I don’t know where they came from, but if there’s one country that does empanadas right, it’s Argentina. I have attempted to recreate these lovely yummies from scratch without success, because the dough is VERY difficult to make. You can probably find empanada tapas (translated to empanada pastries, although they look more like mini pie crusts) in international markets and specialty stores if you’re not brave enough to attempt the homemade version. Fran and I opted for store-bought dough, since it is very common and plentiful here in Argentina. In that way, we didn’t have to use a recipe, just basic cooking skills and some experience on Fran’s part. If you’re brave enough to attempt to make empanadas, I recommend looking up some Youtube videos of techniques, since words don’t really do the whole process justice. Here I have provided you with a very simple (yet somewhat time-consuming) recipe:
Empanadas – Jamon y queso/Cebolla y queso (Ham and cheese/Onion and Cheese)
Servings: 40 empanadas
Time: ~1 hour
- 2 packs of tapas para empanadas (puff pastries)
- 1 block (20 oz.) of mozzerella cheese (queso cremoso if you’re in Argentina), chopped into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 pound deli ham, sliced into 1-inch squares
- 1 medium onion, chopped finely
- 4 eggs
- butter or cooking spray
- Butter or grease two large cookie sheets (preferably with a rim, because your empanadas are likely to leak and create a mess), and preheat your oven to 375 degrees, or medium heat.
- Prepare the fillings by mixing the onion and half the cheese in one bowl, and the rest of the cheese with the ham in another bowl. Mix in one egg per bowl. Add salt if you would like, however it’s not very necessary.
- Lay the tapa on the counter, dip your finger in water and wet the outer circle (about 1 cm wide) of the tapa.
- Take a spoonful of the mixture (you’ll be making 20 ham and cheese, and 20 onion and cheese) and place it in the middle of the tapa.
- Fold the tapa in half to create the half-moon shape of the empanada. Squeeze the edges to seal the empanada. The water should help to seal it.
- Next you should fold the edges in a special pattern called “repulgue.” This video shows the basic method, although there’s a ton of different ways to make them more pretty!
- Place the empanadas on the cookie sheet once you have done the repulgue, but they’re not done yet!
- Once all of the empanadas are made, dip each one in a bowl of 2 eggs, and coat it well. Replace the empanadas on the cookie sheets.
- Use a fork to put small holes in the empanadas, so they don’t explode in the oven! Two or three pokes should do it.
- Cook for about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown. The rims of the empanadas should be flaky, like a pastry.
They should look like this, más o menos!