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.
(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.
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!