Who’s feeling peckish?
You may already know one or two of the many Hispanic restaurants London has to offer, but what about venturing into your own cooking experience?
Coming from Argentina, I couldn’t stop myself writing about ‘empanadas’, a traditional dish in South America, Spain and Portugal that first appeared in medieval Iberia during the time of the Moorish invasions.
Since then empanadas have travelled along the world to become part of many cultures. The name comes from the Spanish verb ‘empanar’, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Empanadas can be great as part of a ‘tapas’ meal or served as snacks/appetizers with a dipping sauce like ‘chimichurri’. In fact in Buenos Aires no Saturday evening is complete without pizza and empanadas!
Which one shall we try?
The empanada filling is as limited as your own creativity. Every region has its own traditional recipe and it consist primarily of beef, but they may also contain ham and cheese, chicken, fish, humita (sweetcorn with white sauce) or spinach.
A fruit filling is used to create a dessert empanada and in restaurants where several types are served, a ‘repulgue’ or pattern is added to the pastry fold which distinguishes the filling.
While empanadas are usually baked, they can also be fried (my favourites)!
Beef empanadas are the most traditional type and I challenge you to try my mum’s recipe (see below!), which consists mainly of beef, onions, olives, chopped eggs and most importantly lot of love!!!
- In a large frying pan, put the onions and garlic in oil and then add in the meat. Cook until slightly coloured.
- Incorporate all the spices, the olives and hard-boiled eggs. Leave it cool down for a few hours.
- Nowadays in Argentina, people rarely make the dough themselves, since it can be bought in any supermarket. If you want to avoid the hassle of making the dough yourself, you can buy pastry puff sheets and cut them into smaller disks. Check ‘La docta’ for authentic Argentinian dough and other traditional products.
- Add a spoonful of the filling is on the pastry disk, seal them (‘repulgue’) and be proud of yourself an empanada has been born!
- Place the empanadas on a baking tray. Bake them at 180 °C Electricity (fan) for 20′ until golden brown (for extra brilliance and taste, you can brush the empanadas with egg yolk).
But just in case you don’t feel like cooking and want to enjoy some delicious empanadas in an amazing Argentinian restaurant instead, then I recommend you go to ‘La Patagonia’ in Camden where you can find empanadas and other great Argentinian dishes as well!
And if you do decide to go, then email Rosie first because we can send you a 10% discount voucher 🙂