01/09/14 9:45am

Behold, the Sicilian dessert empanada!

At first I thought the small battalion of golden crusted treats were empanadas, but then I remembered I was in an Italian bakery. Then again this Italian bakery, Russo’s, also sells Irish soda bread. I soon found out that cassatine ($2.20) are Sicilian and delicious. The puffy crecent shaped pastry had a lovely fried dough crust filled with ricotta cream. It was denser, but less sweet than a certain more familiar tubular Italian pastry and quite lovely with a cup of coffee. As I was leaving I discovered that the gal seated at a table taking five is from father’s hometown, Castellamare del Golfo. Ma che fortuna!

Russo Bakery, 61-04 Grand Ave., Maspeth, 718-894-4919

12/09/13 10:00am

Empanosas, fresh from the oven. Photo by Anne Noyes Saini.

Frankenfood mash-ups are everywhere these days (ahem, Cronut-mania and gonzo ramen burger lines). So Desify is jumping on the bandwagon and offering up yet another improbable, over-engineered edible creation.

Introducing: the empanosa, an Argentine-style, baked empanada made with Indian roti dough and stuffed with Indian leftovers (like a samosa, get it?).

Indian lentil and vegetable dishes lend themselves to mashing, so it’s easy to get them neatly tucked into packets of dough. Making the wrappers with Indian roti dough is a healthier option than typical empanada wrappers, which are usually very rich (hello, butter or shortening). (more…)