Empanadas!!!

So last weekend I took an empanada making class with the GW program (woo free stuff!….well kinda free…) and it was soooo much fun.  I love cooking and I haven’t done much of it here.  Cooking and baking are great stress relievers for me.  It gives me something to focus on for awhile and take my mind off of everything else.  Also, I think that food has the ability to bring people together and that makes me happy.  I love seeing peoples faces when they try the food you’ve made (which hopefully has come out good cause otherwise their face would not be so fun to look at).

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures, so put on your imagination cap and I’ll try to paint you a word picture.  We made three types of empanadas: pino, queso, and marisco.  Pino is meat (we used beef chopped into little cubes) sauteed with onions and spices (ours also had a little white wine).  Queso for all you non-spanish-speakers who have also never had the pleasure of eating salsa con queso (seriously go buy some, its delicious) is cheese.  We mixed our cheese with some cream and spices.  Lastly marisco is seafood (we used scallops and clams I think) and these also had onions, salt, pepper, and a little white wine.

The first thing we did was chop up the onions and cook up the pino mixture.  This was nothing new to me, just like cooking taco meat but way fancier.  Then we made the dough for our first three empanadas.  This reminded me a lot of making pasta/pizza dough, same basic concept – mound of flour, make a hole, throw in some lard and some salt and start kneading (adding water as needed). Then knead and knead for ever and ever and ever until you feel like your wrists are legitimately going to fall off. Roll out and fill and bake!

After all of that kneading I was so ready to take a break and do some chopping or sautéing or something of that nature, but nope it was time for more dough.  The dough we made this time was a little different (it had some milk and an egg in it) because the cheese and seafood empanadas were fried.  More kneading, more death. Then did a little kitchen magic and cooked up the seafood (pretty much the same as the pino mix) filled up the dough and stuck them in the fryer.

Now I still haven’t had an empanada as good as the one I had in Machuca (San Pedro post) but that cheese empanada right out of the fryer was amazing.  It was cheesy and hot and I’m almost drooling just thinking about it right now.  But how could it not have been good – it’s a deep fried piece of dough made with enough lard to make Paula Deen proud with cheese and cream inside.

Luckily we got copies of the recipes because I know my mom is going to want me to make these with her when I get home.

Sorry there are no pictures, I really need to remember to bring my camera everywhere.