"An empanada (called pastel in Brazilian Portuguese) is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in South Europe, Latin America, and parts of Southeast Asia. The name comes from the Galician, Portuguese and Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.
Empanadas are made by folding dough or bread around stuffing, which usually consists of a variety of meat, cheese, huitlacoche, vegetables or fruits, among others."
click on the link for more history of the empanada
Today is National Empanada Day . . . if you have never had an empanada, let the celebration begin and try out an empanada recipe (links for recipes listed at the end of this post). They can be as simple or as difficult to make as you like, depending on the method used :)
For as long as I can remember, empanadas have been a part of my life. As a child, my nana made the most delicious sweet empanadas with guava and cream cheese. As an adult, I made them stuffed with Italian sausage with peppers and onions cooked in a savory tomato sauce and lots of mozzarella cheese. You can stuff them with whatever you like . . . great for leftovers!
As I think of these delicious treats, it occurs to me that you can take plain ole buttered American sandwich bread, place a generous portion or two (or three) of sliced guava paste (found in the ethnic section of your grocery store) and lots of cream cheese . . . prepare in a sandwich maker, toast in the oven or grill in a pan (like a grilled cheese sandwich). Not quite an empanada, but equally tasty!
My original recipe for empanada dough was lost, along with a huge notebook of my favorite recipes and I still have not found a recipe that is up to the standards of the original recipe, but I'm still searching! In the past, I used Hot Roll Mix, but it has been difficult to find at the grocery store. So . . . to celebrate National Empanada Day, I decided to go on a search expedition for all types of recipes that I can start experimenting with.
About.com has an awesome section on empanadas! That is where I am going to begin my search.
An excellent website dedicated to empanada recipes!
All About Empanadas from Laylita
Simple Empanada Dough and Fillings from My Columbian Recipes
There are plenty of recipes on these websites to get started discovering the delicious world of empanadas. Enjoy . . . and Happy National Empanada Day!