Thursday, July 21, 2011

Colombia and One Great Recipe

Yesterday we celebrated Colombia's Independence Day. Happy Bday to Colombia! It's been 12 years since I left my country with my parents so I'm really excited to go next week! Colombia is so full of colors and happiness. I mean whats not to love in a place where you are force to slow down your pace of life to enjoy your beatiful surroundings, a place where running late = on time, if not early (don't belive me? ask my brother) and you can get your nails done for $5. Yes I heart Colombia! 

But what I miss the most (besides my mama) is the food!! Fresh markets every where = fresh produce all the time! This recipe is my version of the empanadas.  Usually empanadas are a snack in Colombia but eat 3 and you are set for the rest of the day!!
This will make around 15 empanadas. I always like to recruit my husband and have some fun with him while we make them. 
For the dough you will need: (keep in mind my fellow Colombians that masarepa can't be found every where so Im working with what I have)
1/2 Cups of yellow cornmeal
1 Cup of maseca (Found in Walmart in the hispanic aisle)
2 Cups of water
1 tablespoon of Sazon Goya
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of oil
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large boll. Slowly add the wet ingredients forming a dough. Knead for 5 mins if you dough looks like its a bunch of crumbs (like feta cheese), you need a little more water.

If your dough is soft and makes one big ball (picture below) is ready, Knead for 5 more mins and let it rest.

For the filling you are going to need:
2 peel russet potatoes
1/4 cup of chopped onion
1/4 cup of green onions
1 cup of chopped tomato
1 clove of garlic
1/4 chopped red pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of sazon Goya
1 lb of ground beef
Put your potatoes to cook until fork tender, Drain them and  mash gently, set them aside
In a sauce pan brown the onions with the olive oil, add the tomatoes, garlic and red pepper and sautee to low heat until they form a paste.Add the chicken bouillon, cumin, sazon Goya and the ground beef and cook until the meet is no longer pink. Add the mash potatoes to this mixture and you are going to end up with something like this:

Yummy. Now take a sip of your favorite drink and get ready to assemble your empanadas. First open up a ziplock bag on both sides and oil it well so your dough doesn't stick to it.

1. Make a ball about 1 1/2 inch diameter around the size of a golf ball
2. Close your bag and softly roll out very thinly to form a circle
3. Spoon your filling to the middle of the dough
4. then using the bag underneath, fold the dough over to form a half circle and secure with your hands.
5. Close your empanada with a plate giving it shape (picture #6) repeat to make the rest
Fill a large pan with oil and heat it to 360 or until bubbly and fry 3 or 4 empanadas at the time until golden.

For the aji (sauce on the side) put some onions and cilantro in your food processor. Put you mixture in a very small bowl and add the juice of a lime and salt and a squirt of tomato paste and some sriracha or any other hot sauce you have at hand.
I hope you like them, as much as we do! Buen Provecho!!

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