The other day I was going through my bajillions of messages in my Foodbuzz inbox and I finally got into my June messages. Yes, I know--I'm slow but, I do not want to take the easy way out and simply delete delete delete! I came across something interesting: Empamosa. Is it what I think it could be? Sure enough, it is what you get when cross an empanada with a samosa. These were a creation made by the lovely Tiffany at Como Water. If you don't know Tiffany, then I highly recommend that you do and pore over her pages. She makes the yummiest things :-)
So, back to this empamosa. I love empanadas. There's a place in Costa Mesa called Empanada's Place that is super delicioso. And they also sell these Argentine alfajores. Oh, be still my heart. They're little cookies with dulce de leche sandwiched inside. Oy! As for the samosa, I'll be honest--the first time I ever heard of a samosa was years ago on the movie, Raising Helen. Samosas were a "welcome" dish given to Helen (played by Kate Hudson) and her nieces and nephew by their new neighbor. But, empanada, samosa... same general idea: dough stuffed with meat!
I was so enthralled with the idea of an empamosa that I decided to make some and push away my mini lemon cheesecakes till later. I made a dough and let that refrigerate so that I could later roll it out and stuff my beef mixture in. Uh huh... that didn't happen. It was the "Never Fail Pie Dough" in this Art of Baking book that I have. Never fail, huh? Oh, it failed. Big time. That's what I get for making a dough that calls for vinegar and cold milk instead of just cold water. It rolled out, but it did not fold over after I stuffed. It would crack and crumble. Good job, Hester.
The dough idea being scrapped, I was left with LOTS of filling. I used ground beef but ground pork, chicken, or turkey could easily be substituted. You know what? It was quite alright. This empamosa filling was super tasty and I ate it with a side of scrambled eggs. Yum! And then the next day, I actually put it inside puff pastry that I bought, a genius idea by my friend Kathleen. I had given her some of the filling to take home and she decided to make apple turnovers. She had one sheet left and decided to fill it with the meat. Yes, total genius.
The meat is incredibly flavorful with the different spices that I added. Then, the vegetable mixture got a healthy dose of spices in the beginning of the cooking. There is flavor in every single nook and cranny here, people. There's a wonderful aroma and lingering warmth from the curry powder and cinnamon. Then, there are wonderful hits here and there from the cayenne and red pepper flakes. The dish itself is a simple one to make. I highly encourage you to do it! You'll have people going, "That smells good!" as soon as they walk into your house!
Recipe adapted from Tiffany at Como Water
Spices for 2 lbs of lean ground beef:
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (optional)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon anise seed
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 cups of diced potatoes (whatever potato you like)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapenos, finely diced (deveined and deseeded)
- 2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
- 1 teaspoon anise seed
- 2 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- large handful of cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- Extra virgin olive oil
1. Place your raw, diced potatoes into a pot of cold water and get it boiling. Salting the water is optional since the potatoes will take on a lot of flavor later on. Cook the potatoes until they are fork tender, drain them, and set them in a big bowl.
2. Mix the ground beef with all of the listed spices. In a large pan, add some olive oil and add the ground beef. Break it up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon. When it is 95% cooked, use a potato masher to get the beef into smaller pieces. Because it is a lean ground beef, not much fat will cook out so, pour everything in this pan onto your cooked potatoes to let the flavors from the oil impart onto the plain potatoes. Mix it around and set aside.
3. Add more olive oil to the pan. Throw in the anise seed, pepper flakes, coriander, paprika, and brown mustard seeds. Let this mixture heat together on medium heat for a few minutes. Then, add the celery, onion, and carrots. Add salt and pepper. Let the mixture cook down for five to 10 minutes.
4. Next, add the jalapenos and the garlic. Once these two have softened, add the frozen corn and peas. Continue cooking until they are heated through.
5. After the corn and peas are cooked through, add the potatoes and ground beef and stir everything together. Cook this for five more minutes on medium-high heat. Finally, add in the chopped cilantro and cook for a few more minutes.
6. At this point, you can stuff it into pie dough or puff pastry, eat it with some eggs, or eat it by itself. The mixture is best eaten when hot. Enjoy!
|Potatoes boiling! Yes, very exciting.|
|Yes, it's a lot of stuff but I assure you that they're all necessary.|
|Break it into smaller pieces.|
|Go to town with your potato masher.|
|There is totally celery under there!|
|There is a huge gap in instructional pictures because I simply forgot to take them as I was distracted. Sorry! But, you'll eventually get to this point where you add the peas and corn.|
|Add the meat and potatoes.|
|Stir it all together and then add the cilantro.|
|This was such a disaster :-( Stupid "Never Fail Pie Dough"! Thanks to Kathleen for taking some of the pictures!|