One of our goals while travelling is learning how to make the cuisine of the countries we visit. So when we finally settled down in Buenos Aires, we started researching cooking classes. We would have loved to learn how to make an ‘asado’ – Argentina’s version of BBQ. But we learned that many of the most savory cuts of meat are not available in the US. Instead, we found the perfect class — a hands-on course to learn how to make empanadas.
Empanadas are Argentina’s version of the dumpling. They are the ‘all-Argentinian’ snack food and can found throughout the country – from convenience stores to high end restaurants. Each region may tweak the recipe slightly but the main idea is the same. Make dough and stuff it with yummy meaty goodness and either bake or fry.
The class was offered by a woman who owns a B&B in Adrogue – a nondescript middle class suburb about 60 minutes outside of Buenos Aires. There were 2 other people in the class – a couple from San Diego!
Although they seem like they would be difficult to make, it’s actually quite easy. It goes a little like this…
First, you make the filling. We made two types, humita (ground corn) and ground beef. The beef version has onions, sliced eggs, sliced green olives, hot and sweet paprika, crushed red peppers, cumin, and raisins – sauteed in butter and canola oil.
Then, you make the dough… by measuring it out an awesome antique kitchen scale. If you don’t have one that’s awesome and antique, that’s OK.
Here, Teresita shows us how to roll them up in to balls, mash them in to discs, and then roll them out in to skins.
And once you have the skins, you put the filling in, and close them up like dumplings, using a fork to mash the edges shut or rolling the edges over like Lisa shows in the video below.
When you’re done, they should look like this, ignoring the mutant empanada below of course (note that the mutant was one of Lisa’s early attempts)…
Finally, you brush the empanadas with water and throw them in the oven for 12-15 minutes at 425 F.
All done! Let us know if you want the exact recipe.
Most will enjoy their empanada with an Argentine wine – either a Malbec or a white wine called Torrontes. We prefer the Malbec!
The best part was eating the fruits of our labor.