Tag Archives: empanadas

Yes! BAKED Broccoli, Spinach and Feta Empanadas (using store-bought disks)

24 Feb

Here is the second installment of 2014: The Year of the Empanada. After my first installment, in which I fried up my stuffings in Goya pre-made disks, I was showered with questions about whether they could be baked instead.

I wasn’t sure, but thanks Kathy Blenk for reporting back that she tried it and indeed they could!

How to pinch in those cute folds

How to pinch in those cute folds (photo Marianne Goralski)

So I decided to go for it as well (later in the year I hope to make my own, but one thing at a time) and was very pleased with the results. Continue reading


2014: The Year of the Empanada (first in an occasional series)

18 Jan

I love empanadas. The “pan” part of the word comes from the word for bread in Spanish, and empanadas are basically stuffed bread pockets. That’s basically…they have many permutations and depending where you are from they might be made with corn dough, wheat flour, fried or baked. They may be stuffed with meat or chicken or seafood or vegetables. We also call them pastelillos in Puerto Rico, pastel referring to pies, much like meat pies are hand-held dough pockets in other places.

Entry-level empanadas...premade discs. Do not be ashamed! I am not.

Entry-level empanadas…premade discs. Do not be ashamed! I am not.

Regular readers know that my son and I are not big sandwich eaters, but empanadas actually do the same job and we love those. You can pack them up for a picnic, grab them on the run and eat them in the car, have them for an afternoon snack after school, serve them as appetizers with an aperitif when your guests walk in the door.

Improvised rolling pin. Yet another reason to enjoy wine responsibly

Improvised rolling pin. Yet another reason to enjoy wine responsibly (photo: Ashley Fifer)

Every country seems to have a version of empanadas; Jamaican meat patties, Indian samosas, even Chinese dim sum (potstickers) could be called empanadas.



This year I want to explore the world of empanadas. My friend Ashley and my godson Sean have agreed to go on this journey with me (and calling them out here is my way of holding them to it). Ashley was my cooking buddy for this first go and took the picture of me rolling the dough. Continue reading

An International Student Thanksgiving!

24 Nov

Many of you know that in my other life I am a full time instructor of English as a Second Language at a community college. My students come from all over the world representing numerous languages, nationalities, ethnicities, and religions.

Chicha, Peru. This is a beverage made of purple corn and seasoned with cinnamon. A revelation in holiday beverages (no alcohol, but certainly has the potential to make a delightful cocktail!)

Since it is an intensive immersion program, we spend a lot of time together in the course of a semester. Twenty hours a week for fifteen weeks, in fact.

Fish cutlets, India. Dense, yet creamy croquettes with a flavor that is not too fishy, but robust.

So it is wonderful to be able to share that most American and most inclusive of holidays — Thanksgiving — with all of them.

Foreground: Griot, Haiti. Pork shoulder deliciousness, with savory vegetables like onion and peppers and a spicy sauce. Center: Indian fish cutlets. Back: empanadas.

It reminds me of just what a true celebration of America, its achievements, and its possibilities, Thanksgiving is.

Pupusas, El Salvador (sort of a thick, soft tortilla or arepa, stuffed with cheese, sometimes beans or meat, and topped with a Salvadoran cabbage slaw)

So after a major in-class essay-writing assignment (which I still have to grade before Monday. Yikes!), we unwrapped our potluck offerings, did a little heating up in the office microwave, (one student even plugged in her slow cooker!), and tucked in.

Top: empanadas (I am not sure where these are from actually: Perhaps one of the student who reads the blog can tell me so I can fix this?), popular all over Latin America, they are meat, cheese, or pizza stuffed pastries, and bottom, sugared peanuts from Angola.

We should’ve brought hammocks too; after this incredible feast, we had the classic Thanksgiving hangover: food coma and barely dragged ourselves through the History Channel Thanksgiving lesson.

Oven-roasted chicken, El Salvador. This was falling off the bone, juicy and delicious!

So today I am showing you some images of the feast – not the students, because I didn’t ask their permission to put their pictures on-line!

My plate!

Thanks to my wonderful, hard-working, inspiring, and fun students for this feast, especially the ones who cooked!




%d bloggers like this: