Christmas empanadas delight


Lauren Rivera, Feature Editor

First gather your onion, peppers, and garlic for your sofrito, which is the saucy mixture that gives your empanadas that special flavor; finely chop these. In a large skillet pour your oil, then add your vegetables.
Let the mixture simmer and sauté for five minutes at high temperature. Then, add in one can of tomato sauce, one teaspoon of cumin, and one tablespoon of salt.
Let this mixture simmer again for about five to ten minutes or until it boils, stirring every couple of minutes.
Then, add in the ground beef, along with the rest of the dry ingredients, and let that simmer.
While your meat cooks, take one small potato and the olives and finely chop them. Then add the potatoes and olives to your skillet. Let this simmer until the meat is fully cooked then set aside to cool off.
Take the discs (if you don’t have discs you can use regular pie crust), and place them on a cutting board. With a rolling pin, flatten out the edges. Next, take the cooled off meat and scoop a spoonful into the center of each disc. Try your best to not get the disc too greasy, as it will make the next step more difficult. Bring one side of the disc to the other, so that the meat is secure in the middle. Then, take a fork and seal the edges of the empanada discs.
In a separate pan, heat up the vegetable oil. Fill up the pan approximately two centimeters deep. Once hot, take each empanada and place it in the oil; I recommend frying three empanadas at a time. Then, flip each empanada until both sides are golden brown.
Once all the empanadas are cooked, place them on a paper towel to cool.
If you’re feeling a little extra festive while cooking these treats, feel free to cut out fun decorative shapes out of the extra pastry dough and place on top of empanada wrapping, then fry lightly again to make sure they stay.
Finally, share and enjoy your empanadas with your friends and family!
A tradition within some Hispanic families is leaving out empanadas instead of cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, so I’m excited to bring my own holiday tradition and culture to “The Highland Echo”!