making empanadas, could make an accurate translation regarding cantiddaes and ingredients; and that’s what I’m going to try. I will give the quantities of the ingredients first and then the preparation, both for the dough and for the “amoado” (filling)
-400 gr. corn flour
-100 gr. of wheat flour and another 50 gr. to knead it
-a pastry yeast tablet dissolved in half a glass of warm water
-a teaspoon of salt
– 250 ml. of water
– half a cup of the liquid of the beloved (filling)
With these cantiddaes I am going to make a fairly large empanada (8 person):
-2 garlic cloves
– half a red pepper or a whole one
-150 ml. of oil (a third part will be added to the dough)
-of course, saffron
-two cans of razors or a k. of razors.