Carolina Martino is originally from Argentina, but lived in Spain for ten years before moving to Canada. She explains her feelings for both countries as, “it’s like my heart is divided into two countries.” Carolina and her husband moved to Canada in 2009 and started their family here on Vancouver Island. Carolina’s first impression of Canada was one of huge change, coming from a big bustling city to the quiet and much slower pace of the Island took a little time to get used to. After settling in to the easy going pace of the Island and becoming active members in their community, Carolina and her husband know that the move was one of the best decisions that they ever made.
Empanadas, Argentinian stuffed pastries, are often served during parties and festivals as a starter or main course. Carolina makes empanadas as often as she can, but recently she has been making them for special occasions, like when her and her friends gather to watch soccer games.
Empanadas de Carne from Argentina (Argentinian Meat Empanadas)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 oz. unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), chilled and cut into 12 pieces
- 1 egg
- 4-5 tbsp. water
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (pimenton dulce)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup green Olives
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
- Mix the flour and salt
- Add the butter, egg and water until a clumpy dough forms
- To make it easier to incorporate the butter you can freeze it and then grate it into the flour mix
- Form a ball, flatten slightly, and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes
- Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate)
- Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator/freezer to use later
– Heat some oil in a large saucepan; add the onions and the red pepper until they turn golden
– Add the ground meat. Break it up with a spoon and cook, stirring until lightly browned
– Add the cumin, paprika, sweet paprika and salt, Mix well and place
– Once the mixture is cold add the chopped eggs and the raisins
Assembling and baking the empanadas:
- To assemble the empanadas, place a spoonful of the filling on the middle of each empanada disc. The amount of filling will vary based on the size of the empanada, but in general, it’s easier to seal an empanada that isn’t overstuffed. Also, the more you make empanadas, the easier it becomes to stuff them to the max and still seal them properly.
- To seal the empanadas, fold the disc and seal the edges by pressing the dough with your fingers. If you’re having a hard time sealing the edges, you can brush the inside edges with water, it will act as glue for the empanadas. You can also use a fork to help seal the edges, just press the top of the fork against the edges. To the repulgue,( the curl type seal), use your fingers to twist the curl the edges. There are also empanada molds that you can buy and will help seal the empanadas.
- If you want your empanadas to have a nice golden finish, then you can brush them with egg wash (a whole egg whisked or egg yolk plus a few drops of water whisked).
- Bake the empanadas in a pre-heated oven at 350 F. The empanadas will be ready once they are golden
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