Monday, July 26, 2010

Uncle Joe's Empanadas

Cooking For Fun Recipe - Uncle Joe's Empanadas

"The Uncles", my Uncle Bernie and his husband Uncle Joe, live a charmed life. They have spent the last two winters in Argentina Tango dancing. Nice life if you can get it and it seems they can. The routine in Buenos Aries is to Tango all night then eat empanadas at 2 am on your way home from dancing. The uncles have brought this tradition home. Since their return from Argentina this year, every family gathering has included making empanadas. We made them in Houston with left over BBQ, then we made them at Lake Winnipesaukee with my CSA veggies and fruit. The very process of making empanadas pulls family together. There is plenty of room for creativity, use for everything in the fridge and you can assembly line the process allowing everyone to get involved. Here is a very rough recipe for the wide variety of empanadas that Uncle Joe has been cooking up lately.

Uncle Joe's Empanadas
Preheat oven to 375

  • Frozen Premade Empanada Dough Discs - a couple brands, Goya of course, but there is another one that is better, don't have the name.
  • Frozen chopped spinach or other green such as kale or collar greens, if using fresh cook down and drain first
  • Chopped Onion
  • Fresh Minced Garlic
  • Diced Red Bell Peppers or your favorite variety of pepper
  • Diced Carrotts
  • Chopped Parsely,
Saute all of the above in olive oil with fresh oregano, salt, pepper and your favorite spices. Saute till veggies are soft. You can stop here and just make veggie empanadas or keep going and add some meat.
  • Other ingredients you might add; sun dried tomatoes, olives with pimento chopped, red pepper flakes, capers & coriander
  • Italian sausage with ground beef
  • Ground pork
  • Chicken
  • Golden raisins are a great addition to meat filled empanadas
  • Add any cheese you love. Cheddar, Asiago, Mozzarella or what ever you have on hand.
Brown meat then mix with the sauteed vegetables. Drain vegetables and meats well before filling dough. Place a few tablespoons of filling in empanada disc, top with cheese if desired. Fold over and seal with a fork or fingers. Brush with egg yolk then bake. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Fruit Empanada
Mix your favorite fruits with powdered sugar and fill dough discs. We have put a spoonful of jam or marmalade with fruit. Mixing apples and pear with berries is good, it helps soak up the runny berries. Fruit empanadas are bit more delicate, they tend to leak but still cook up delicious every time!

Preparations for brisket empanadas. Used green olives, brisket, carrots, spinach and onions.

Uncle Joe with a skillet full of veggies. He bought that ridiculous hat at Fiesta, the crazy international super market in Houston. Love Fiesta!

Joe is artist even with a skillet. I think he might have put pickles in this one. We had a lot left over from a catered BBQ.

Filling up the disc.

Sealing up the disc.

Production line. Making pretty pockets!

Fresh from the oven. Golden brown or as Joe calls it the "Golden Sunset".

These are fruit empanadas. You can see the dark berries through the crust. They leak a bit but are still full of juicy fruit and jam.

Irresistible to all! Really, the kids have loved every variation we have made. There is nothing handier with a large crowd then a big batch of empanadas. We make them for lunch one day then they are snacks anytime of day for the rest of the weekend. Love them!

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