Recipes for Empanadas

Empanadas Fresh from the Oven

Beef Empanadas

In Argentina, Empanada places dot the landscape like pizza joints in college towns. There, you can order everything from the traditional beef empanada to the exotic Roquefort cheese empanada.

This recipe makes a great filling for about two dozen ground beef empanadas.

Empanada shells can be made at home using a recipe similar to a pie crust's. I recommend buying them premade simply because it saves prep time, and I've never been able to make them as well as the factory seems to make them. I buy mine at an ethnic food store in my neighborhood. I've seen them (in the Boston area) at grocery stores. Most Mexican markets carry them as well.

24 empanada shells (tapas para empanadas)

1lb. ground beef (85% lean)

2 boiled eggs

2 shredded carrots

2 tablespoon "condimento para empanadas" (This is a spice mixture that you might find at only the most thorough ethnic food store. You can fake it by mixing a teaspoon each of the following: paprika, black pepper, salt, cumin)

In a skillet cook the beef and the shredded carrots together until the beef is brown, add the condimento, and drain the grease.

Break up the boiled eggs and combine with the beef mixture in a medium sized bowl. Place about a tablespoon in the center of each shell and fold over to make what looks like a small calzone. Pinch the edges together. You can brush the outside of the shell with an egg wash if you want it to brown nicely.

Cook empanadas in 400 degree oven for 12 minutes. Serve hot or cold. Empanadas are to be eaten with your hands!

Empanadas de Roquefort

Rochefort is a strong bleu cheese that makes for powerful empanada. This empanada pairs well with an equally bold wine.

Place small chunks or crumbles of Roquefort cheese in the empanada shell. Carefully fold the empanada over and create a good seal. Wet the edges if you need to because without a good seal around the edge, the cheese will melt and leak out. Poke a ventilation hole in the top and bake per the instructions above.

While Roquefort (or Rochefort) is not technically the same as the bleu cheese you find in many American grocery stores, bleu cheese will suffice. You can also try Gorgonzola or Stilton.

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