Ever since a trip to Buenos Aries I have been a big fan of Empanadas and, as I have written before, I feel that Empanadas, Pastys and Piroshkies occupy a grey area on the border of dumpling-ville. Recently after hitting Manhattan’s Korea town for dumplings, I noticed Nuchas Artisan Hand-Held Foods in Greeley Square. It was new to me and it turns out it has only been open for about six months now.
The Empanadas: The empanadas line up at Nuchas includes, Meat (the Argentine – ground beef, Spicy Chicken, Short rib – beef, and Jambalaya), vegetable (Portobello, Spicy Cheese, and Shiitake Curry) and sweet (Apple, Cranberry and Nutella) empanadas are available at Nuchas. The empanadas are small, with maybe a third of a cup of filling in each one.
Jambalaya – These delicious empanadas are filled with shrimp, arborio rice, tomatoes, onions and peppers and have tumeric flavored pastry wrap. The filling was quite moist, almost bordering on soupy and has an excellent mildly spicy flavor. The pastry was really thin and supple, I have had dumplings with thicker wrappers than the pastry that provided structure for these empanadas.
Shiitake Curry – These empanadas had a mild, slow to build curry spice flavor and are chock full of vegetables – shiitake, eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, onions, and peppers, they also have a very delicate turmeric infused pastry wrapper. These were good, but they could have used a stronger curry spice kick. The recipe uses coconut milk so these empanadas are vegan; the other two vegetable options include cheese and so are just vegetarian.
The Location: Nuchas operates out of a kiosk in Greeley Square at the 32nd street end of the square. They have another location in Times Square at 44th street and a food truck you can follow on Twitter.