Friday, March 25, 2011

Food Friday: Empanadas

This week we hosted dinner at our house for a set of youth missionaries.  It was part of a month long activity for the youth at church to get a feel for what it is like to be a missionary.  Our "location" was Argentina, where my husband served his mission.  At his request we had empanadas, ensalada rusa, bread, and juice (kind of like Tang).  It was a great evening.

This recipe is from "From Argentina With Love."  She shows a short video on the process of folding the edges of the empanadas too.

Mendoza-Style Empanadas
makes one dozen
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon butter
2 onion
1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika (I only had regular paprika, so used that)
2 teaspoons cumin
green olives, pitted and cut into slices, about 6
2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into rounds
salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper, to taste 

12 empanada rounds (tapas: can be found at your local Latino Market in the freezer section) 1 egg, beaten, for glazing 1 glass water, to seal edges Note: The meat can be made a day in advance. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Put the onions, sliced finely in rounds, in a frying pan and salt them. Saute until they start to become translucent, then add in the beef. Cook the ground beef, chopping as it cooks with a flat spatula to maintain ground beef texture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the beef has cooked through, then taste for salt and pepper, and stir in the paprika, cumin, and crushed red pepper and mix well.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the tapas on a lightly floured work surface. With a tablespoon, put a little of the meat filling in the center of the dough round. Add a slice of the olive and a piece of the hard boiled egg.
For sealing, you'll need a small glass of water. Moisten the edge on the top half of the round with a little water on your finger. Fold the bottom half of the dough up until the edges meet and seal with your fingers by pressing down. The empanada should have a half-moon shape.
Use the palms of the hands to pack the filling firmly in the center. Next, fold the edges with the Repulgue: using your fingertip, fold one corner of the empanada over, pressing down firmly. Go to the edge again and repeat, pressing firmly each time. Go around the edge of the empanada and you'll get a spiral pattern. You can also use a fork-seal, instead.
Beat an egg in a cup and paint the top of each sealed empanada so that when they bake, they have a shiny, golden shell. Spread flour lightly over several cookie sheets, and place the finished empanadas on top. Put the empanadas in to bake for 12 to 15 minutes-they should be sizzling and very golden brown on top. Take out and eat very carefully while hot!


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