Empanadas

Empanadas are one of those foods that everyone loves (kinda like parfait), as long as the filling isn’t too obscure or deranged. An empanada is a pastry, which is filled with just about anything your imagination can create, then it is deep-fried.

The history of the empanada isn’t scandalous or exciting, it originates in a small town in Spain where they were made for the workers, due to their ability to be carried easily. The empanada was carried across seas to Latin America and The Philippines by the Spanish and then all of the spanish colonies after that.

So naturally, were going to make the empanada today, with something of a “man’s” filling.

Misenplace for today? Were going to peel about 6 Yukon Gold potatoes, chop 1 large Vidalia Onion, and mince 1 clove of garlic.

Cube the potatoes, trying to keep the cuts all of the same size. Then Boil the potatoes(approximately 20 minutes on medium temperature), make sure not to fully cook the potatoes, other wise they’ll fall apart in the saute pan later on.

Next, Saute the garlic and onions until they are translucent. This should take about 15 minutes.

Once the onions are ready, add 1.5 kilos of ground beef, 1 tablespoon of Adobo seasoning, 2 tablespoons of sofrito, salt and pepper and brown until cooked through.

This is where I must admit, I cheated. I used frozen, already made empanada dough. Please don’t judge me, i do not have the equipment, or the patience in this heat to make the empanada dough from scratch.

To fill the dough, take a large, heaping teaspoon of the filling, place it in the center of the dough. If you are going to add cheese, add it on top of the filling.

To close the dough, dip your finger in some water and rub one half of the dough with the water, fold over the dough, making a half circle. Then using a fork, crimp it close with the prong end of the fork. This is what gives the empanadas its signature look.

Now it’s time to deep fry our handpies. Using a deep pot, heat up corn oil until a wooden stick inserted into the oil produces bubbles.

Fry your empanadas 3 at a time until the dough turns golden brown, roughly about 10 minutes, remove from pan and allow to dry on paper towels to catch any excess oil.

Some notes..

  • The filling can be just about anything, I’ve seen ham and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs and cheese steak.
  • I had a problem with the way i prepared the empanadas, The empanadas stuck to the waxed paper I laid down, not really sure why, while the tops of the pastry dried out. The remedy for the pastry drying out is to place a damp towel over top of them.
  • Because of time restraints, I didn’t allow the filling to cool properly, don’t do this, it caused only problems for me.
  • I prefer to use corn oil when deep-frying, I’m familiar with it, and I like the taste.
  • I need to work on my form when preparing the empanadas, mine were a bit sloppy.
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