Where did all those Empanada Recipes start: Most cultures have some kind of variation on a pastry-based pocket food, such as traditional Cornish Pasties in the UK or the more modern Hot Pockets in the US. The word "empanada" derives from the Spanish word empanar, which means to coat with bread. They first appeared on the Iberian Peninsula in the middle ages during in the Moorish invasions, and are thought to have been influenced by the similar Arabic pastry known as the samosa. Cookbooks as early as 1520 list recipes for such foodstuffs.
As Iberians migrated to South America and to the Far East over succeeding centuries, they brought empanadas with them, and they caught on with the locals. Each region has its own variants, largely depending on the available ingredients.
Empanadas are made by wrapping a filling or stuffing in pastry, then either frying or baking the result. Fillings are highly varied, and can range from sweet, dessert-type flavors to savory meats, cheeses and vegetables.
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|Lista de Recetas de Empanadas|
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Argentina: Argentineans make their empanadas from wheat flour and butter, and fill them with different stuffings in each province. Generally, the filling revolves around chicken or beef, usually seasoned with cumin and paprika, and supplemented by some variety of onions, boiled eggs, olives and raisins. Other fillings include ham, fish, peppers, sweet corn and spinach. The empanadas can be baked or fried.
When several types of empanada are served on the same plate, the chef often creates a custom fold in the pastry to indicate what filling is in each one.
Bolivia: Bolivian empanadas are typically filled with beef or chicken along with vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, peas, boiled eggs, olives and raisins. Afternoons often see sweetened cheese empanadas being served.
Chile: Chile has three basic types of empanada. The first of beef with vegetables (called pino) similar to the Bolivian version,. The second and third are typically fried, one stuffed with seafood, the other with cheese.
Colombia: Colombian empanadas involve additional ingredients such as rice and yellow and Creole potatoes. The pastry is usually made from corn flour, though potato flour is also sometimes used.
Colombian's usually serve empanadas with ají, (AKA Picante sauce).
Costa Rica: A variation popular here is a fried sweet plantain dough filled with beans and cheese, also becoming popular is a filling of gallo pinto; refried beans and rice.
El Salvador: El Salvadoran called fried plantains stuffed with sweet cream "empanadas", which bear little relation to the pastry dish usually so labeled.
Indonesia: Indonesian empanadas are known as Panadas or Pastels. The former is made of thick-crusted bread, fried, and usually filled with a combination of tuna and peppers. The latter is crispier, with a thinner crust and a filling of chicken and vegetables, and occasionally noodles.
Jamaica: Known as "patties" in Jamaica, smaller, bite-size empanadas are often made and referred to as "cocktail patties".
Malaysia: The Malaysian curry puff or karipap is the Malay version, consisting of a turned over pastry, often filled with curried vegetables.
Mexico: Usually eaten for breakfast or as dessert, common fillings include sweet potato and pumpkin, along with the usual combinations of meat and vegetables.
Philippines: In the northern Ilocos, an unusual combination of papaya, mung beans, chorizo and egg yolk is encased in the fried rice flour crust colored with annatto.
United States: The Creole cuisine of the southern US features empanadas, usually with meat and cheese. Traditions also exist among the Spanish/Mexican settlers of New Mexico, who have a winter custom of gathering to cook sweetmeat empanadas.
The beauty of the empanada is their utility: you can fill them with whatever you want; there's no rules here. So get inventive, select some of your favorite flavors, and start stuffing!