My students, okay one student, gives me a hard time for how much I have loved empanadas. I love them in Chile. They’re awesome. In Argentina they would make a perfectly cromulent basis for a religion. As I have written (and talked about, if you’ve been near me), my favorite empanada is the carne version (shout out to my friend on the Oklahoma Beef Council). In Chile, unfortunately, they add an olive and half a hard boiled egg. Why half? Quienes saben? As to the olive, I’m convinced these olives are the runts that fall off the tree a week or two after the harvest truck leaves town and they need to do something with them. I LOVE olives. I will eat a bushel of olives as easily and happily as watching Independence Day on TBS on a cold, winter Sunday afternoon. But the olive in the Chilean Empanada Pino is abysmally awful. It defies explanation. An empanada and an olive should be perfect. And, yet, it isn’t.
Mary is rolling her eyes about now because, in the three weeks she was here she heard this rant about 97 times. If someone mentions empanandas, I rant about this. If someone mentions olives, I rant about this. If someone mentions food, I rant about this. If something pisses me off, I’ll rant about this.
Anyway, it dawned on me that I am a retired professional cook and if I want an Argentine carne empanada I could damned well cook it myself.
So I did this. And they were awesome.
Tomorrow, I’m hosting any students that want to come by to watch the Champions League final. I’m making empanadas and they’re bringing “snacks” broadly defined. The hit of the show is going to be the student who signed up to bring cups. Someone has been paying attention at the group dinners.
Anyway, I tried out another batch of empanadas tonight and learned two things:
- When you set a timer on your phone and you have loud music playing, be sure to set the phone to the loudest volume and not have it muted.
- Cheese plays in all variety of empanada.
So, here is a look. They’re overdone but not terribly. One big one is a classic beef and onion, the other beef, onion and cheese and the last ham and cheese. One small one is ham and cheese and the other beef and onion. Tomorrow I’ll do plain cheese for the veggies in the group.
The point is, if there is something you want, quit pining and go make it yourself. The other point is, yum.