The dish that everyone in South America loves is empanadas. They eat them all day long. I can’t lie, we’ve had them for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Every country makes them a little differently. They are often made with chicken, beef or cheese. Needless to say, we were super excited when we came across the empanadas cooking class at our Spanish school for only $40 Argentine pesos ($10). The type we made is supposedly special to Mendoza, Argentina.
It turns out empanadas are really easy to make and involve only a few simple steps. First, we cut and cooked everything we needed for the filling and put it all in the middle of the table for easy grabbing.
Next, we wet the edge of one half of the empanada shell with a wet finger. Then, we piled up our ingredients in the middle. We each made about 8 empanadas, giving us a chance to try different flavor pairings. We talked about where we were from and about our travels as we made our concoctions. I can see doing this with our family and friends and having a great time. It was a fun group project!
Once we had piled everything into the center, we folded it in half and sealed it shut. We also had fun deterring from the typical empanada shape. In order to keep track of whose was whose, each of us flagged our empanadas with a certain topping. Mine was a red pepper and Dusty’s was red pepper flakes.
Finally, we brushed them with an egg wash and placed them in the oven to brown. Once they were ready, we poured ourselves some Malbec and stuffed our faces!
These empanadas were pretty delicious, although I could see changing up the recipe a bit. Since we are spicy hot food freaks, we’ll likely add some hot peppers next time around. (Argentines, well… South Americans for that matter, aren’t big on heat.) I’d also like to make the shells myself just to make things more delicious/difficult. Perhaps something like pizza dough will do the trick. Finally, I’d also like to make them appetizer sized by swapping out the empanada shells for wontons. The possibilities are endless!
1 lb. ground beef
1.5 lbs. of onions
12 packaged empanada shells
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
Other Ingredient Options
cooked corn off the cob
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice the onions, then saute in pan with olive oil. When they become translucent, add the ground beef and saute until brown. Add paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Let cool. If necessary, dice and/or cook any additional ingredients you may want to add.
Take an empanada shell and wet the edge of one half with wet finger. Add ingredients. Fold in half and press down on the edge to seal it shut. Use a fork and press down to seal or fold edges over to seal. Place on pan. Beat one egg in bowl and add a couple drops of olive oil. brush egg wash over empanadas. Place in oven for 30-40 minutes or until browned.