Saturday, May 12, 2012

Beef Empanadas

Here's another recipe from our Cinco de Mayo celebration!

This was my first time every making/eating an empanada. That being said, I thought they were extremely easy to make and very tasty. They are a perfect food for parties because people can just grab one and then go mingle without having to find a seat. It eliminates the need to do that weird thing where you stand and talk to someone while your plate is about a centimeter from your mouth so you can shovel food in your face without spilling anything on your shirt. It's awkward for both the person doing it and the person watching in disgust. Empanadas save the day!

yay for convenient empanadas!

Other people at the party had eaten authentic empanadas and said that these were BETTER than originals because they were baked and not fried. This was my idea. You're welcome, everyone. No, I'm not a genius. My thought process was... "If I fry these empanadas, I won't eat them because fried food makes my stomach feel like garbage. Totally not worth an extra session at the gym. But I reallyyyyyyyyyyyyy want an empanada. I will bake them! Then I can indulge without my stomach wanting to explode!" Luckily, it worked out and everyone lived happily ever after while binge eating baked, hand-held Mexican snacks.

My favorite part of the empanada was the shell. We just used Goya brand empanada discs, which can be found in the frozen section of the grocery store. Baking the empanadas was a last minute decision and, after doing a little research, I realized that I should have brushed the empanadas with an egg wash to give them a nice golden brown color. So I have reflected that in the recipe.

Because I loved the shell so much and the premade discs were so easy to work with, my mind could not stop racing with ideas. To this recipe, I think an addition of corn and some jalapenos would be absolutely perfect! But I'm also thinking about cheesecake empanadas, fruit empanadas, calzone-ish empanadas, hero-y empanadas...  The wheels are spinning so be on the lookout for these remixes that will, hopefully, be coming soon!
this is what I will look like eating various empanada flavors every day

Beef Empanadas (20) adapted from Handle the Heat
  • 20 Goya empanada discs, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely diced (I used a combination of red, green, and yellow)
  • 1 taco seasoning packet
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (or "Mexican blend" cheese) 
  • 2 eggs
  1.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onions, bell peppers, paprika, red pepper flakes, white pepper, and cumin until onions are soft. Add beef, season to taste with salt, and cook until beef is browned. Drain off the fat. Place filling in a large bowl .
  2. Preheat oven to 400. 
  3. Spray a large baking pan with non-stick spray or line with parchment. Lay the discs on the pan. 
  4. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of filling in the center of each dough circle. Sprinkle filling with cheese.
  5. Fold over and press edges firmly to seal. Crimp with the back of a fork. Lightly brush the top of each empanada with the egg wash.
  6.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

the filling
the discs

ready to be baked!
just cheese :)
baked and ready to be snatched!

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