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Happy National Empanada Day!

Happy national empanda day! Today we celebrate the empanada, the ultimate Latino snack to go. The origins of the empanada are shrouded in mystery with every country in Latin America having a different recipe and method. An empanada is a fried or baked pocket of dough that can be stuffed with literally anything. There are savory and sweet empanadas and I love them all. I like to get one of each. I’ll get a beef or chicken empanada and then have a guava or cream cheese one for dessert. I’ve tried empanadas from all over Latin America but I have to say that my favorite is still my grandmother’s recipe. So, here is my abuela’s beef empanadas. The video shows how to make delicious poblano pepper and cream cheese empandas. Let us know how you make them.

Beef Empandas

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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