Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mommas Empanadas

It is time to bring in some more southern cooking to our list of adventures.  We took it way down south this week to Argentine cooking!  Our wonderful mother was born in Argentina, later to come to the United States as a young girl.  This week she was in town visiting us!  She showed us, and now all of you, how to make our childhood favorite, the Empanada.
Empandas come in all shapes and sizes and are a major part of the Latino cultures.  In Brazil, my brothers and I enjoyed them by another name, pastel.  Found in most of south America, southern Europe and even parts of Asia, they are enjoyed by all.  Sweet or Savory they come in all different varieties.  The word originates from the verb empanar, meaning to wrap in bread.
With that introduction I will say one last thing about the Hispanic culture and our experience in their cuisine because we have spent a lot of time eating their food.  There seems to be no real set recipe.  Everyone is different.  I asked my mom for the recipe to put on here and she said, "Pauli... Just taste it, if it taste good then put it in and eat it!"  So the recipe is as follows:
  
Ham and Cheese Empanadas
  
   Mozzarella
Ham
Pastry dough

Meat Empanadas

Onions
Ground Beef (elk, venison, whatever!)
Egg
Olives
Oregano
Cumin
Salt
Pastry Dough
We will stick to tradition and say that all these amounts are "to taste."

I will try and do these simultaneously as to not have this post be super long.  First thing is get everything cut and ready.  Cut up the cheese and ham in to manageable size pieces, slice the onions and put them to sweat in a pot.  Put the eggs to boil.

 


Add the meat and spices to the onions...


After the ground meat is cooked, it needs to cool before you add the eggs and olives.  You will see a lot of the liquid still in there from the onions and the meat.  You can drain a little of it but most of it needs to stay to keep the empanada moist.  After it cools add olives and eggs. Add whatever else "to taste."



Now time to empanar! We have a little South American grocer near us that we buy these pastry packets.  There are two kinds, baking ones, and frying ones.  We went with the baked (easier and less fatty than frying).

 

OK, now put a a reasonable amount of filling inside each little pastry round.  Not too much because we can't have any holes in the dough or they will explode!

                                         

 Add water to one half of the dough, and fold it over on itself.  Press the dough shut.

 

After it is nice and sealed you can make any design you want, this is my moms, start your own empanada folding tradition and make your own!



Put them on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25min or until golden brown.

                    
           


This recipe might look like it is for a lot.  We used about 6 lbs of ground beef, 12 eggs, 2 onions... well you get the picture.  Last insight into the lovely Argentine culture... we LOVE to eat.


(We made 108....)




We like them plain... you enjoy them however!!

Thanks Mom for treating us!!

P