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Empanadas Make A Great Winter Meal

Lot’s of places have traditions of baking meats in dough. Latin America is no different. The empanada exists in pretty much every Latino country in a slightly different form. Some countries put in olives and some put in tomatoes. Other countries fry the empanadas and others bake them. The basic genius of the empanada stays intact: meat product and veggies in a convenient dough pocket. You can sit down to eat them at a table or nibble on them on the go. Like I said, there are a lot of different incarnations of the empanada. This one comes from a Chilean cousin of mine. He makes the dough by hand, but frankly…I’m too lazy. And so are you. So, for this bad boy we’re going with frozen dough.

Beef Empanadas

2 Hard boiled eggs, minced

1/2 An onion chopped up into tiny bits

1 Tbsp of olive oil

1 Garlic clove, minced

1/2 Tsp of cumin, king of spices

1/2 Tsp of oregano

1 Lb. of ground beef. I like using ground sirloin because I’m fancy like that

2 Tbsp of raisins. If they start singing Motown, throw them out

1 1/2 Tbsp of pimento olives

1 Package of croissant, puff pastry, or empanada dough from your grocer’s freezer or dairy center

4 Cups vegetable oil

Salt and Pepper. The spices not the rap duo from the 80’s.

First you saute the onions and garlic until it smells like your grandmother’s kitchen…unless her kitchen smelled gross. Throw in the beef and brown it up. Don’t overcook it, but make sure it’s not pink. Do you want trichinosis? Sprinkle in the cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Taste it. Does it taste good? Then you haven’t screwed it up. When it’s done take it off the burner. Mix in the raisins, olives, and eggs. Next, take the disks, triangles, squares or whatever shape your dough comes in and roll them out individually on a slightly flour dusted surface. Put a little bit of the meat mixture in the middle of the dough and close it up. A little bit goes a long way, and you don’t want your empanadas so fat they burst. Heat up the vegetable oil until it could melt your face off and deep fry those bad boys until they are golden brown. Let them drain on a plate and serve. If you care about your health, (wimp), you can bake them for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

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