I posted this as part of my response to a thread about meat pies on the General Topics board:
I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has a recipe for meat-filled fried empanadas with a cornmeal crust - that was the first kind I ever tried, I think an Argentinian recipe, at an international food fair in Nashville, and I've not seen the like since, nor found exactly the right recipe.
Many Hispanic markets carry the Columbian Cornmeal Empanada mix which includes tasty recipes. I just ate them at The Flying Chicken (a Chicago Columbian restaurant on Lincoln Avenue...the mesquite chicken, empanadas, arepa's, and arroz con pollo are standouts) Columbian Restaurant. The owner uses the Columbian Empanada mix and I must say that they serve some of the very best empanadas I've tried. I often order a bunch for dinner parties and what a hit they are...don't forget to make a batch of chimmichurri sauce to go with the empanadas.
FYI: Traditional Argentinian empanadas are made with regular flour, not cornmeal.
Yes, on reflection I think it was somewhere in Central America these folks were from - it was a very rich cornmeal/flour dough, and they were running them through a deep-frier. They also were not at all sweet - it was basically just meat, onions and maybe olives. It was over 20 years ago - I remember the flavor and the frying perfectly, the other details rather less so!
re: Will Owen
Here are two empanada recipes. I like the empanadas made purely from cornmeal rather than a mixture of wheat flour and corn flour.
EMPANADAS PAISAS (MEAT-FILLED TURNOVERS)
Makes about 60 empanadas for hors d'oeuvres.
1/2 lb. each of pork and beef
1 Tbsp. each of onion and scallion, chopped
1 tsp. each of ground cumin seed and salt
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups water
1/2 cup each of chopped onions and chopped scallions
4 small tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 lb. (4 medium-sized) potatoes, boiled with skin
1/2 Tbsp. fresh cumin seed, ground
1/2 Tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 lb. dry yellow corn
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
The night before, marinate the meat with the onions, scallions, salt, pepper and ground cumin seed. Cover the pan.
The next day, brown the meat in the vegetable oil. Then return the marinade and add water. Cook until meat is tender (40 minutes). Remove and grind meat. Save the water.
Saute the onions and scallions in 4 Tbsp. oil. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry an additional 3 or 4 minutes. Mix in the ground meat and meat stock and cook for about 10 minutes.
Peel and mash the cooled, boiled potatoes and add them to the meat and vegetable mixture. Mix the salt, pepper and ground cumin seed into the meat and potato mixture. Apart, boil the dry yellow corn in sufficient water to cover the corn, for about half an hour.
Put the cooked corn through a grinder. To the ground corn add the salt, the cornstarch and the brown sugar. Knead the dough until it is thoroughly mixed and forma a firm ball. Pick off small pieces and form into the size of small balls. Flatten each piece thin.
Put about 1 teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center of the flattened ball. Fold over and pinch edges together to close and form a pretty edge.
Place in deep, hot vegetable oil and fry about 3 or 4 minutes until golden brown. Remove and put on paper towels in a colander. Serve immediately or reheat in a paper bag in the oven prior to using.
*The meat mixture can be made in advance and stored in the freezer, but the dough must be made fresh the day of use.
Beef and Potato Empanadas With Salsa Picante
Recipe #922063 ratings
Yet another traditional Colombian dish that I learned to make from my mother-in-law. To eat, put a little bit of the picante on each bite. It's one of my favorite meals.**Just a note, until the elves edit this for me, it should be 1/2 lb hamburger meat, not 1 lb. Sorry about that!**
by SlipC Requires Premium MembershipMy Notes
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6 empanadas 50 min 30 min prep
Change to: empanadas US Metric
For the Salsa Picante
1 large white onion, finely chopped
3 large tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
1-2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (depending on how hot you want it)
2 limes, juice of
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
For the filling
1/2 lb hamburger meat
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 medim onion, finely chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons goya adobo seasoning, with comino (seasoning mix made by Goya)
1 package goya sazon goya with coriander and annatto (another Goya mix)
For the Dough
2 cups pre-cooked white cornmeal (I use the brand P.A.N.)
2 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
Not the one? See other Beef and Potato Empanadas With Salsa Picante Recipes
< 60 mins Lunch/Snacks
To Prepare the Salsa Picante.
Prepare the day before you plan to make the empanadas.
In a medium sized container with a lid, mix all ingredients for the salsa picante.
Cover tightly, and put in the fridge for at least overnight, preferably a bit longer, in order to let the flavors blend.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
To Prepare the Filling.
In large skillet, saute hamburger meat, onions, and garlic over medium heat until the hamburger meat is crumbled up and browned.
In a large pot, combine the browned meat mixture with the remaining filling ingredients.
Cover mixture with 1/2" of water and bring to boil.
Let boil for one minute, then cover and turn heat to low.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the potatos are tender and the water is absorbed.
If the water boils out before the potatos are tender, add more water, 1/4 cup at a time until the potatos are tender and the water is all absorbed.
When the filling is ready, turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
To Prepare the Dough:.
While the filling mixture is cooling, combine all the dough ingredients in a large bowl.
Knead until smooth and form.
When the filling mixture is cooled to room temperature, divide dough into 6 equal parts.
Roll each part up into a ball, and shape into a circle, approximately 1/8" inch thick (I use my hands for this, I find that a rolling pin only sticks to the dough).
In the center of each circle, place approximately 2 Tbsp of filling.
(Leave a marging of about 1/4-1/2" around the filling, in order to fold the empanada).
Fold the dough in half, so it covers the filling.
Pinch the edges together.
If there are any cracks in the dough, or around the edges, simply put a little bit of water on your finger and smooth the cracks together.
Deep fry the empanadas in hot vegetable oil until the outsides are golden brown.
Serve with Salsa Picante.
argentinian emps would not be filled w pork; just beef.
they are typically rather plain- no cumin etc (i make mine w lots of cumin, cayenne, worc sauce, tomato). i bet bittman's pastry recipe would work fried. i use a creamcheese dough which is v easy to work with and i bake mine.
arg emps would have just- onion, garlic, beef, a little tomato, green olives, some hard boiled egg, and likely raisins. look in the time life series latin amer cookbook, and google them.