Turn up the heat with empanadas
Summer is fast approaching and that means one thing: heat.
The kind of heat that makes your clothes stick to your skin, and has you wishing for even the slightest breeze to put you out of your misery.
Why not enjoy some piping hot empanadas while you’re at it?
Turn on your AC, blast your favourite salsa tunes, and let’s get started.
What is an empanada?
These tender, flaky crescents are going to become your new favourite dish. Imagine biting into a golden pastry cocooning a savoury mix of top quality ground beef and aromatic spices. The best part? These little bites of heaven are easily customizable.
Not a fan of onions? Don’t add them.
Wish there was a little something extra? Add potatoes or peas.
Tired of ground beef? Substitute it for any other meat that you can think of. Chicken, pork, or even fish, the possibilities are endless.
Before you get ready to dive in, you should probably clean the drool off of your chin. Don’t worry: it happens to everyone.
While you could spend the time creating your own dough, a visit to your local grocery store for two packages of all-butter puff pastry will save you the time.
To start, roll out your pastry dough to roughly 3 mm thick and then cut out as many circles as you can using a cookie cutter or dish. Two 375 g packages will usually get you 18 discs if you cut your circles to roughly the same size as a large orange.
Add in the magic
Get your sauce pan nice and warm and add olive oil. Once that’s ready, add two garlic cloves and one finely diced onion. After those two ingredients become soft, but not coloured, add cumin, cinnamon, and paprika to taste.
Now comes the fun part: add about 300 g of ground beef and season it with salt and pepper. Cook it for about five minutes, then add oregano, chilli flakes, and a pinch of sugar. Make sure that you taste it to make sure that it’s perfect…But not so much that you don’t have any filling left for your empanadas.
Fold your pastry
After the ground beef mixture has cooled off for a few minutes, spoon about one tablespoon of the mixture onto each pastry disc, but make sure that you leave about a finger’s width of space around the edge.
Once all of the pastry discs have been topped with beef, brush egg wash around half of the rim, fold the disc in half, and seal the edges together. Make sure that you crimp the edges (this can be done by pressing the prongs of a fork against the edge) to get rid of any potential air pockets.
Play the waiting game
Put your empanadas in the fridge to firm up and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Once your oven is ready to go, puncture your empanadas once with a skewer to create a steam hole and brush with egg wash.
Now relax and know that in 18 to 20 minutes, you will experience toe-curling deliciousness.
Once you hear the timer go off, take your masterpiece out of the oven and let cool for as long as you can stand it. You can serve them with chimichurri sauce on the side or scooped on top if you really want to impress someone.
If you’re looking to impress anyone, you can’t go wrong with savoury empanadas. They’re easy, customizable, and they taste incredible.