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Last updated 6/12/2012 1:28:47 AM. Recipe ID 64305. Report a problem with this recipe.
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In Spain, Latin America, and the Philippines, an empanada is essentially a stuffed 

The filling usually consists primarily of beef. It may also contain ham and cheese, 
humita corn with Béchamel sauce, or spinach. Fruit is used to create a dessert 
empanada. Dessert empandas are usually baked, but may be fried. In some Argentinean 
provinces, empanadas can be spiced with peppers, more akin to those of the rest of 
South America.

Chilean empanadas also use a wheat flour-based dough, but the meat filling is slightly 
different and often contains more onion. Chileans consider the Argentine filling seco, 
or dry. Fried empanadas of shrimp/prawns and cheese are a favourite dish of the coastal 
areas, like Viña del Mar.

In Colombia, common empanadas are filled with chopped meat, pieces of potato, and 
yellow rice, and are eaten with a spicy sauce made of cilantro and ají pepper, stuffed 
in a corn-based pastry and fried.

It is likely that empanadas are originally from Galicia, Spain, where they were 
prepared rather like Cornish pasties as a portable and hearty meal for working people 
and often filled with leftovers or staple ingredients. Tuna and chicken are varieties 
still seen in Galicia.

Wheat Dough Recipe


    * 1 kg flour
    * 2 eggs
    * 200 g butter (or margarine)
    * 1 tsp. salt
    * 2-3 cups cold water
    * olive oil
    * cornstarch


   1. Dissolve salt in water.
   2. Mix eggs, flour, butter and 1 cup of water to form a dough. While kneading the 
dough, gradually add in more water until the dough is soft and stretchy. If the dough 
becomes sticky, add more flour.
   3. Once the dough is the desired consistency, allow to rest for a couple minutes, 
then roll it out to a thickness of ~2-3 mm (1/10 inch).
   4. Cut the dough into discs roughly 10-15 cm (4 to 6 inches) in diameter.

For a flakier crust, before cutting it into discs, lightly coat the dough with olive 
oil and dust with cornstarch. Fold the dough in half (with the cornstarch on the 
inside) and again coat with oil and cornstarch. Fold again and roll out to a thickness 
of ~2-3 mm (1/10 inch).

Filling (Relleno)

Every household in Argentina has its own special recipe for empanada filling. The 
fillings vary from region to region, with some being sweet and others spicy. The 
following is a recipe for a sweet empanada filling typical of those found in the 
province of Santa Fe.


    * 1 kg ground beef
    * 1 large onion
    * 2 tblsp vegetable oil
    * 2 tblsp sugar
    * 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
    * 1 1/2 tsp paprika
    * 1 tsp salt
    * 1/2 tsp ground cumin (comino), optional. Cumin is very invasive and gives the 
filling a whole different flavor.
    * 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    * 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    * 1/4 tsp cloves
    * 1/2 cup raisins
    * green olives (optional)
    * diced hardboiled egg (optional)
    * diced boiled potatoes (optional)


   1. Dice onion into small pieces and sauté in vegetable oil in a large frying pan. 
Add and brown ground beef.
   2. While beef is browning, mix in salt, sugar and spices.
   3. Once meat has finished cooking, remove from heat and add raisins.
   4. If desired add sliced olives, egg or potatoes.

Filling (Pino)

"Pino" is the name of the filling used in Chilean empanadas. Much like filling for 
Argentine empanadas, each Chilean househould has their own pino. The one below is like 
the Argentine but includes more onions and does not have the cinnamon, nutmeg, or 
cloves, and uses less sugar.


    * 1 kg ground beef
    * 2 cloves garlic
    * 3 large onion
    * 2 tblsp olive oil
    * 1 tblsp sugar
    * 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
    * 1 1/2 tsp paprika
    * 1 tsp salt
    * 1/2 tsp ground cumin (comino)
    * 1 bay leaf
    * 1/2 cup raisins
    * black olives
    * diced hardboiled egg


   1. Dice onion into small pieces and sauté in olive oil in a large frying pan. Mince 
garlic and add to the onions. Add and brown ground beef.
   2. While beef is browning, mix in salt, sugar, spices and bay leaf.
   3. Allow to simmer for about 20 mins for flavours to blend.
   4. Remove bay leaf, and add olives and raisins.

Empanada preparation

   1. Place 1-2 tablespoons of empanada filling into the center of one of the dough 
discs (tapas).
   2. If Chilean empanadas are being made add one piece of the diced hardboiled egg 
next to the filling.
   3. Wet the outer edge of the tapa with cold water and fold the tapa in half to 
encase the filling, ensuring there is no air left inside (the wet portion will help the 
dough stick together, air will burst out when cooked).
   4. Holding the empanada in the palm of one hand, with the round edge pointing 
outwards, pinch and twist over a small (finger-sized) portion of the dough at the top. 
Continue pinching and twisting around the outer edge until you reach the bottom of the 
empanada, so that the open edge is sealed shut. (you can also use a fork to smash 
together the lips of the outer edge, but it is not the traditional way and the filling 
can burst through).
   5. Repeat for the remaining filling and dough.
   6. To cook the empanadas, deep fry in vegetable oil on medium heat until golden 
brown. Alternatively, you can glaze them with butter and cook on a cookie sheet in the 
oven at 400 °F for 8-10 minutes or until light brown.
   7. Allow empanadas to cool and then eat.

Empanadas are usually eaten with your hands (like a taco or burrito).

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Recipe ID 64305 (Nov 18, 2007)

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