Scott Mindeaux, Editor
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So a funny thing happened to me last Saturday. I was looking through my photostream on Flickr and saw some photos from August of 2009. They were some Empanadas that I had made. Several years ago, Steve Beeny a friend and former co-worker had brought in some empanadas that he had made. After trying one, I had to see if I could make them myself. So a few days later, I did. If I remember correctly they had a beef and mushroom filling. I took photos of the empanadas after they were in the oven, but for some reason or another, I never made a blog entry about it. I can’t figure out why. Here are the photos:
These empanadas were baked and fried as they usually are. I will reproduce this recipe and do a post in the next week or so.
Well later that day I was leaving IKEA and needed to go to the bank. I’m with BofA and there was one at Harbor and Adams. On my way there, I saw a restaurant called Empanada’s Place. I immediately turned into the parking lot and had to have some. The place is small, but nice. There were two customers in the store having empanadas and watching a soccer game and a couple outside.
I ordered 4 empandas: spinach, beef, spicy beef and ham/cheese. They are made fresh and then deep fried to perfection. The crust was golden brown and not greasy whatsoever. They were hot, but couldn’t wait to get my teeth into them.
First I tried the Spicy Beef: crunchy shell, not too thick, nice amount of filling. Same with the beef empanada, but I could have done without the whole olive (I think that’s an Argentine thing). The spinach one had cheese and spinach with onions and then the ham and cheese. My favorite overall was the spicy beef. Just a slight kick in the flavor – perfect. In fact the dough was perfectly cooked and wasn’t doughy. When I made my empanadas, I bought pre-made empanada dough rounds in an Argentine market in Laguna Hills. The concept is like buying egg roll wrappers. These tasted way better than the ones I used and I’m sure they make their dough from scratch. They have two locations, the other being in Culver City off of Sawtelle. If you are ever up in the Westside or down in Costa Mesa, make it a point to visit.
Well after the bank and running a few more errands I headed home. After a short nap, I decided to watch my Saturday cooking shows that I had DVR’d. I picked America’s Test Kitchen on PBS and guess what the topic was: Empanadas!!! Can you believe it? Rick Bayless was a guest on the show and Bridget Lancaster showed how to make easy empanadas at home.
This was a sign for sure. In one day, I had come across Empanadas three times!! For sure I need to make some now. Stay tuned!