Today is the very first installment of my Transport Your Taste Buds Cooking Series, and I’m really looking forward to taking you on our first cooking adventure.
Having just recently come back from Santiago, Chile, I was feeling inspired to find a recipe for empanadas. The result was surprisingly successful and relatively easy, which is why it will be the first recipe I will share with you.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Santiago, Chile this June/July. It is a vibrant and energetic place with plenty of good food. While I wined and dined myself silly, my obsession with empanadas remained strong, and I ate them any time they were offered. Clearly, this obsession couldn’t stop once I arrived home, which is what lead me to my big empanada recipe search.
There are so many recipes for empanadas out there, that I began to get overwhelmed in my search. Which is why I decided to combine what I liked from several recipes to make my own; a first in my little world, especially because it was so successful. I am sure there are other empanada recipes out there, many that may be better, but this is a start for me. Once I try more, you can guarantee I’ll be sure to post those recipes here as well. Today, however, I’ll be sharing my recipes for cheese, beef, and cheese and beef, as they are all easy to make at once.
1 (14 ounce) package Goya Discos (yellow or white), thawed
1/2 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Package of shedded mozzarella cheese
Small cup of water
1 egg lightly beaten
PAM or parchment paper
1. Heat up the oil in large frying pan on medium-heat. Add in beef and stir, breaking up into pieces with a wooden spoon until all meat is brown.
2. Add in onions and cook until soft.
3. Then add in the paprika, cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt, and pepper. After stirring, lower to a simmer until mixture thickens.
4. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. With a rolling pin, spread out discos.
6. Then add beef to center of the disco.
7. Wet edge of disco with water and fold over to create a half moon.
8. Press down on edges to close. With a fork, seal discos shut, making sure there are no gaps.
9. Place empanadas on baking sheet (use PAM or parchment paper), and lightly brush with egg wash.
10. Cook empanadas for 12 to 15 minutes.
In case you need a visual:
Beef and Cheese
Follow the recipe above up to step 6, but when adding beef only stuff with half the amount and the other half with cheese. Continue to follow above directions.
Skip steps 1-3. Follow steps 4 and 5 to prepare discos. Then, stuff with a generous portion of cheese, making sure to keep in the center before folding over. Then close, as done above, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes.
Side Dish: Chilean Style Rice
I followed this recipe exactly as it is written, using all of the ingredients above. Not only was it delicious, but it was relatively easy to make. As Wojo says, make sure everything is prepared ahead of time and ready to go, i.e. seasonings, as it will make your life a bit easier while cooking.
Drink: Pisco Sour
While I had my fair share of pisco sours in Chile, unfortunately, I did not make pisco sours this time. However, this looked like a good recipe for the next time I make this meal.
Cooking Soundtrack: Latin American music. Here are some of my suggestions:
Daddy Yankee: Pasarela, Limbo, La Despedida, Lovumba, La Noche de los 2
Don Omar: Taboo, Pobre Diabla, No Sigue Modas Aka Ella No Sigue Modas, Dutty Love, Zumba, Dale Con Dale
Wisin & Yandel: Algo Me Gusta De Ti
Marc Anthony: Vivir Mi Vida
Zion & Lennox: Si No Le Contesto
Then sit back, relax and enjoy! I hope you try out my recipe for empanadas, and let me know what you think. Also, if you have a better recipe for me, please feel free to let me know so I can try it out.
If you are interested in contributing a recipe you learned on your travels, or recreated upon your arrival home, please contact me; I’d love some guest posts for this series.