Well, have you watched "Encanto" yet? The new work from Disney with its sounds from the genres of Latin pop and salsa has not only left a lasting earworm with children. If you've been watching closely (and are also interested in exotic specialties), you might have spotted the Colombian delicacies called "empanadas" on the Madrigal family's colorfully filled plates.
They are present throughout South America and are slowly but surely making their way from Spain to the rest of Europe. Unlike other Central and South American delicacies - first and foremost tortillas, tacos, burritos or enchiladas - empanadas are less well known in our latitudes.
What are empanadas and where do they come from?
The exact origin of empanadas is not clear. However, the fact that the Spaniards helped the delicious dumplings during their discovery of the American continent to today's fame is considered certain. In addition, the Persians claim a place on the podium, as filled delicacies have been prepared in their kitchen for ages. Surprisingly, dumplings similar to empanadas also passed over the counter in ancient Athens.
We think: The "where from" is beside the point. Much more important is the "how", the "what" and especially the "Mhhh, delicious"! The empanadas with different fillings serve mostly as a snack for in between or as an appetizer.
Besides the perfect empanada dough, which you can make at home in no time with an empanada maker, it's the filling that counts. Each region claims a special empanada filling as its feature, giving you countless role models to draw inspiration from. Popular are empanada fillings made of cheese and onions or a fruity tomato salsa. Of course, there are no limits to your creativity when it comes to homemade empanadas.
Before the filling comes the dough: the perfect empanada recipe.
Attention, here comes the most delicious empanada recipe traditional empanada dough! With a quality empanada maker, these are quick and easy to make - and look scrumptious to boot.
You'll need for two servings:
- 250 grams of flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 75 grams of melted butter (or lard, if you prefer traditional)
- 100 milliliters of water
- Optional: 1 egg
Continue with the preparation of the empanada dough with the help of a handy empanada maker:
- Mix flour, salt and the melted butter in a large bowl. Optionally, add the egg. Alternatively, you can follow the empanada recipe without the egg.
- Add the water and "get your hands dirty" until the empanada dough can be kneaded elastically. This process may well take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your "muscle strength". If the empanada dough is too crumbly, add some more water.
- Let the empanada dough rest, covered, in a cool place for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough on a work surface dusted with flour. Using a ramekin, cut circles about 15 centimeters in diameter.
- Place the dough circles one by one in the center of the empanada maker and fill them with an empanada filling of your choice.
- Now all you have to do is fold up the empanada maker and et voilà: The edges of your empanada automatically close to form a decorative ripple.
- In the last step, the dumplings go into the oven preheated to 180 degrees or into the deep fryer for 15 to 18 minutes.
A high quality empanada maker will give you homemade empanadas, as easy as magic. The Madrigal family would be proud of your magnificent empanadas!
Did you like the recipe? Then you'll find many more delicious recipe ideas from South American cuisine in our e-books!