Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 43 - Cuba(Havana)(NA) - Cuban Picadillo Recipe with Ground Beef for Empanada Fillings-Up Next, Cyprus

Beautiful, golden Cuban Empanadas
Tonight's dinner was a toss up between a traditional Cuban meal: chicken, beef or fish, black beans and rice and sweet plantains, or Empanadas.  After consulting my family, the decision was unanimous, Empanadas- easy and delicious. Two things about the recipe I've included. First, I bought Empanada wrappers rather than make the pastry myself. I've made the dough from scratch plenty of times, but hey,  it's Friday, I'm kinda tired and frankly, these Goya wrappers are just as good. To wit, many authentic recipes I researched called for these. Secondly, I didn't bake the Empanadas, I fried them in canola oil - not as healthy to be sure, but tastier for sure.

The largest island of the West Indies group (equal in 
area to Pennsylvania), Cuba is also the westernmost—just west of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), and 90 mi (145 km) south of Key West, Fla., at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico. The island is mountainous in the southeast and south-central area (Sierra Maestra). It is flat or rolling elsewhere. Cuba also includes numerous smaller islands, islets, and cays. Originally populated by the Arwak Indians, then   invaded by the Spaniards, Cuba's rich and turbulant history would take up numerous blog pages. For those interested:

Cuban empanadas are fried or baked pastry, typically filled with chicken, beef, or a guava paste and cream cheese combination. The word Empanada comes from the Spanish verb, empanar, which means to wrap in bread. Empanadas are eaten throughout the Caribbean, Philippines and Latin America. The origins of the Empanada probably stem from Galicia Spain and the Moors who occupied the country for hundreds of years.

Ground beef, cumin, oregano, diced potatoes, garlic, green peppers, onions and olives season the filling

Sauté onions, garlic and green peppers, then add ground beef, stock and tomato sauce

I didn't have green olives, but I had an olive mix, so I improvised!

These are awesome - I've used them for sweet and savory pastry

The filling simmering away - reducing the liquid

Ready to fill!

Fry away - or bake if fried food doesn't agree with you 

Awwwww, yeah!!!

This whole plate was gone in less than 5 minutes!

Cuban Picadillo Recipe with Ground Beef for Empanada Fillings

This Cuban Picadillo Recipe is made with ground beef. You can serve it with rice or use it as a filling in empanadas and papas rellanas.

♥1 pound ground beef
♥1 teaspoon oregano
♥1 teaspoon cumin
♥1 medium white onion (chopped fine)
♥4 cloves garlic
♥1 small green pepper (chopped)
♥1/2 cup beef stock
♥3/4 cup tomato sauce
♥2 small potatoes (peeled and diced)
♥8 to 10 green olives (pitted)
♥salt and pepper to taste
♥olive oil for sautéing


♥In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper.
♥In a frying pan, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onions, green pepper, and garlic until soft.
♥Add the ground beef mixture, beef stock, and tomato sauce.
Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
♥Add the diced potato. Cover and cook another 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are done.
♥Remove the cover. Add the olives and cook uncovered 15 minutes or until the liquid is fully evaporated, but the meat is still moist.

Flaky Dough

♥ 4 cups flour
♥ 3 egg yolks beaten
♥ 2 tablespoon sugar
♥ 1/4 teaspoon salt
♥ 2/3 cup water

How to prepare:
•In a bowl, mix together all ingredients for filling and refrigerate until ready to assemble empanadas.
•On a floured surface, roll out pie shells and cut into 4-inch circles (use all the pie dough by re-rolling scraps).
•Place approximately 2 tablespoons of cheese and chicken mixture in center of dough circles. Fold each circle in half and crimp edges with a fork.
•Place on a baking pan or cooking sheet and brush top of each empanada with egg yolk. Sprinkle top with salt and chili powder.
•Bake 12 to 13 minutes at 400°F. Serve warm or at room temperature.
You can opt to fry the empanadas instead by heating cooking oil in a pan. Fry on either side till golden brown and drain on paper towels before serving.
Final Assessment: What can I say - I love meat patties of any kind - Jamaican, name it - and these were great. Unlike Jamaican meat patties, these were not spicy. I guarantee even your pickiest eaters will love these!

1 comment:

Young Werther said...

These look delicious! I would probably stick them in the oven, frying may not be too good for my cholesterol :(

But I LOVE fried stuff!!!