Empanadas: Recipes

Classic beef and black bean and plantain empanadas are the winners! Image

Beef Empanadas

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 pound ground beef(I used 85% lean)

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/8 teaspoon curry powder

1 packet of Goya Sazon seasoning(ethnic food section)

salt and pepper, to taste

1 package of empanada wrappers(Goya brand located in the international foods freezer section)

1 egg

Chipotle Mayo Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup mayo

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon adobo sauce Image

 

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In a medium-sized skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the beef and cook until brown. Add the peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, curry powder, sazon packet, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly so that the ingredients are well blended. Set aside and let the filling cool.

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Put 3 tablespoons of filling on half of the round. Fold the other half of the round over and using a fork, press down on the edge of the dough making sure it is sealed all the way around. Ta-da, you got yourself an empanada! Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Brush the top of each empanada with the egg wash. Arrange the empanadas on a nonstick sheet pan and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer the empanadas to a serving platter and serve.

***Disclaimer*** I baked these this time as I am on a vacation diet. Diets are the worse thing in life…. I recommend two things; if you use the Goya empanada wrappers, fry them in four inches of oil or a fryer. If you make your own wrapper(basic pie crust recipe), bake them.

Black Bean and Sweet Plantain Empanadas

1 teaspoon canola oil

1 sweet plantain, sliced

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 packet of Goya sazon

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1/4 cup chicken stock (***see note)

1 cup queso fresco, grated (I couldn’t find it at two of my local grocery stores so I used ricotta instead)

4-5 Goya empanada wrappers

In a medium-sized skillet, heat the canola oil over high heat. Add the plantains and cook until brown on both sides. Set aside to cool. Add the black beans, onion, red peppers, cumin,  sazon packet, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly so that the ingredients are well blended. Add the stock and cook until warmed. Set aside and let the filling cool.

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Mash the bean mixture until you form a course paste. Add the plantains and mix until well blended.

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Put 3 tablespoons of filling on half of the round. Fold the other half of the round over and using a fork, press down on the edge of the dough making sure it is sealed all the way around. Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Brush the top of each empanada with the egg wash. Arrange the empanadas on a nonstick sheet pan and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer the empanadas to a serving platter and serve.

***I didn’t use chicken stock but recommend it for this recipe. The filling was too dry so the stock is necessary.

I hope you get a chance to try these recipes and let me know how you liked them. Please share your empanada recipes with me!

Empanadas: Reviews and a Weekend Getaway

Good news and bad news… Good news is that I was able to try a good deal of empanadas this month. Bad news is none of them were in Philadelphia.

Remember those gracious friends I told you I was visiting in New York? Well, they outdid themselves! All the credit goes to my friend Kim who made empanadas her mission. I am very thankful for the time and effort she put in to make sure I tried a diverse sampling. When all was said and done, I tasted six different kinds of empanadas.

I will also add some restaurant reviews at the end. Not at all related to empanadas but still helpful information if you visit New York and are overwhelmed by all the good eats.

1. ABC Cocina

As soon as you walk into this place you know you are in for a unique dining experience. The decor was very delicate but rustic. Chandeliers and brick walls set the tone of this eccentric menu. The tapas style menu includes remixes of familiar dishes. We started off with the spring pea guacamole. For my entree I ordered the spring pea empanadas and the beef empanadas. I also ordered churros because it seemed right. The spring pea empanada was very unexpected. They had a nice kick to them and the side of green chili yogurt was a nice compliment. The churros were perfect. Crispy and light with a yummy crunch.

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2. La Sonrisa Empanadas Flatiron

After walking around after brunch we decided to make our way to the Flatiron district. While there, we stopped by Madison Square Eats. I of course wanted empanadas and found this gem. As soon as I walked up I was greeted by a gentleman who was eager for us to try their empanada offerings. I ordered the chicken coconut curry and Shonn was undecided on the beef and veggie. He ordered both after chatting with the fellow taking our order. Shonn mentioned my empanada journey and he threw in the pork empanada for free so I could try them all and give a fair assessment. The four of us tried them all and the veggie and chicken coconut curry were tied. I personally enjoyed the veggie empanada the best. Very flavorful! They also served the empanadas with four different sauces which I can’t remember the name of. I do know one was a chipotle mayo. Yummy! I would definitely visit this place again.

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Restaurant Reviews

1. Miss Lily’s Soho

This place is popping! We walked in around 10:45 and the place was way live. Reggae music permeated the place and set the tone for the hip crowd. We were seated and greeted by a sultry waitress who was serious about her moves. Any chance she got she was gyrating in the middle of the restaurant. She was of course joined by the other waitresses who had zero shame in their game. On to the food… The roasted coconut jerk corn. Seriously. Amazing. You really only need about 3 minutes to devour this piece of heaven. Go for it! Shonn and I shared the curried goat. Falling off the bone with just the right amount of heat.

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3. The Meatball Shop Upper East Side

Why use a dry erase menu? Because they can and they do. As the name suggests, it’s all about meatballs here and you can build any type of meal you want. Meatballs with pasta, meatball sandwich, meatballs with polenta, even meatballs with a simple salad. Have it your way. I chose the chicken meatballs with pesto on top of polenta. Comfort goodness! In addition to their regular menu items, they feature daily rotating specials that include items like the daily meatball, veggie, cocktail, and more. I ordered the Fool-aid off their specials menu. It tastes just like that stuff you drank as a kid. Too sweet for me. What was not too sweet was my custom ice cream sandwich. One snickerdoodle and one chocolate chip cookie with espresso ice cream in the middle. I would definitely recommend this place. Unlike the other million great places to eat in the city, this place won’t send you to the poor house. They also have jello shots. Cheers!

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Photos courtesy of Yelp…

3. Locanda Verde Tribeca

This cute “urban Italian” place hosted us for brunch. We started with the Pastry Misti Del Giorno, which included a sour cherry jam scone, lemon pound cake(super lemon punch), blackberry glazed donut, and an almond danish. Decadence! For my entree, I ordered the zucchini fritatta with roasted tomatoes, goat cheese, and basil. It had just the right amount of goat cheese. Nothing worse than have a heap of goat cheese that over powers every other flavor. My favorite thing about this place was the open kitchen. I loved seeing the food coming out and the flawless system they have.

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4. Luzzo’s BK Brooklyn

I love pizza, but that’s nothing new. This place is awesome! Service was impeccable. The pizza was everything you expect out of authentic Italian cuisine. Can’t decide which wine to drink? Just give the waiter liberty to decide for you. His choices were dead on for all of us. We ordered the margherita and Luzzo’s BK pizzas.Get here!

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After reading that novel of a post, hold tight for my recipes!