How to make empanadas

Empanadas

**Ingredients:**


For the dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt

- 1 Tablespoon Shuger
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup cold milk

For the filling:

- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped

- 1 small onion, finely chopped

- 2 tablespoons olive oil

- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup pitted green olives, chopped

**Instructions:**

**1. Prepare the Dough:**
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold, cubed butter, and use your fingertips or a pastry cutter to work the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.
2. Gradually add the cold milk, little by little, and mix until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overmix. Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

**2. Prepare the Filling:**
1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic and sauté until translucent.
2. Add the ground beef and cook until it's browned and cooked through, breaking it apart with a spoon as it cooks.
3. Stir in the chopped red and green bell peppers, ground cumin, paprika, dried oregano, cayenne pepper (if using), salt, and pepper. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
4. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the chopped olives. Set the filling aside to cool.

**3. Assemble the Empanadas:**
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to about 1/8 inch (3mm) thickness.
3. Use a round cutter or a small plate to cut circles from the dough, about 5-6 inches (12-15cm) in diameter.
4. Place a spoonful of the beef filling in the center of each dough circle.
5. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape and press the edges together to seal. You can crimp the edges with a fork to create a decorative pattern.

**4. Bake the Empanadas:**
1. Place the assembled empanadas on the prepared baking sheet.
2. Optionally, you can brush the tops of the empanadas with a beaten egg to give them a nice golden color when baked.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the empanadas are golden brown and crispy.

**5. Serve and Enjoy:**
1. Allow the empanadas to cool slightly before serving.
2. Empanadas can be served as a snack, appetizer, or as a main course along with a side salad or dipping sauce.

Enjoy your homemade beef empanadas! You can also experiment with other fillings like chicken, cheese, or vegetables to suit your taste preferences.

 

 Motley Muse

 

The history of empanadas can be traced back to ancient times, and their origins are believed to be a combination of various cultures and culinary traditions. Empanadas are found in different forms and with various fillings in several countries around the world, making it challenging to pinpoint a single origin. However, their presence can be traced to regions with historical Spanish influence, such as Spain, Portugal, and Latin America.

**1. Origin in Spain and Portugal:**
The word "empanada" comes from the Spanish and Portuguese verb "empanar," which means "to coat with bread." In medieval Spain and Portugal, cooks used to prepare large pies filled with meats, vegetables, or fruits. The pastry was used as a way to preserve the fillings, making them easier to transport and consume during long journeys or military campaigns.

**2. Introduction to Latin America:**
Empanadas were brought to the Americas during the period of European exploration and colonization. Spanish and Portuguese colonizers and settlers introduced their culinary traditions to the new territories, including the preparation of empanadas.

**3. Diverse Regional Variations:**
As empanadas spread across Latin America, each region developed its unique variations based on local ingredients, traditions, and cultural influences. Different countries and even specific areas within those countries have their own signature empanada styles and fillings. For example:
- Argentina is known for its beef empanadas, often filled with ground beef, onions, spices, and sometimes olives and hard-boiled eggs.
- In Chile, empanadas are traditionally filled with seasoned ground beef, onions, raisins, black olives, and hard-boiled eggs.
- In Colombia, empanadas are often made with corn-based dough and are filled with a mixture of ground meat, potatoes, and spices.
- In Mexico, empanadas are referred to as "empanadas de cazuela" and are made with a slightly sweet dough filled with fruit preserves.

**4. Global Popularity:**
Empanadas have become popular worldwide due to their delicious taste and versatility. They are enjoyed as street food, appetizers, main courses, and even desserts. As international travel and culinary exploration have increased, empanadas have gained recognition and popularity in various parts of the world, leading to different interpretations and fillings.

Today, empanadas are celebrated not only in their traditional forms but also in creative adaptations that cater to different tastes and dietary preferences. They have become a culinary symbol of Latin American culture and a beloved dish enjoyed by people from diverse backgrounds all around the globe.

 

 

Empanadas, pastry turnovers often filled with various ingredients, can offer health benefits when prepared mindfully. They can include lean proteins like chicken or beans and vegetables, providing essential nutrients, fiber, and vitamins. However, their nutritional profile depends on the fillings and preparation methods. Baking instead of frying reduces the fat content. Eating them in moderation and opting for whole-grain dough enhances their healthfulness. When made with balanced ingredients and portion control, empanadas can be a flavorful and nutritious addition to a well-rounded diet, delivering both taste and some valuable nutrients.

 

Motley Muse

 

Here's a quiz about empanadas to test your knowledge of this delicious pastry:

**Empanadas Quiz**

1. What is the origin of the word "empanada"?
a) French
b) Spanish
c) Italian
d) Arabic

2. Empanadas are typically made with a pastry crust. What is the Spanish term for this crust?
a) Masa
b) Tapa
c) Hojaldre
d) Empanadilla

3. In which country are empanadas known for their traditional filling of seasoned ground beef, onions, olives, raisins, and hard-boiled eggs?
a) Argentina
b) Chile
c) Mexico
d) Colombia

4. Empanadas are commonly eaten as a snack, appetizer, or main course. True or False?

5. What is the term used for a sweet variation of empanadas filled with fruit preserves?
a) Empanadas dulces
b) Empanadas de cazuela
c) Empanadas con frutas
d) Empanadas de crema

6. Which of the following is NOT a common empanada filling?
a) Chicken and cheese
b) Spinach and feta
c) Pork and apple
d) Banana and chocolate

7. The pastry used for making empanadas is often folded into what shape?
a) Triangle
b) Square
c) Half-moon
d) Circle

8. In which country are empanadas often made with a corn-based dough and filled with a mixture of ground meat, potatoes, and spices?
a) Venezuela
b) Mexico
c) Colombia
d) Peru

9. Empanadas are commonly associated with which cuisine?
a) Italian
b) Mexican
c) French
d) Latin American

10. In Argentina, what day is dedicated to celebrating "Dia de la Empanada"?
a) May 5th
b) July 9th
c) September 15th
d) December 10th

**Answers:**
1. b) Spanish
2. d) Empanadilla
3. b) Chile
4. True
5. a) Empanadas dulces
6. d) Banana and chocolate
7. c) Half-moon
8. c) Colombia
9. d) Latin American
10. c) September 15th

How did you do? I hope you enjoyed testing your knowledge about empanadas!

 

 

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