Lazy Friday = Time for a Cheating Recipe


I love every culture’s version of fried dough filled with meat or veggies: samosas, pork buns, dumplings, Jamaican meat patties, flautas, and especially empanadas. It’s really cooking at it’s finest if you ask me. For some reason, these are among the types of foods that seem impossible to make at home, but when you think about it, they’re just bread and meat whipped up with some kind of cooking fat (generally used in excessive amounts), and if you want to get cheat-y about it, you can buy pretty much any of the outsides, like samosa shells or wonton wrappers, at grocery stores now.

When I lived in DC, I realized you could buy even empanada dough at the Mt. Pleasant Hispanic markets. Pretty cool. You just whip these little sheets out, fill em with whatever you feel like and fry em up. Totally cheating, but I’m not quite ready to start making empanada dough from scratch.

Anyway, I recently found myself craving empanadas, but far from Mt. Pleasant groceries or any similar Brooklyn outposts known to have empanada wrappers, so I decided to wing it and see if I couldn’t just make my own quickie version of meat-stuffed bread.

So here’s what I did: I fried up half a pound of ground turkey with some onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika. Then I turned to the flatbread in my fridge, folded each piece in half and stuffed it with the turkey filling. I tried doing this with cold flatbreads, but they were too brittle and broke in half when folded. So I toasted them for a minute or two each, just so they were soft enough to fold in half without breaking.

I beat an egg and spread this around the open edge of each one to keep it stuck together. Of course these would be tastiest fried, but I haven’t had much like frying flatbreads (burning issues), so I went with baking – for about 40 minutes. Served with mango salsa.

So all in all, a pretty straight-forward, simple idea. The results? It’s toasted bread filled with spicy meat. Hard to go wrong.

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  • miked. June 13, 2008  

    that looks good. As dough goes, empanada dough’s easy. Not that i’ve ever made it, but I’ve witnessed it before and helped with the rolling and stuffing and sealing. It’s just flour, salty water and butter, at least for argentine empanadas.

    on stuffed dough, do pupusas qualify?

  • MissGinsu June 13, 2008  

    Ah, cool… it reminds me of a calzone.

  • BS June 13, 2008  

    you’re right! They do look more like calzones than empanadas – I should have put cheese in them and called them flatbread calzones

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