Welcome to Life at the Holman's.

Within this blog, you will find everything from recipes to school ideas to everyday fun stuff and things we have learned along the way. From time to time you will find just a tidbit of our journey here in Oklahoma. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What's for Dinner? - Empanadas

Now that we have the sofrito, it is time to continue on with the empanadas.  Empanadas are a stuffed pastry dish that originated in the regions of Galatia, Spain, and Portugal (thanks Wikipedia!).  The recipe that I am going to post has a ground beef base. However, we have also made a sweeter version using apple filling that was really good.  It reminded me of a fried pie.  The recipe can also be used to make a baked style of empanada to provide a "healthier" version.  However, the recipe that I am sharing today I have only used to fry.

First Step:
Dough Ingredients:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water (I add ice cubes to guarantee the water is very cold.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. shortening
  • Oil for deep frying
In a bowl, beat the water, egg, egg white, and vinegar thoroughly and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine 3 cups of flour and salt. Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender or 2 knives.    Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the liquid egg mixture.  Mix the wet and dry ingredients with a fork until stiff.  Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until all the flour is mixed in well.  

Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and refrigerated at least one hour but not more than 24 hours.  Roll out the dough to 1/8 in thickness and 4-5 inches in diameter.  Add about 2 Tbsp. of meat filling mixture (see Empanada Beef Filling recipe) and seal.  To make the dough stick at the seal, wet down the inner edge with water before crimping.  Crimp the edge of the semi-circle shape using a fork.  

Fry at 350 to 400 degrees until golden in color (about 1-2 minutes on each side).  Empanadas can with be deep fried or pan fried in a shallow skillet of oil.  I find the deep frying much easier and effective for even browning of the empanada.  The recipe makes approximately 10 empanada shells.

Empanada Beef Filling 
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp. of homemade sofrito click here for Sofrito recipe 
  • 1 to 1 1/2 packet of sazon
  • 2 Tbsp. minced green salad olives
  • 1/8 tsp. Adobo seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
In a skillet, brown ground beef.  About half way through the browning process, add the remaining ingredients and continue cooking until the meat is no longer pink.  Taste the meat and see if you are happy with the flavor.  If not, you can adjust the ingredients according to your own preference.  

That finishes the empanada!  We serve our empanada topped with lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, and a little additional sofrito.  Jason also likes to dip his in a spaghetti/red sauce.  The picture that did not turn out that great because we were all in a rush to eat.  This is a meal that my daughter requested and could hardly wait to eat so I was trying to snap a quick picture before dinner.
  1. You can also purchase sofrito at many grocers that is already pre-made.  However, this sofrito is not as strong in flavor.  If you chose to use the store bought sofrite, you need to add 3 Tbsp. of the sofrito or recaito which is the green pepper version of sofrito.
  2. I often add a bit of salt to my meat mixture to enhance the flavor.
  3. For those of you who do not have Adobo seasoning (you can purchase it at many grocery stores), you can just use additional Italian seasoning.  Or, you can create your own  Adobo seasoning.  Click on the following and the link will take you to a recipe Adobo seasoning -  Adobo seasoning recipe at Recipe Zarr.  
  4. When frying the empanadas, make sure you have the edges sealed.  Also, have a paper towel ready to allow the empanada to drain.
  5. You can keep the already cooked empanadas in a warm (200 degree) oven while waiting for the remaining empanadas to cook.
  6. For left overs, reheat in a toaster over to retain the crispiness.