Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dulce de Leche Heaven

A few years ago when we visited Argentina, we fell in love with dulce de leche. Ever tried it? It's similar to caramel, but it's milky and creamy and wonderful. In fact, there are entire grocery store aisles devoted to it.

In Okinawa, it's a little bit impossible to find, as you can imagine. But I did discover how to make my own. It's super easy, in fact. Take a can of sweetened condensed milk, pour it into a glass pan, and bake it at 425 degrees in a water bath for about an hour and a half.

Since it's been super hot and humid here (perfect weather for lazily eating ice cream), I thought I'd try making Dulce de Leche Ice Cream using the same technique from Challenge 20 .

First, I made the dulce de leche as described above. Then I mixed it with a can of evaporated milk and froze it for several hours, stirring every so often. How easy is that? Again, only two ingredients!

The result? seriously have to try this!

What's a favorite food or ingredient you discovered in a foreign country?


Liza said...

Yum! I love the Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche ice cream myself!

Been reading up on all your adventures and they all look like so much fun!

Mary and Sean said...

Thanks Liza!
I just bought the Haagen Daz version myself a few weeks ago...but if you're a huge fan of that, try making it yourself. The caramel flavor is much more intense!

Looks like you're enjoying Oki too!

Vanesa said...

Hi Mary! I have been reading your adventures on the island. I was study ing there during 2008 untill last January. It was a surprise to read your post about Dulce de Leche. I am a huge fun of it because I am half Okinawan half Irish but I was born... in Argentina. And yes, Argentineans are very devote to Dulce de leche... and Asado and football :)
Great blog!

Mary and Sean said...

Hi Vanesa!
Thanks for your comment! Are you in Argentina now? My husband and I loved it there. We spent time in Buenos Aires, Iguazu, and Mendoza...I am going to try to make homemade empanadas next. Do you have any good recipes?

Vanesa said...

Yes, I'm in ARG. right now, missing Okinawa so much that's why I like reading Okinawahai and other blogs. I think I'm going back there next year, can't wait! :)
Glad to hear you and your husband liked Argentina, I love Iguazu falls! but I've never been in Mendoza, I think I should go to drink a good wine!
So you want to make empanadas? I have a good recipe. If you want it I will post it here later.

Mary and Sean said...

I would love love love the recipe! Thank you! And I hope to meet you in Oki next year!

Vanesa said...

Hi Mary! sorry for the delay but here the empanada recipe I always use.

Dough for empanadas – makes about 20 medium or 30 small empanadas

3 cups flour
1 egg yolk
½ cup of grasa - lard or butter or mix of both
¾ cup to 1 cup of warm milk
½ tsp salt

Beef picadillo filling:

1 lb ground beef
2 white onions, diced, about 3 cups
1/2 cup lard or butter
2 tbs smoked paprika
2 tbs chili powder or any ground hot pepper
1 tbs finely chopped fresh oregano
½ tbs ground cumin
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
¼ cup sliced green olives(optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, white and yolk separated and lightly whisked


Empanada dough:
1-Mix the flour and salt in a food processor, pulse until well combined.
2-Add the lard or butter, blend well.
3-Add the egg yolk and the milk in small amounts, pulse until small dough clumps start to form.
4-Make a couple of balls, flatten into disks and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
5-On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate).
6-Use the empanada discs immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.

Beef picadillo filling and empanada assembly:

1-Combine the ground beef, paprika, red pepper, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together and chill until ready to use.
2-Melt the lard in a large frying pan or sauté pan, add the onions and salt, cook until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes.
3-Add the meat mixture to the onions and cook on medium heat until the meat is done, stir frequently.
4-Let the meat mixture or picadillo cool down, and then mix in the chopped green onions and chopped oregano.
5-To assemble the empanadas add a spoonful of the meat mixture on the center of each empanada disc, add a slice of egg and sliced olive.
6-Brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg whites, you can also use water but the egg white is a good natural “glue” that helps seal the empanada.
7-Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers, twist and fold the edges of the empanadas with your fingers, as a final step use a fork to press down and finish sealing the empanadas.
8-Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give them a nice golden glow when they bake.
9-Let the empanadas rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until ready to bake.
10-Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and bake for about 25 minutes.

And that's it. Now you have to try to make homemade empanadas!

And yes, I hope we can meet next year when I get back to Okinawa. Let me know if you want Dulce de leche :)

Mary and Sean said...


Thank you so much for the authentic recipe! I can't wait to try this out on my own!!!


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