This Sunday, April 8th, is National Empanada Day!
An empanada, meaning pie, is a Spanish or South American pastry, similar to a turnover, calzone, or hot pocket, filled with a variety of savory ingredients. In an empanada you may find meats, vegetables, cheese, fruit, or all of the above. An empanada can either be fried or baked with dough made of corn or wheat.
New York City has an abundance of great street carts, food stands, and restaurants to celebrate your love of empanadas at. Try out these three empanada restaurants this Sunday or whenever you get the craving for a meat-filled pastry!
Empanada Mama (763 9th Avenue)
The Manhattan version of the Queens-based Mama’s Empanadas, Empanada Mama, offers both traditional and untraditional varieties of empanadas. Choose from wheat or corn flour pastry dough. We suggest the Chorizo Empanada in Corn Flour Dough or the Brasil, a traditional empanada from Brazil made of ground beef, olives, sautéed onions, and potatoes.
Ruben’s Empanadas (149 Church Street)
Ruben’s, established in 1975, is said to have revolutionized the empanada industry. They continue to so in their locations found throughout downtown Manhattan. Ruben’s offers empanadas with over a dozen different filling options. Our favorite is the Argentine Sausage with a side of beans and yellow rice. For dessert, try the Apple Empanada.
Shachi’s Arepas (317 West 35th Street)
Midtown has an over abundance of food chains but thankfully for us there’s a tiny Venezuelan restaurant, Shachi’s Arepas, serving diners casual and traditional Venezuelan cuisine. Shachi’s has a menu of different types of empanadas as well as classic Venezuelan entrees. To celebrate National Empanada Day stop by and eat the Shredded Fish empanada or one filled with Cheese and Sweet Plantains.
Want to celebrate National Empanada Day at home? Empanadas are simple to make. We found this wonderful website dedicated entirely to making empanadas. The site is full of delicious options for any diet, as well as, recipes for empanadas from South American countries and other cultures such as, Japan.
Here is a great recipe for quick and easy Beef Empanadas.
First, flour up a work surface and rolling pin and roll the biscuits out to about double their size.
For the filling you'll need:
lb ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1x15 oz can corn, drained
1/2 cup onion, chopped
8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup salsa
What to do:
1. Brown the beef in a skillet adding the salt and pepper just before done.
2. Let the beef cool.
3. In a large bowl mix the onions, corn, cheese, and salsa, then add the beef and mix together.
To make the empanadas:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Spoon 1/3 cup of the filling into the middle of each pastry disc.
3. Fold the dough in half over the top of the filling, forming a pocket. Squeeze as much air out as possible. Try not to tear the dough and make sure you get a good seal.
4. Grease a baking tray and arrange the sealed empanadas.
5. Bake until lightly browned.