Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Colombian Empanadas

Click aquí para versión en español

To close the Christmas season I have decided to do it with the recipe to make empanadas, another popular Christmas dish in Colombia, just like the buñuelos and natilla. And even though Colombians enjoy empanadas more during the month of December, they eat them throughout the year.

The most famous in Colombia are the "church empanadas". Each parish has a group of volunteers who prepare, cook and sell empanadas outside each church to raise funds. My grandmother proudly volunteered at one of these groups and she would always be seen happily selling her empanadas to donate her two cents.
 


And just like each family has its own recipe to make buñuelos and natilla, the same thing happens with the recipe to make empanadas. Some make them with yellow corn meal, others with white corn meal, some make them with beef, others with chicken, with guiso (seasoned sauce), without guiso, with potato, without potato. But, they're all very tasty. The trick is to season the whole empanada, from the dough all the way through the guiso in the filling. That way each bite is filled with that delicious Colombian flavor. What I do recommend is that you use the same corn meal that is used to make arepas




And like always... enjoy!




COLOMBIAN EMPANADAS

Click aquí para versión en español

Ingredients
Approx. 22  medium empanadas 


Filling

2   large brown potatoes
     Water (enough to cover the potatoes)
1   tsp salt 
3   tbsp oil
2   cloves garlic, minced
½ cup (90 g) red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup (100 g) tomatoes, chopped (peeled and seeded)
1   tbsp onion powder (you can substitute ½ cup green onion, chopped)
½ tsp salt
½ cup (25 g) cilantro, chopped
¼ tsp ground cumin
1   lb. ground beef (you can also use whatever type of beef you prefer)

Dough

3   cups (720 ml) hot water
1   chicken bouillon
1   envelope Sazón Goya with Achiote or Azafrán (you can also use ½ tbsp Triguisar or color)
1   tsp salt
1   tbsp softened butter
3   cups (450 gr) 
pre-cooked white corn meal

Oil for frying (vegetable, canola, corn)

 

Directions

1. Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes. Put them in a pot, cover them with enough water and add salt. Cook for about 20-25 minutes on medium heat or until soft.

2. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and roughly mash them.

3. To make the dough, add hot water to a large bowl, add the chicken bouillon, Sazón Goya, salt and butter. Stir well to mix all of the ingredients.

4. Slowly add the cornmeal to the water and stir with a big spoon. When all of the corn meal has been added, work the dough with your hands until it becomes soft. Let rest for 20 minutes.

5. Add oil to a large pan on medium heat. Add the garlic, red bell pepper, tomatoes, onion powder, salt, cilantro, and cumin. Cook this guiso (sauce) for about 5 minutes. 

6. Add the beef to the guiso and cook it thoroughly.

7. Add the mashed potatoes and mix well to make the filling.

8. To make the empanadas, put a small ball of dough in the center of a tortilla press covered with plastic and press to flatten it. You can also put the small ball of dough between two pieces of plastic and flatten it with a small saucepan.

9. Add a tablespoon of the filling. Fold the circle of dough in half to form a half moon.

10. Cut off the edge of the half moon with a cup or drinking glass. This will shape your empanada and seal it at the same time. Another way to make them is pressing the edge with your fingers and folding the extra dough inwards,
this will prevent the filling from coming out during frying.

11. Once you have all of your empanadas ready, you can fry them in a deep frier with enough oil at 350ºF (180ºC). You can also fry them on the stove at medium high temperature.

12. Fry the empanadas for 6-7 minutes or until golden brown. Then put them on a paper towels to drain them.

13.  Serve them hot with Colombian hot sauce and lime wedges.




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Thank you!



34 comments:

  1. You made this look too easy to make. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Well, to be honest, they are incredibly easy to make, you'd be surprised. A little time consuming but anyone can make them. =)

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  2. Genial tu blog te felicito.
    Great Blog.
    Regards
    olguis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ¡Muchas gracias por tus lindas palabras Olguis! Y también te quiero agradecer por darle un vistazo al blog. =)

      Delete
  3. Can these empanadas be baked in the oven rather than fried? You have a fabulous blog - felicidades!

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    Replies
    1. You can definitely try to put them in the oven but they won't have a crispy shell like when you fry them. I've never heard of oven baked empanadas made with this dough because it's supposed to be fried. Now, like I said, they're only fried to get the crispy outer part but the dough is pre-cooked and the filling as well, so you will have a good tasting, cooked, yet soggy empanada. Hope that answered your question.
      And thanks for your kind workds, they really mean a lot! =)

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    2. I tried baking them. I placed the empanadas on parchment paper, set the oven at 375 degrees, and left them in for 15-20 minutes. They came out really crispy and a bit dry. I would suggest to lower the temperature to 350 degrees and brush a bit of oil on the empanadas. Keep a close eye on them.

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    3. That's awesome! Thank you so much for sharing, it's good to know that they still came out crispy and with good flavor. =)

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  4. Those look soooo good! The only empanadas that I have ever had were pumpkin. I cannot wait to try these.

    I love your blog, it is so well designed. I have nominated you for a Liebster Award. I definetly think you deserve it :) All of the information can be found at http://cookingwithcurls.com/2013/03/14/liebster-award-what-now/

    Congratulations, Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Thank you so much for nominating me, that's so nice of you. =)

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  5. Me uno a sus seguidores. Hoy descubrì su blog, el cual, realmente està muy bien diseñado y sus recetas muy claras. Dan deseos de salir a cocinar rapidito. Really very very good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ¡Muchas gracias Yolanda y bienvenida! Me alegra mucho que te unas al blog a hacernos compañía. =)

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  6. Looks delicious! Can't wait to make these!
    Are you able to share the Colombian hot sauce recipe pictured?
    Great blog and thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Olguita! Yes, the Colombian hot sauce is already available here on the blog, here's the link: http://www.sweetysalado.com/2013/01/colombian-hot-sauce.html

      I'm also posting a new hot sauce recipe this week, so stay tuned for that one as well.

      Thanks for visiting!

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  7. Hello, what brand of cornmeal are you using in the video? I am not having the best luck getting the dough to come together. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! I usually use the brand PAN because I find that it is easier to work with. I also only use white corn meal because I think the yellow one is drier and has a synthetic flavor. My sister and my mom think I'm nuts because they think it tastes the same, but nah, I can tell the difference. Now, if your dough is too dry, start adding more water little by little until it's nice and smooth. If it's too wet, then add more corn meal instead, again, little by little until it's manageable.

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  8. Do you use maseca for the empanada dough or regular traditional corn meal ?

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    Replies
    1. No, I never use Maseca since it has a completely different texture, plus, that's not what they use in Colombia to make them. We always use the pre-cooked cornmeal or cooked and ground hominy. However, this week I read an entry in another Colombian blog where the author made some "Colombian" empanadas with Maseca. The reason I put "Colombian" in quotes is because that's not how they are made in Colombia but her empanadas look delicous! Here's the link: http://www.unacolombianaencalifornia.com/2013/11/empanadas-hawaianas/

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  9. Thanks for sharing your recipe!! It looks super nice!
    I wanted to know for how long can you keep the dough...I am planning to invite friends at home, so to don't be rushingh, I'd love to prepare as much as I can the day before!

    Congrats for the blog!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much! If you want you can keep the dough in the fridge for a couple of days and make sure you cover it well. Also, when you knead it again before you assemble the empanadas, make sure you add a little bit of water because it will be dry and then your empanadas will have cracks in them.

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  10. Hello there... I was wondering can you use regular flour? or does it have to be corn meal?

    thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are many versions of empanadas in Latin America, but to make these you need precooked cornmeal. I have heard a few people say that they use "Maseca" which is the corn flour used to make Mexican tortillas, but I haven't made them with it so I can't guarantee getting good results with it.

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  11. Hola! I wanted to tell you that I absolutely LOVE your website. Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes!! My husband is Colombian. I made the empanadas last week and my mother-in-law swore that I store bought them and was passing them as my own. Which only meant that they were great! She made delicious empanadas and refuses to share the recipe with me. Gracias por compartir con nosotros!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! See, now you have your own recipe! I'm really glad that you made them and that they turned out so well. And if your mother in law liked them, then you just scored a whole bunch of brownie points with her. I hope you make more recipes from the site and let me know if you have any questions.

      And thank you for sharing your comment!!! ♥ =)

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  12. Hey, I really really want to make this, but there are no masarepa (or pre-cooked corn meal) to be found in my place, only corn meal. Would you be so kindly to tell us how to make masarepa from corn meal? I search on the internet but it just vague without specific recipe, I mean like how cook is pre-cooked and etc, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nina, the only way to make this dough from scratch is by using hominy, not actual cornmeal. If you can get canned hominy at your local grocery store you can then grind it into a dough. Hominy is used in pozole which is a very popular Mexican soup so a lot of grocery stores sell it. Another way to make it is by buying the dry hominy corn, cooking it and then grinding it. I may do a video on how to make this kind of masa from scratch because a few people have told me that they can't get the pre-cooked corn meal.

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    2. That would be great. But are you sure it's hominy, as in nixtamalized corn?

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    3. Yup! It's hominy or pozole! The white, large corn they sell either dry or canned. That's the same type of corn they use to make the precooked cornmeal and the same corn my family used to make the masa from scratch. Here's a recipe I found on how to make arepas with it, but don't worry about adding salt or butter, you only need to cook it and/or grind it because you'll season it later with the ingredients I have here for the empanadas. http://southamericanfood.about.com/od/snacksstreetfood/r/Traditional-Hominy-Arepas-Arepas-De-Maiz-Peto.htm

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  13. Hola que buenas recetas. estas empanaditas las quiero hacer y congelarlas crudas o hay que hacer algun procedimiento antes para cuando las quiera fritar no se dañen?

    Gracias

    Olaf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Olaf, las empanadas las puedes armar y luego guardarlas en el congelador. Asegúrate de cubrirlas bien y guardarlas en una bolsa bien sellada para que no se seque la masa que es lo que casi siempre pasa cuando se congelan. Al sacarlas del congelador descongélalas totalmente antes de freirlas.

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  14. Hola Diana, Aqui otra Colombiana en el exterior que extrana el sabor de su tierra, Gracias Mil por tus videos y tu pagina, la verdad que tu lo haces ver todo tan facil, que hoy mismo se me antojaron las empanadas con el aji verde, Que delicia, Sigue adelante con tu labor, y lo mejor es que se ve que la disfrutas al maximo en la forma como cocinas, Una pregunta, tienes la receta de las Almohabanas, yo me muero por ellas, pero lo he intentado y nunca me salen bien. Te lo agradeceria mucho. Que Dios te bendiga. Lucia W.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ¡Gracias a tí LU por este mensaje tan divino! Y por ahora no he publicado la receta de las almojábanas, pero sí es una de las que tengo pendientes. Ojalá tenga tiempo este año para hacerla. =)

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  15. Tienes una manera exelente de dar las recetas en video te felicito las empanadas y la salsa me quedaron riquisimas ...Son mis favoritas ahora.
    Gracias ...........Fonz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ¡Qué bueno escuchar eso, Fonz!!! Me alegras mucho con tu comentario. Mil gracias por compartirlo y por hacer la receta. =)

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