Now is probably a good time to explain how my blog came to be named Jumbo Empanadas since it’s been a while since I’ve done that too. It’s not because I’m an empanada expert or have an undying love of empanadas, (although they are admittedly quite tasty) or because I’m sponsored by the North American Coalition for the Empowerment of Empanadas. No, the reason is much simpler. One day I was having lunch with my friend Len, (move back to Toronto Len, I miss you!) and we were eating empanadas and talking about future plans, (or lack thereof) when I brought up the subject of the Julie/Julia Project and told him how Julie Powell had started out blogging her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking and ended up with a book deal. In typical Len fashion he said that was nothing and that I could do it too. I jokingly replied that I should call my blog Jumbo Empanadas in honour of our lunch and not too long afterwards when I actually did start a blog that was the only name I could think of. I have since developed a love of empanadas, but that wasn’t the reason for the name from the get-go.
I’ll leave you with a question for bloggers- how did you get your blogname? I’d love to hear some stories.
Receta por Empanadas Medocinas de la familia Oliva-Quiroz
(Mendocino Empanadas from the Oliva-Quiroz family via
For the filling:
2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup shortening or lard (you can add less or omit this if necessary)
2 lbs. onion
3 Tablespoons smoked paprika
4 teaspoons cumin
green olives, pitted and cut into slices, as many as is necessary
3 hard-boiled eggs, cut into rounds
salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper, to taste
For the construction: A glass of water 1 egg, beaten flour for the pan. The meat can be made a day in advance. Put the onions, sliced finely in rounds, in a frying pan and salt them. Add the ground beef and cook, then add salt and pepper to taste. Next add the lard and mix well, so that it's incorporated-the lard, the meat and the onion together. when it's all cooked, add the crushed red pepper (to taste) and the cumin and mix well. When the mix is ready, let cool and add the paprika and stir well.
The assembly: Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the tapas, (dough circles) on a flat surface, lightly floured. With a tablespoon, put a little of the meat filling in the center of the dough round. Add a slice of the olive and a piece of the hard boiled egg.
Then moisten the edge on the top half of the round with a little water on your finger. Fold the bottom half of the dough up until the edges meet and seal with your fingers by pressing down. The empanada should have a half-moon shape.
Use the palms of the hands to pack the filling firmly in the center. Next, fold the edges with the Repulgue: using your fingertip, fold one corner of the empanada over, pressing down firmly. Go to the edge again and repeat, pressing firmly each time. Go around the edge of the empanada and you'll get a spiral pattern.
Beat an egg in a shallow dish and paint the top of each sealed empanada so that when they bake, they have a shiny, golden shell. Spread flour lightly over several cookie sheets, and place the finished empanadas on top. Put the empanadas in to bake for 12 to 15 minutes-they should be sizzling and very golden brown on top. Take out and eat very carefully while hot!
***Empanada Dough recipe can be found at Laylita’s Recipes.
I didn’t change much in the recipe, but I omitted the lard and halved the rest of it because there was just me eating them. For a full photo demo of how to properly fold and crimp the empanadas, (which I didn’t do correctly) visit Rebecca’s blog. Also, empanadas are especially nice when accompanied with salsas and I vow to make one next time.