I’m sure you remember my Mexican trip last month. Of course you do because I couldn’t stop harping about it. (Sorry!) Well, one of the many gifts bestowed on us during this trip was a Mexican cookbook. I know right? How lovely.
I thought I’d try out one of the recipes – Sweet and Spicy Empanadas – with a few adjustments (addition of cayenne pepper – c’mon, you can’t call it spicy without a hit of hot and fiery, and some Worcestershire sauce because I felt it needed the extra flavour and tang). The beef mix turned out totally delicious. I could just eat it on its own…but wrapped in pastry? Divine!
Empanadas are commonly found in the South American street food scene. It’s usually eaten as an appetiser, but can be served as a main with various fillings from cheese to veggies to meat or seafood.
The filling is really easy to prepare and assembling the pastry was very therapeutic (well, for me at least – I had my ‘cave time’) The chopped nuts was an unexpected ingredient and I thought the added crunch was brilliant. I served the empanadas with a side of tangy chunky salsa which balanced out the dish really well.
This one’s a keeper!
Sweet & Spicy Beef Empanadas
50og ground beef
1 onion chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
400g canned chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup sherry
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsbp vinegar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp chopped toasted almonds
1 spring onion, chopped
salt & pepper to season
2 sheets of puff pastry
1. Preheat oven to 200C. In a hot skillet, brown onions and beef in a splash of olive oil. Once done, drain excess fat.
2. Add in sherry and garlic and cook till sherry has evaporated.
3. Add in sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Cook till the tomato sauce is thickened and there is hardly any liquids.
4. Add almonds and spring onions, stir through and set aside to cool.
6. Roll out puff pastry, cut into 5 inch circles. Place 1 or 2 tablespoons of beef onto pastry. Fold in half and press sides to seal. Crimp the sealed sides with a fork.
7. Pierce top of the pastry with fork a few times, then brush with an egg wash (beat 1 egg with a splash of milk). Bake for 20 – 22 minutes till golden brown.
1 large beef tomato, cut in chunks
1 avocado, cut in chunks
1/4 red onion
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
5 basil leaves, sliced into fine strips
Mix all of the ingredients through, set aside in the refrigerator to chill.