Tell me about empanadas

Watching Ugly Betty (we’re only up to episode 2 here so no spoilers please) this evening I note the consumption of empanadas. I’ve never had them, but my friends who’ve travelled in South and Central America ate almost nothing else, and came home raving about them. They look delicious.

So I looked them up on Wikipedia and I’m drooling.

Anyone of C or SA origin got any down-home recipes for them? Care to share?

[Side note: they look like our Cornish Pasties, and some of them have a similar filling. According to the wikipedia article, empanadas are possibly Moorish in origin, so they might have a link to the humble pasty from the Crusaders, though that’s really just wishful thinking on my part.]

Damn you!

I was already hungry and now I’m craving empanadas but I can’t. :frowning:

In high school there was a food court nearby with a lovely lady from Chile who made the most wonderful cheese (or cheese and spinach) fried empanadas and other good foods too. Of course I no longer live in that city and don’t know of any place here that sells them.

I love them though. A bit greasy, but the cheese was melty and it was warm and filling. (I miss that whole food court actually, had some wonderful Indian and Greek in the same area as the Chilean food).

On reflection of my waistline, I think I’d better only go for the baked sort, not the fried. Also I don’t have a deep fryer. But spinach and cheese ones do sound lovely.

Probably a good idea.

I’m going to have to do some searching now and see if I can find them near me.

I love Cuban empanadas (a staple food in Miami) filled with picadillo: spiced ground beef in a savory, tomatoey sauce with onions and the occasional raisins or chopped green olives mixed in.

Do you know if colombian empanadas (the ones in the show) are cornmeal or wheat? Most countries do them with wheat but in Venezuela they are cornmeal. If it is wheat you are shooting for, here goes a shortcutty hack of a recipe good for instant gratification:

Start with sofrito (you can buy it prepared if you have access to a latin market): green or red peppers, onions and garlic chopped real fine and sauteed until mushy (add achiote if you have it and care for color). Add ground beef and adobo (if you can’t find adobo then: salt, pepper, cumin and coriander will do). You can add chopped olives if you want. Some people will add very finely chopped potatoes.

Get some won-ton wrappers (I said it was hacky), cut to a circle if you care. Brush the edges with eggwash (egg and water beat together). Put the stuffing you just made (let it cool a bit first). Fold the wrapper in half (circle, diagonal or rectangular), press well with a fork.

Deep fry away!. The stuffing is cooked and warm already, so don’t worry about that. Still, don’t go too hot or the skin will get too dark and crunchy.

If you really care to go more authentic or gourmet, let me know. Enjoy.

You can just use cheese instead of the meat stuffing. Or black beans and white cheese. Or shark (prepared about the same as the beef).

I think Brainiac4 and I may end up back in Akumal, Mexico just to go back to Lucy’s for the empanadas.

When I lived in Texas, I would sometimes buy pumpkin empanadas from the HEB bakery. Brought a bag full of them to a gathering of some friends, and while most of them eyed the things warily, my friend from Laredo was like “OOOH! EMPANADAS! FEAST

Probably not the same as getting them home made, but definitely not bad.

I’ve made the picadillo ones from Memories of a Cuban Kitchen, and while they were a good bit of work they were awesome.

Gotta love Wikipedia (Pasty entry)


This sounds like the kind my Dominican-born coworker brought in two weeks ago. It was the first time I’d ever had one and man, was it good! We all told her how much we liked them and I’ve dropped a hint or two about how nice it would be to see them again. I shall cros my fingers and see if I can concoct some reason why empanadas are a traditional MLK day treat.

The cruise I went on had a little cafe open 24/7 and it had these black bean empanadas that I would stop in for multiple times every day…they were soooo good.

:slight_smile: hilarious but not necessarily correct. Ground beef empanadas are the norm in several places. Carne mechada (shredded skirt steak) is much better but in the end, it is all about the seasoning.

The entry was talking about Cornish Pasties, not empanadas. I see some good soul has removed the insult - probably a doper no doubt.

I made chicken ones from a “MExican Fiesta” cookbook. They were very easy, piecrust, chicken breast, salsa (homemade) and cream cheese.

They were also addcitive. I’ll post the recipe later if you are interested.

In Miami-Dade, you can often buy empanadas (and various Cuban pastries, and Jamaican beef, chicken, or vegetable patties) at gas stations.

Many panaderias in Houston feature empanadas.

But Marini’s Empanadas gave many of us our first taste, back in 1971. Founded by an Argentine family, the shop burned down years ago but is now back in business. Fillings reflect Argentine/Italian cuisine with some Tex-Mex touches. Here’s the menu, if you want ideas for fillings.

This is the classic #1: Beef”Gaucho”: Ground beef, hard-boiled egg, olive, onions, and spices

Sweet fillings are also available. Dulce de Leche, anyone?

Now I’m hungry, too.

I work in Palm Beach county, and the “roach coach” (snack wagon service) has empanadas as a large portion of their “hot foods” offerings. In addition to this, there is apparently a place in eastern Boca Raton called Empanadas To Go that has been declared awesome by some of my acquaintances. Someday I’ll have to try it, as I am a big fan of a pocket pie style meal.