EMPANADAS COLOMBIANAS

APP, ENTREE, SIDE DISH, DESSERT?
App, side dish, or entree if you eat as many as I do in one sitting..
RELATED DISHES
FEEDS HOW MANY?
Makes around 15 empanadas
TIME COMMITMENT?
2-3 hours
FAST, WEEKNIGHT, WEEKEND?
Weeknight/weekend
STAIRMETER?
A good amount of ingredients, but nothing too heavy
EQUIPMENT NEEDED?
Something to fry the empanadas in
WHO I MADE IT FOR?
Vane–this was a weird night. I was craving empanadas and even though I’ve never made them, decided that this random weeknight would be the night I tried. There’s definitely a learning curve when it comes to folding them. I still don’t think I have it down perfectly. The nice thing about this dish is you make way more stuffing than dough, so I just freeze the extra and then when I want to use it next time, I thaw and stuff!
Work party–for my company holiday potluck, I made empanadas. Big hit, they went fast. I doubled the recipe here.

Adapted from http://www.mycolombianrecipes.com/colombian-empanadas-empanadas-colombianas and I follow the recipe pretty closely.

INGREDIENTS
Masarepa (1.5 cups)
Water (2 cups)
Sazon Goya with azafran (1/2 teaspoons)
Salt
Potatoes (around 5 medium gold potatoes, peeled and cubed)
Chicken bouillon cube
Onion (1-2 diced)
Can of diced tomatoes (I use San Marzano, the recipe calls for fresh tomatoes but this is easier for me–so I actually drain the tomatoes and then chop them until they’re almost like a paste)
Scallions (5-6 sliced)
Garlic (3 cloves, minced–way more than the recipe calls for but I love garlic)
Cilantro (2 cups, lightly chopped)
Ground beef (1/2 pound–recipe also uses ground pork, but I’ve only stuck to beef for simplicity)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the dough: mix masarepa, sazon Goya, and salt (1/2 teaspoon). When mixed well, add water and knead into dough. Let sit for 20 minutes covered.
  2. Cook potatoes in a pot (cover potatoes by 2 inches) and bouillon cube until potatoes are beyond soft (~30 mins). Drain and return to pot. Mash potatoes.
  3. In skillet, add oil and cook onion until translucent. Add scallions, tomatoes, garlic and cilantro and cook for about 10-15 mins. Add ground beef and cook for an additional 15 mins. Mix well.
  4. Add beef-vegetables mixture to mashed potatoes. Mix well. At this point, the stuffing is done. Time to stuff and fry!
  5. Lay out plastic sheet (saran wrap) on counter. Take about 1.5 tablespoons of dough and make into balls. Using another piece of saran wrap, flatten ball into circle. Place about 1/2 tablespoon of stuffing in the middle of the circle. Using the bottom piece of saran wrap, carefully fold one of the sides of the circle on top of the other to form empanada. If you want the fancy ridges, use a fork along the edges on top of piece of saran wrap. I usually skip that although my empanadas usually end up looking a little wonky.
  6. Heat up high heat oil (canola oil, grapeseed oil, etc) and fry empanadas on each side until crisp (around 3-4 minutes). Place on paper towel when finished to blot oil.

BOTTOM LINE: A little bit of a pain in the ass especially since you need a few somewhat obscure ingredients, but WORTH IT! Especially in Boston.

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