11 September 2014

Game Day Foods - Crispy Beef Empanadas

Hey guys! I'm reviving one last fall recipe before I return from my hiatus next week. Empanadas. I love these little handheld delights for how easy they are as a party food and how versitile they can be in the ingredients. Sweet or savory, you can't go wrong with empanadas! Enjoy this, one of my most favorite fall recipes!

Everyone loves these hand held delights. And with football season in full swing (along with the need for easy, utensil-free foods), these are a perfect game day addition that takes your menu out of the box and on to something more memorable.

My recipe is the basic one from Goya, with one deviation. I prefer making my turnovers from pastry sheets rather than the recommended Discos. The pastry sheets are #1 - easier to find + #2 - make a lighter, crispier turnover. The only downside is that have to cut out your rounds manually, but that's easy enough. Simply find a bowl approximately 6" round as a template. Using a pizza cutter or knife, trace around the bowl to create your rounds.

Here's the basic recipe, but feel free to experiment with your fillings:

1 T Olive Oil
1/2 lb Ground Beef
1/2 C Onion, finely chopped
1/4 C Tomato Sauce
6 Spanish Olives, thinly sliced
2 T Sofrito Sauce
1 Packet Sazon w/ corriander + annatto
1 Tsp. Garlic, finely minced
1 Tsp. Dried Oregano
1 Pkg. Pie Pastry Sheets (2 total), thawed

In skillet, brown meat. Add onions + cook another five minutes. Add tomato sauce, olives, Sofrito, Sazon, garlic, + pepper to taste. Lower heat to medium-low + simmer 15 minutes.

In a second skillet, heat oil over medium heat. In the meantime, lightly flour surface + lay out thawed pastry sheet. Using a bowl approximately 6" in diameter, trace bowl over pastry to create discs. Spoon 1+ tablespoon of meat filling into center of pastry. Fold over + lightly pinch to seal.

Fry in oil, turning once or bake in 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

I've fried and I've baked my empanadas. They're both very good. The only difference is that the baked version comes out a bit drier, so you may want to consider a dipping sauce to accompany it. My favorite dip is more of the Sofrito sauce that is used for the filling.

beef empanada filling

The ingredients in the filling can be adapted to whatever you have on hand and suits your mood. My favorite variation is to substitute jalapenos instead of the Spanish olives. It gives a nice kick.

fried beef empanadas

Crispy golden delicious!

shredded lettuce

If I'm serving these as an entree I will serve them with a bed of shredded lettuce. The cool crunch is a perfect compliment to the warm filling.

With a side of Sofrito, nothing more is needed.


Want to send the guys over the moon? Serve up this delight at the next game day. You'll forever be etched into their hearts.


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