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Beef filled Empanadas

Beef filled Empanadas

It seems as though empanadas fill my mind about once a week. I love an empanada, as does the rest of my family, especially when made correctly. A recent attempt, I forgot what premade dough I was using, totally failed. Granted I did not deep fry the empanadas at that time, I did bake them and they still failed. I will blame the dough as I know my meat mixture was really good. Regardless, I did not give up thinking about making more empanadas! A recent weeknight meal included a minced meat mixture to be served with a garlic and turmeric rice, and I had plenty of meat mixture left over. I knew what I was going to do next and that was hit up my local supermercado and hunt down premade emapanda dough. Low and behold they carried these great looking dough discs, and I was ecstatic. Yep, premade empanda dough excites me. That’s what it has come down to.

Beef filled Empanada Recipe
Beef filled Empanada Recipe

If you cannot find these frozen empanda shells, go ahead use the Internet and make your own. I have made these in the past and they have turned out well, but they require masa and I was out of that as well. So these are a perfect purchase. If you do not have a meat mixture, go ahead and make your own. That’s what I really love about the empanada (besides the awesome dough)… you can stuff them with anything you like!

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the minced meat mixture:

  • 1 lb ground chuck, cooked, strained of fat
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • Empanada dough
  • 5 cups canola oil
  • Cilantro chutney, optional

Begin by making your filling. Begin browning the minced meat. Start breaking it up as it is cooking. When it is done browning, remove a majority of the grease. You want about a tablespoon reserved, but no big deal if you don’t. Add in the onion and garlic. Stir. Season with salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Stir in the tomatoes, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature. You can do this ahead of time as well.

Beef filled Empanada Recipe
Beef filled Empanada Recipe

 

Heat a pot full of oil on medium heat. You will want the oil to come up to about 350-360 degrees. During this time, let’s make the empanada.

Take an empanada disc and fill with about 1/2 cup of the meat mixture. Fold over the disc, and pinch the dough, edge to edge with a fork. Adjust the meat filling (or filling for that matter) to meat the size of your empanada dough. You do not want to over stuff, and you want to ensure you have a good seal.  Repeat. I made about 8 empanadas, as I wanted to use up my meat mixture, and more importantly wanted to see how these empanada discs would turn out.

Once the oil comes to temperature, slip an empanada into the oil, repeat with a couple of more as you do not want to overcrowd, and cook until golden in color. This does not take long, only a couple of minutes. Once they come to the desired golden color, remove them with a slotted spoon, strain any oil, and place onto a wired rim baking sheet. Season with any salt if desired.

Beef filled Empanada Recipe
Beef filled Empanada Recipe

 

Repeat with remaining empanadas. Once cooked, it is time to dig in. Serve on a platter and enjoy. The dough of these empanadas wasawesome. Flaky, and really perfect. They fried up in no time which I loved, and were a great use of leftover meat. This is great game day food if you have a fryer going, so stock up (I did) on the empanada dough if you can find it, and start making your own empanadas!  These would go great with some cilantro chutney as well. Hope you enjoy!

Beef filled Empanadas
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground chuck, cooked, strained of fat
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • Empanada dough
  • 5 cups canola oil
  • Cilantro chutney, optional
Instructions
  1. Begin by making your filling. Begin browning the minced meat. Start breaking it up as it is cooking. When it is done browning, remove a majority of the grease. You want about a tablespoon reserved, but no big deal if you don’t. Add in the onion and garlic. Stir. Season with salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Stir in the tomatoes, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature. You can do this ahead of time as well.
  2. Heat a pot full of oil on medium heat. You will want the oil to come up to about 350-360 degrees. During this time, let’s make the empanada.
  3. Take an empanada disc and fill with about ½ cup of the meat mixture. Fold over the disc, and pinch the dough, edge to edge with a fork. Adjust the meat filling (or filling for that matter) to meat the size of your empanada dough. You do not want to over stuff, and you want to ensure you have a good seal. Repeat. I made about 8 empanadas, as I wanted to use up my meat mixture, and more importantly wanted to see how these empanada discs would turn out.
  4. Once the oil comes to temperature, slip an empanada into the oil, repeat with a couple of more as you do not want to overcrowd, and cook until golden in color. This does not take long, only a couple of minutes. Once they come to the desired golden color, remove them with a slotted spoon, strain any oil, and place onto a wired rim baking sheet. Season with any salt if desired.
  5. Repeat with remaining empanadas. Once cooked, it is time to dig in. Serve on a platter and enjoy. The dough of these empanadas was awesome.

 

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Mushroom Laap

Mushroom Laap

Lately I have been reading through a Kindle purchase I made some time before the holidays. The book is
Hawker Fare: Stories & Recipes from a Refugee Chef’s Isan Thai & Lao Roots. I really enjoy the book thus far and it gets into Northern Thai/Isan style cooking which I really enjoy. Laap (larb, lap, etc) is one of my favorite dishes of Northern Thailand and some of the book focuses on that. While I began thinking more about laap and began to get hungry,  I thought about making a batch, but a different style of laap for my daughter.

You can make all types of laap, whether it be chicken, beef (raw or cooked), fish, or pork, but one I haven’t made was more veggie focused, and as my daughter loves mushrooms, I decided to go with just that; a mushroom laap.

Mushroom Laap Recipe
Mushroom Laap Recipe

This mushroom laap recipe is much like most other laap I have made, with similar ingredients, but the importance of this one is getting the moisture out of the mushrooms but regardless so easy to make.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 24 oz of baby portabella mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of toasted rice powder
  • 2-5 Thai chili peppers, minced, optional
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp palm sugar, or regular sugar
  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • Sticky rice, cooked (preferred) or Cooked jasmine rice

Start by heating a very large skillet on medium-high heat.

Add in the oil and swirl it around. Next, add in the mushrooms and level them out so they try to lay flat. No big deal if they overlap. Your goal here is to let them be. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, untouched so that they begin to caramelize. After 5 minutes, reduce the heat just a bit and then give them a good stir. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, untouched again.

Mushroom Laap Recipe Ingredients
Mushroom Laap Recipe Ingredients

Once the mushrooms have caramelized, toss in the shallots, Thai chilies, and garlic. If you cannot handle spicy food then reduce the amount of Thai chilies. Give a good mix, and after a minute toss in the fish sauce and sugar. Cook another minute, then pour into a mixing bowl.

Add the fresh herbs, lime juice, and toasted sticky rice. Stir, taste, and season with any salt or lime juice. Plate and serve with fresh, warm sticky rice.

The mushroom laap turned out great and it was an awesome alternative to an already awesome minced meat salad. Give this one a shot if you are looking to change things up with your laap. Enjoy!