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memory of taste :: empanadas

By Saturday, September 28, 2013 , , , ,

There's a little outtake video from our Patagonia trip that didn't make the cut for the movie.  In it, Lukas asks me what my favorite spot from the trip was.  And then he quickly follows that with, "And don't say an empanada stand."  We both laughed but truth be told, the little shop that sold empanadas wasn't that far behind the majestic views and stunning peaks.  Empanadas were the perfect comfort after days of backpacking {well, that and showers and a clean bed}.

So why, when Lukas suggested them for dinner, did I shun the idea?  Because, well, that sounded like a lot of work.  But, when I pulled on my big girl pants {and accepted an offer to help stuff them from the guy who made the request} I discovered that they weren't that much work.  And any effort required was completely worth it.

I started with this recipe.  The dough was put together the day before.  We used the tortilla press {best kitchen tool ever!} to flatten circles of the dough.  We ate them piping hot from the oven like good Wengers.

Good Wengers eat tasty foods at scalding hot temperatures, not waiting for them to cool off even a little bit.  Take a bite, breath in and out through your open mouth like a woman in labor.  We washed these tasty pockets down with cold beer.  This year, with trying a new beer just about every week, our selection has grown.  Empanadas were meant to be washed down with a beer.

It doesn't get much better than tasty comfort food with good memories in every bite.

My Argentinian Empanadas

1 cup water
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/4 cup veggie Crisco
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
several health shakes {enough so you can see it when stirred into the flour} smoked paprika

The day before, make the dough.  Heat water, Earth Balance and Crisco in small saucepan over medium heat until the fats have melted.  In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, and paprika.  Make a well in the center and pour in a little of the warm liquid.  Stir with fingers to make a wet paste.  Pour in the remaining liquid and work into a wet, oily dough with your hand.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate over night.

3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 lb beef steak tips, finely diced - smaller than 1/4" cubes
3 green onions, chopped
2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, pealed, diced and boiled
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium and cook the onions, smoked paprika, white pepper, and cumin until the onions are soft.  Add beef and sprinkle with salt.  Cook until the beef is browned.  Place filling in a large bowl and let cool.  When cool, add potatoes, green onions and eggs.  Mix.

Heat over to 400 degrees.  Tear off a golfball sized piece of dough and roll between hands to make into a ball.  Flatten the ball with the tortilla press into about a 6" circle {or use a rolling pin}.  Place 2 tbsp of filling on one half the circle and fold over to make a filled semi-circle.  Pinch and press firmly around the edges to seal it.  Place on a cookie sheet and repeat for all dough and filling.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Eat pipping hot from the oven {like a Wenger} with a cold beer!

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