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REMEMBERING ABUELITA | PASTELITOS

Watch out! Enamor is in the kitchen!  We both love to cook, especially when its in memory of our Abuelita Maria Teresa (aka Abuelitica). On February 19, 2011, she left this earth to be with the Lord.  Although we miss her terribly, her love for Him was so great and infectious that we know she is so happy to be in heaven.  She left behind a great legacy to not only her kids, but her grandkids (14 of us), and great grandkids (23 I think?!). She was the heart of our family and she always was thinking of others, always making sure to call ALL her grandkids just to say hello, and best of all always teaching us her recipes! I think it's safe to say that our favorite thing she made were these Venezuelan pastelitos - delicious flaky pastry filled with savory shredded chicken that's been simmered for hours in lots of cilantro, peppers, onions, and tomatoes.  I think we came pretty close, ours will never have the same magical touch hers had but they were definitely delicious, and the aroma just brought back to many memories of her.  Cheers to you Abuelitica - thank you for leaving such a huge imprint in all of our hearts.  LOVE YOU. 

[Recipe after video and photos!]

Filling
3 Chicken breast
1 Onion
1 Green pepper
3 Plum tomatoes
1/2 Bunch of cilantro
1/2 cup green onion
Salt, pepper, cumin, chicken boullion to taste

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add in the chicken breast, 1/2 the onion, 1/2 the pepper, a handful of the cilantro, salt, pepper and chicken boullion.  Cook until the chicken is fully cooked.  In the meantime, place the rest of the onion, pepper, with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor.  Chop until fine and set aside.  When the chicken is done, remove it from the broth (reserve broth), and let it cool before shredding it. In a large sauce pan, sauté the chopped veggies and add the shredded chicken.  Add a few spoonfuls of the broth just to loosen it up a bit.  Let simmer for at least an hour.  The longer the better! 

Pastry Dough
3 cups flour (maybe a little more - Abuelita wasn't huge on measuring)
1/2 stick melted butter
Pinch of salt ( or "un puntico de sal" ) 
1 egg
Warm water

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, melted butter, egg adding warm water until the dough comes together.  Knead until just mixed so the dough does not toughen.  Pull apart or cut into individual balls and roll out.  Fill with chicken filling and either deep fry or bake in the oven until golden brown.