This is a task I do not take up often, since it takes several dozens to feed my family , so I usually make them once a year for New Year's Eve.
Well I guess I am feeling a bit bored after not working anymore and I thought, what the hell, let's do it .
This last New Year we did not have them because we spent it with family eating super yummy tamales, so I owed my kids the treat.
I had some hamburguer in the fridge waiting to be put away and I thought well let's use it all so then I have no more meat for the rest of the week and they have to eat what I make ( vegetarian), yay! Killed 2 birds with one stone.
I made my traditional Argentine empanada recipe with hamburguer, and then I thought well what will I eat? So I had to come up with a good mix to fill the dough.
Here is a pic of the dough you can buy at the latin store, maybe one that carries south american stuff.
The brand is La Saltena and buy the oven ( horno) kind unless you want to fry.
There is also a pic of the meat filling, and while I was cooking I noticed Dexter carefully monitoring the kids' activity down stairs. Can't get anything past this guy.
Ok, onto the recipe! Here is the meat one.If you like to make your own dough I am sure there are some recipes out there if you google Argentine empanadas. I am just lazy and buy it made.
Meat filling ( makes a dozen)
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 lb ground beef
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
10 green olives, chopped
1/2 cup raisins ( optional)
2 tbsp cornstarch or flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Place oil and onions in a skillet, over medium heat, cook 3-4 minutes until onions look clear.
Add meat and spices ( except paprika) , brown the meat and before it is done add paprika and let it simmer. Remove from heat. Add cornstarch and mix well until the filling thickens. Mix in the eggs, olives and raisins. For the sweet version, skip the olives and add 2 tbsp of sugar.
Once assembled place them in a lined cookie sheet and bake @ 375 for 20 min or until nicely browned.
Here are pics on how to assemble the empanada. Once you put in the filling, wet the edges a bit and press them together, then close it . If you cannot do this particular closure ( excuse my chipped nail polish here) then you can just press it down with a fork , but if you are using a filling with cheese , this closure is better so the cheese doesn't escape.
As for my version, well I wanted to use spinach but I had none in my fridge so I just grabbed what I had and threw it together. Here it goes.
1 tbsp oil
1 onion chopped
1 small zucchini chopped in small pieces
1 summer squash chopped in small pieces
1 cup of mushrooms chopped( I used white ones)
1 can cream style corn
1 cup mozzarella
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste.
Cornstarch until it's a bit thick ( carefull not to put too much because when cornstarch cooks it gets too thick too quick , so add a bit at a time)
If you know your spices by all means improvise and use what you like , I always use cumin in my fillings. This made about 15 empanadas.
In a pan put oil and onions and fry them a bit , add mushrooms and cook for a few minutes , add the squashes and spices, I cooked them until they were a bit brown, then I added the corn and turned it to low and mixed well and let it cook a bit more, 3 to 4 min, turn off the stove and add the cornstarch. Once you have the consistency you want add cheese and let it melt.
I let it sit a bit until it cooled down a little so it wasn't too runny for the dough. It was perfect! Even 2 of my kids ate it . Woot!. For the vegan version skip the cheese.
And here is the result, tadaaaa! These reminded me a bit of the empanadas my grandma used to make for lent when I was little , maybe for the corn flavor. One more veggie recipe for me .Now that my super mom moment is over, I'll just have to slack for tomorrow's dinner to balance it out.