Welcome to the August editor of our #EattheWorld project, being spearheaded by Evelyne of CulturEatz, is a lively group of adventurous cooks and eaters. You can read more about the challenge. And this month Evelyne announced that, by popular vote, the destination was Puerto Rico.
Check out all the wonderful Puerto Rican dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!
- Home Sweet Homestead: Chuletas Guisadas: Puerto Rican Stewed Pork Chops
- Palatable Pastime: Sofrito Rice
- Sharanya Palanisshami: Marrallo
- Pandemonium Noshery: Pernil - Puerto Rican Crispy Roast Pork
- Simply Inspired Meals: Epcot Frozen Torched Cherry Colada
- Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Empanadillas de Carne
- CulturEatz: Pastelon, a Puerto Rican Plantain Lasagna
- Kitchen Frau: Classic Pina Colada Recipe
- Amy's Cooking Adventures: Arroz con Tocino (Puerto Rican Rice with Bacon)
- House of Nash Eats: Patacones or Tostones (Fried Green Plantains)
- Literature and Limes: Mango Piraguas
- A Day in the Life on the Farm: Pinchos
Empanadillas de Carne
Puerto Rican Empanadas
It just so happened that the week I needed to make these, my Precise Kitchen Elf was wrapping up his summer internship. And when I asked what he wanted to celebrate, he declared, "Empanadas!" He's my empanada-master and his favorites are Empanadas Mendocinos, which he makes every few months. So, I asked if he were willing to try a different recipe. He agreed grudgingly.
Empanadillas de Carne (Puerto Rican Empanadas) are savory beef turnovers made in a delicious flaky dough. They are smaller than his usual and don't include the capers and hard-boiled eggs that he enjoys so much. And this dough is more pie crust-like and less bread-like. This is a three part recipe...
Carne Molida (Puerto Rican Picadillo)
This picadillo recipe is delectably seasoned ground beef that can be used as a filling or simply eaten with rice. I stirred some leftovers into scrambled eggs the next morning for breakfast.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 T smoked paprika
- 2 T chili powder
- 1 T fresh oregano, chopped
- ½ T ground cumin
- ½ C butter
- 2 onions, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper
- 2 T fresh tomato sauce
- 1 t vinegar
- freshly ground salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 C sliced olives
Combine the first five ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Melt the butter in a large, flat-bottom pan. Add the onions, garlic, and green bell pepper and cook till the onions are softened and translucent. Add the meat mixture to the onions and cook on medium heat until the meat is cooked thoroughly, stirring frequently. Stir in 2 T fresh tomato sauce and 1 t vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then let the picadillo cool.
Masa Para Empanadillas (Empanadilla Dough)
This is an easy three-ingredient dough that can be used for any sweet or savory filling such. We used it for the meat empanadillas and a sweet with cream cheese and guava paste. Delcious!
- 2-1/2 C flour
- 2 T oil (I used olive oil)
- 2/3 C water, boiling
- pinch of salt
- Also needed for finishing: 1 beaten egg
Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour in oil and stir. Then, add boiling water. Combine with a fork until the dough comes together in a crumbly ball. Then knead by hand until well-incorporated. Form a ball, cover, and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
Once chilled, roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper. Cut out round disc shapes for empanadas. To assemble the empanadas place a spoonful of the meat mixture on one half of the empanada disc.
Fold the empanada discs in half and seal the edges, You can twist and fold the edges with your fingers.You can crimp the edges with a fork. Or you can use an empanada fork, what R called his "empanada generator."
Serve with organic lemon wedges and hot sauce on the side. The Precise Kitchen Elf was pretty happy with his creation. I was, too!