Cooking has always been one of the best ways to learn and bond with my family and in the Mexican culture as a whole. There is something very special about spending the day with the people I love and preparing a meal together. I want my kids to learn all about my culture and our favorite meals while helping in the kitchen. I want them to always feel comfortable in the kitchen so when they are on their own, they can take care of themselves and keep the culture alive. Not too long ago, I wrote a post about how I love to teach my kids new things in the kitchen called Being Bilingual is Delicious. Today, I will share one of our favorite recipes mentioned there with you that is so easy to make and works great with pretty much anything, especially leftovers. Here is our version of a simple empanada.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon oil (keep oil handy for brushing on at the end)
- Any filling you like (beef, chicken*, cheese even fruit: this is all about what your family likes)
- Any spices you like (I like paprika and oregano for savory empanadas, sugar and cinnamomn for sweet ones)
- Baking sheet
- Baking spray or non-stick foil
*This recipe is for already prepared proteins: grilled, baked or fried chicken or beef for example. No raw meats as the will not cook in the time it takes to bake the dough.
- Preheat oven to 350⁰
- Place your flour and tablespoon of oil in a bowl
- Add a pinch of your favorite spices. I try not to add too much so that it doesn’t overpower the filling.
- Mix and add water little by little until you get a soft dough
- Add flour if it becomes too sticky
- Roll out and cut out circles any size you like (not too big now, don’t get crazy). If you prefer, you can make little balls first and then flatten them. My kids prefer this as it gives them more time to play with the dough.
- Place your circles on your baking sheet that is either covered with nonstick foil or sprayed with baking spray
- Place filling on one side of your circle making sure to leave enough room around the edges to seal
- Fold over the side without filling to cover
- Using a fork or your thumb press down around the edges to seal making sure not to poke through the dough
- Brush on side facing up with oil
- Bake for 10 minutes on one side
- Flip and brush more oil on opposite side and bake for 5 more minutes.
- Remove from oven, let cool a couple of minutes and Enjoy!
- This recipe isn’t just fun for little hands to help with (let them get messy, that’s part of the fun) but it is also great for leftovers. Just make your dough and stuff with whatever you have in the fridge. It’s a great way to serve food in a new way to keep little tummies from getting bored with a meal.
- We always add cheese to ours just because we love cheese, so any leftovers become little pockets of cheesy and baked yumminess. Now who can argue with that? (Rhetorical question, no need for debate. 😉 )
I hope you enjoyed reading this and get to try it soon. What do you and your family do together to help share your culture and traditions while having fun?
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