I made the best food ever. Food that I grew up on. There are many foods that are popular in South America. Foods that can be found in several Latin American countries, foods like empanadas, arepas, rice and beans, etc.
But I know certain foods as being from one country. To me arepas are only Venezuelan. Arepas con queso blanco – yum! While empanadas are best made in the province of Salta in Argentina. Though the province of Tucumán holds an annual National Empanada Festival, neat right? But according to my Argentine friend Nico, there is a dispute about where the best are from, is it Salta, Tucumán, or Buenos Aires? When I lived in Buenos Aires my teacher informed me that it was Salta so I will stick to that fact. ¡Gracias Paola!
I remember seeing people dressed as giant empanadas dancing downtown in Buenos Aires. Poor guys in those suits in the middle of summer, but the guys sure caught people’s attention to visit the empanada restaurant.
Anyway, I decided to give empanadas a go!
I’m glad I did it!
I got the recipe from here, but I tweaked it some.
- 2 ¼ cup (350g) plain flour
- Pinch salt
- Pinch baking powder
- ¾ cup (145g) butter, melted
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup (100ml) lukewarm water
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 (200g) chicken breast, cooked and shredded
- 8 green olives, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
First make the pastry. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in butter and one of the eggs and mix until combined well. Gradually add some lukewarm water if your pastry is too dry. Wrap your pastry in plastic wrap and all to firm up in fridge for thirty minutes.
To make the filling heat oil in small frying pan and add onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes, then add garlic and bell pepper and cook for an additional couple minutes or until soft and aromatic.
Stir in tomato paste, paprika powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper and mix well. Add olives and chicken, don’t forget to season with salt and pepper. Allow flavours to combine for two minutes. If chicken mixture is too dry add a splash of water and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 200ᵒC (392ᵒF) and begin to roll out the pastry to 3mm (1/8 inch) and cut out circles of approximately 14cm (5 ½ inch) diameter. Divide the filling between the pastry circles and moisten edges with water to allow to stick.
Fold the pastry over to enclose the filling and pinch the edges together, use a fork to press the edges tightly together. Transfer to a baking sheet and brush with milk to glaze. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
Easiest recipe ever! Except I made my pastry with both eggs that were stated in the original recipe and instead of rolling the pastry and shaping with a circular tool, I just pressed everything together with my hands. I didn’t use additional water or milk either as my pastry was already too eggy/oily.
I can honestly tell you that I hate English recipes. The original recipe comes from a website that ends in .co.uk and it bothers me that it says you’ll need two eggs but instead you only use one! What is the point of that other egg!? The original recipe doesn’t even use the other egg for an egg wash before baking it! They use milk! UGH!! I always have issues with English recipes!
Anyway my pastry is just a bit too brittle, but the flavours are all there. Tastes just like Argentina! I know my sister and father are jealous (neither of them are here to experience my empanadas)!
Even with my little mishap, this came out fantastic!
Only thing missing in our house are medialunas (another Argentine pastry)! But those are a little more difficult to make so I may try those another day. Maybe when my sister is in the area. She is the Argentine after all (well, she was born in Argentina).
If you end up making this recipe I hope you enjoy it just as much as my mother and I have!
I know this post had nothing to do with my Pumpkin Everything month, so I thought I’d add my new friend to the mix.
Meet Dr. Rockskin, the Rock’n Roll Pumpkin:
I’ve never named a jack’o lantern before, but I thought to do so for a friend.
Anyway, enjoy the food and the remainder of your day!