It's still cold and snowing so I wanted to make some comfort food that reminds me of back home. With the twins having a cold and Valentina managing to get her finger stuck behind a door as Alejandra closed it...comfort food is a really good thing this Friday.I am hoping it is not a sign of my weekend or I'm skipping the food and hitting the mini-eggs with my partner in crime!
Ingredients for the empanadas con carne (with meat)
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 cup shortening 1 1/4 cups water, or as needed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground beef -can use any kind of meat you like --cut into small pieces or thinly sliced
1 pinch salt
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon adobe 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup raisins - I always opt out off this because I don't like raisins and meat together.
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped -My husband hates boiled eggs so I never put this in and use olives instead
1 quart oil for frying, or as needed.
Directions for making the masa - In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Cut in shortening using a pastry blender, or pinching into small pieces using your fingers, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Use a fork to stir in water a few tablespoons at a time, until the mixture forms a ball. Pat into a ball, and flatten slightly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour
Directions for the meat filling - Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender. Crumble in the beef, and season with salt, paprika, cumin and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until beef is browned. Drain excess grease, and stir in the raisins and vinegar. Refrigerate until chilled, then stir in the hard-cooked eggs. Form the dough into 2 inch balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball out into a thin circle. Spoon some of the meat mixture onto the center, then fold into half-moon shapes. Seal edges by pressing with your fingers. Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C) .. Place one or two empanaditas into the fryer at a time. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning once to brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels, and serve hot . Or bake 15-20 minutes at 375F until tanned .
Empanadas de queso- cheese empanadas
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
16 ounces whole milk mozzarella, or other meltable cheese
Vegetable oil for frying
Directions - Mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl.
Gently mix the vegetable shortening into the flour.
Place the milk and water in a saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Stir the hot liquid into the four mixture. Add more water (1 tablespoon at a time) if mixture seems to dry and crumbly, or add more flour if mixture is too wet and sticky.
Knead dough gently until well mixed .
Divide dough into 16 portions, and roll each piece into a ball. Let dough rest for 5 minutes.
Grate or finely chop cheese.
Roll each ball of dough into a 6-7 inch diameter circle.
Place one ounce of cheese in the center of each dough circle.
Fold dough in half over the cheese to form a semicircle. Press down firmly along edges to seal. Roll edge inward over itself and press down again to seal.
Crimp edge decoratively with fork, pressing to seal.
Heat several inches of vegetable oil to 350 degrees in a deep sided skillet, pot, or deep fat fryer. Fry empanadas in batches, turning at least once, until golden brown.
Drain empanadas on paper towels.
Empanadas can be kept warm in a 200 degree oven for up to 1 hour before serving. Serve warm.