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We Celebrate
National Empanadas Day!
This observance is celebrated on April 8!
Empanadas are a very popular street food in South America (in Brazil they're called 'pastéis' or 'pastel' in singular) and Spain. Essentially, an empanada is a crescent-shaped pastry with a filling. Empanadas can be fried or baked, and may use a variety of fillings from cheese to seafood. While this recipe uses the traditional Argentine filling, you can fill an empanada with virtually anything, so you are welcome to experiment.
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Ingredients

Dough Wrapper
3.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes, or 1 cup lard
2 eggs
2/3 cup cold water
2 tbs white vinegar

Argentine Meat Filling
1 lb ground beef, turkey, or chicken
4-6 hard boiled eggs
1 cup green olives (optional)
handful of raisins (optional)
1 or 2 large onions
3 cloves of garlic
2-3 tbs ground cumin powder
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

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Steps

Dough
1) - Sift the flour.
2) - Mix the sifted flour and salt in a large bowl.
3) - Blend in the solid butter or lard with your fingers, (best to cross cut with two sharp knives) until it breaks       up. The flour mixture should have an even, coarse texture. The butter lumps should be no larger than the       size of a pea.
4) - Beat together the eggs, water, and vinegar in a bowl. Add to the flour mixture and mix together.
5) - Place the mixture on a floured surface. Knead with the heel of your hand to bring the dough together.
6) - Cover the dough and allow to sit in a cool place for at least an hour.
7) -  Roll out the dough until it is about 1/8 of an inch (0.3 cm) thick. Cut into circles about 4-6 inches (10 -          15 cm) in diameter and lightly flour them.
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Filling
1) - Heat some oil in a large saucepan. Mince the onions and garlic, and add to the pan. Cook until the               onions become translucent.
2) - Add the ground meat. Break it up with with a spoon and cook, stirring until lightly browned. Drain off fat.
3) - Mix in the cumin, chili powder, and sugar.
4) - Chop the hard boiled eggs and halve the stuffed olives. Carefully mix into the meat mixture. Add salt and       pepper to taste.
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Prepare and Bake
1) - Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC.
2) - Stuff the empanada dough wrappers. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the filling in the center of each wrapper.          Dampen the outer perimeter of the dough.
3) - Fold over, forming a semicircle. Pinch a corner of the dough, and then fold that section onto itself. Pinch        and pull out another 1/2-inch (1.2 cm) section and fold over, so that it slightly overlaps the first piece.             Repeat along the length of the folded side, until you create a braided or twisted seal.
4) - Place the folded empanadas on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
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Tips
If you don't have the time to make your own dough wrappers, you may be able to find frozen empanada          wrappers. In some countries, Hispanic stores are a good place to try.
If the decorative folding is too difficult, the edges can simply be pinched together (as in a pie crust), or           folded over. However you choose to do it, make sure the empanada is sealed well, or the filling risks              falling out.
The empanadas can be deep-fried as well, which is also delicious (although not the healthiest choice).
A little egg brushed on top before baking will give the empanadas a nice golden brown color.
Butter-me-not biscuits may also be used.
Mixture has more flavor if it sits in refrigerated overnight after cooking. Then placing in pastry. May be             frozen, but best if thawed before cooking.
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Things You'll Need
Cookie sheet/baking tray
Large bowl
Saucepan
Rolling pin
Cooking knife
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Warnings
Spices in Argentina are not the same as in North America. Anything such as pepper or chili spices should be used very sparingly for true Argentinian flavor.
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See Also:
Empanada Facts
Savoury Pies
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How To Make Empanadas - plus Recipe!
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