There a lot of different types of empanadas. The way I view it is that a lot of countries have their own sandwiches, and this is no different. Many countries and different cultures have different types of empanadas. Some made with white flour, some with cornmeal, some fried, some baked. My favourite to date would have to be Colombian empanadas. I love the flavour of the dough made with yellow cornmeal, and the pork and beef fillings are always so perfectly spiced that you want a lot more than one (and in fairness, these are small, so it’s not terrible to have 3 or 4, at least that’s what I’m going to tell myself). I’ve played around a lot with this recipe, so I hope you enjoy it!
1-1/2 cups precooked yellow cornmeal
2 cups water
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 Tsp Cumin
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 3/4 Cups peeled and diced white potatoes
1 Chicken Bouillon Cube (reduced sodium)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Chopped White Onion
1/4 Cup Chopped Green Onion
1/2 Cup chopped tomatoes
2 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Chopped Chives
2 Tbsp Jalapeno
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
1/4lb ground pork
1/4lb ground beef
- To make the dough, place the cornmeal in a large bowl. Add the cumin, garlic powder and salt and mix. Add water and oil and mix together to form the dough. Pat it into a ball and knead it for about 2-3 minutes (make sure it is nice and smooth). Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 20-30 minutes while you work on the filling.
- Cook the potatoes in a pot with water and the bouillon cube for 20 minutes (or until the potatoes are tender). Drain and very gently mash the potatoes and set them to the side.
- Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet. Add the white and green onion and cook on medium low for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, jalapenos, chives, garlic salt and pepper and cook for about 15 minutes.
- Add in the ground pork and beef and cook. Break up the meat into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon. It should take about 15-20 minutes to cook the meat (it should be dry).
- Add the meat mixture to the bowl with the mashed potatoes and mix well to combine them all together.
- Breaking off about 1- 1 1/2 Tbsp sized pieces of dough, form them into balls and place them between two pieces of plastic wrap and roll them until they form a very thin circle. Remove the plastic off the top and place 1 Tbsp of the filling in the centre of each. Using the plastic on the bottom side, fold the dough (carefully, and this will take a few tries on your first time making these) enclose the filling, forming a crescent. Seal the edges with a fork.
- In a heavy bottom cast iron pan, add vegetable oil (about 1″ deep) and heat to about 350-360F. ( I suggest using a thermometer for this).
- Place a few empanada in the oil, flipping as the bottom side starts to crisp up. This will take ~1 minute per side.
- Carefully remove them from the oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil. Serve with lime and aji and you’ve got the perfect snack!
I hope you like these as much as I do, and if you try your hand at them, please tag me and let me know if you made any changes!