Yes, I am introducing empanadas again, these are dumplings or turnovers popular in all of Latin America. Today I am going to introduce you to the ones famous in Mendoza, Argentina. These are traditionally filled with beef, olives, and hard-boiled eggs. They are similar to the empanadas from Uruguay. Uruguayan empanadas are also filled with beef and also contain hard-boiled eggs. However, there are slight differences such as no olives and the meat being prepared with tomatoes. You will also realize that the dough has one different ingredient, instead of water this dough is prepared with warm milk, making it extra easy to work with. If you want to check out further empanada recipes, check out this blog post.
I am going to teach you about empanadas today, these are the famous turnovers from Latin America. Empanadas are, I dare say, THE snack of Latin America. Empanadas do require quite a bit of work, first you have to prepare the dough and then the filling, then you need to fill and seal each empanada before it is baked or fried. As many dishes, empanadas are originally from Spain. However, Spanish empanadas have little resemblance with the empanadas from Latin America. Spanish empanadas are similar to a pie. The empanada from Galicia for example is big and round, like a pie, usually filled with chicken and champignons. Often the pie topping has some braided elements and is decorated in some kind of way. This is very different from the empanadas from Latin America. In this article we will have a look at how empanadas are made in Latin America. Of course I will give a lot of recipes at the end of this article.
Combining cheese with a sweet component such as jam, seems to be a Latin American thing. Needless to say that they also serve their turnovers called empanadas with cheese and quince paste. Originally these are actually served with guava, but that is very hard to come by in Germany. Of course I have a recipe for homemade quince paste on my blog. So when I first tried out this recipe, I made a small amount as I was not sure if we would like it. However, it literally took second and people asked for seconds, so I knew this recipe would make it on the blog. So let me introduce you to empanadas with cheese and quince paste filling!
Let me introduce the perfect snack from Latin America to you: empanadas! Empanadas are turnovers with many different types of fillings. This version is with beef and potatoes from Argentina. But the options are endless. Of course I have introduced empanadas from different countries on my blog. How about Uruguayan empanadas with beef filling, Bolivian chicken empanadas, which are called salteñas, empanadas from Colombia, which are traditionally fried, or sweet empanadas with dulce de leche filling. Empanadas from Argentina and Uruguay are often made with wheat flour and are usually baked. I personally like this version the best. Empanadas can be easily frozen, you just need to make sure to bake them longer, they will taste just as freshly made.
I think it is about high time to get something savory in between all these sweets here. Today I brought something from Bolivia, chicken turnovers or salteñas how they are called locally. Normally turnovers are called empanadas in Spanish. However, for some reason, the Bolivians decided to call these salteñas. Of course I have presented empanadas on this blog. First I showed you the typical beef empanadas from my country Uruguay, followed by classic Colombian empanadas that remain to be a hit. Bolivian “empanadas” differ slightly in the sense that a) the dough is sweetened, and b) gelatine is used for the filling in order to ensure that it remains juicy and moist. When I tried them for the first time, I was a bit surprised that I liked them much better on day 2. I had prepared two batches, one which was baked immediately, and one which was baked after the fully prepared salteñas had chilled in the fridge overnight, tightly covered. Maybe it was the fact that the ingredients could get friendly with each other, I don’t know, but I loved them on day 2.
Warning, these classic empanadas from Colombia are a labor of love. If you are going to make everything from scratch like I did, you will need a few hours. However, one of the good things about empanadas is that you can prepare a lot in advance. You may wish to make the filling and/or the dough one to two days prior and then “only” need to fill and fry the empanadas the following day. But before we get into the details, what are empanadas exactly? Empanadas are dumplings, each Latin American country has its own variation, heck, every region and city will be proud of their particular empanadas. Since I was born in Uruguay, I am used to empanadas made with wheat flour. The traditional filling in Uruguay is beef (duh) and they are usually baked in the oven. Yes, of course I have a recipe for Uruguayan empanadas on my blog. Colombian empanadas on the other hand are made with cornmeal, if using the right one, they will be gluten-free. Most of the time they are not baked in the oven, but deep-fried. The filling varies, some use a piece of meat that is later pulled apart, I simply decided to use already minced meat. One particularity of Colombia is the “guiso” or “hogao”, this is a thick sauce made of tomatoes, spring onions, onions and herbs that are typically mixed with the meat filling. This makes them Colombian.
You asked for it, so finally you get traditional Uruguayan empanadas! Yay! Empanadas are flaky pasties in the shape of a half-moon filled with juicy and seasoned beef and boiled eggs. Usually they are served with the herb dip called chimichurri. Just thinking about these delicious treats make me want to grab one. When I made a story on Instagram about empanadas, I was surprised how many of you asked for the recipe and how many were excited about them. You guys encourage me to continue posting Uruguayan recipes, even if they may not be as popular as others. So here goes.