Monday, July 16, 2007

Empanadas and Leftover Risotto

Chad and I met with friends a few weeks ago at a tapas restaurant called Eclipse de Luna. One of the dishes I ordered was a roasted eggplant and drunken goat cheese empanada. It was delicious and I knew I would try to duplicate the dish on my own.

My father, who is from Buenos Aires, Argentina introduced my brothers and I to this dish when we were young. It has been a favorite ever since. There are many different fillings from meat to vegetables, raisins, olives, etc. I usually fill mine with a ground beef ragu and boiled egg.

I use a pastry shell most of the time to cut down on time, but making your own dough is easy too. The pastry shell I recommend is La Saltena, the make them for baking and for frying.

When I decided to duplicate the empanada I had at the restaurant, I had to make a meat one as well. Chad is not a fan of eggplant, nor goat cheese. To go along with the meal, I used my leftover risotto to make Arancini.
Arancini which translates literally to "little orange" is a popular Sicilian dish, that is composed of arborio rice and is often stuffed with a variety of fillings such as cheese, vegetables, and even meat.

Eggplant and Goat Cheese Empanadas

  • 1 eggplant sliced long ways and cut into small pieces

  • 1/2 cup red, yellow, orange peppers roughly chopped (I had these frozen on hand from a prior bbq)

  • 2 cloves in garlic skin removed

  • 1/4 cup red onion roughly chopped (bigger than diced)

  • salt and pepper

  • 3 tablespoons goat cheese

  • 6 pastry shells for empanadas

Pre heat oven to 375.

Drizzle vegetables with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and line a baking sheet with foil. roast vegetables in the oven for 20-25 minutes until onions have caramelized. Transfer veggies to a bowl and add goat cheese. Take garlic and make a paste, add to bowl. lay out pastry and put a tbs. of filling in center of the dough. fold over to meet edges (you may want to wet your fingers to seal) and crimp.

Meat Filled Empanadas

(this is a scaled down version since I was only making about 7 of these for Chad)

  • 1/2 lb ground sirloin

  • 1/4 c. chopped onion

  • 1/4 of a green pepper chopped

  • 1 tbs. minced garlic

  • salt and pepper

  • couple dashes of dried oregano

  • 1 boiled egg

  • 3 tbs. tomato sauce

Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat, add ground beef, onions, peppers and garlic, salt, pepper and oregano. When meat is browning heat enough water to boiling in a small saucepan. when water is boiling add the egg and boil for 10 minutes.

Remove meat from pan and drain fat. transfer to bowl. Peel the boiled egg and discard yolk. finely chop white of egg and add to bowl. Mix in tomato sauce and set aside to cool.

Use the same method of preparing the eggplant empanadas.

Heat oil in a large skillet with 2" sides. When oil is ready fry empanadas in batches and drain on paper towels.


  • Leftover Risotto

  • Cubed mozzarella

  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup bread crumbs

    Take a scoopful of risotto and make a ball in your hands. Make an indentation with your finger in the center of the ball. Insert a cube of mozzarella and close the gap. Carefully dip in egg, then bread crumbs. Fry in hot oil and enjoy!


Amethyst said...

I think I am missing something - are these fried or baked? I didn't see how to finish them off.