October 1, 2009

Empanadas 101–Pre-madeTapas and FAQ


I wanted to write a simple and hands-on post about how to make Empanadas.  Here is the basic set-up for any type of empanada, though the ones shown here are Empanadas Mendocinas (This video shows the sealing technique called repulgue).   

The set-up is (top left to right):

Container of filling, which in this case is meat and onion.

A stack of pre-made empanada shells

A handful of pitted black olives

A hard-boiled egg (and knife to slice them both) 

Four tapas to make a few empanadas at a time, assembly-line style

A spoon for the filling

A brush to brush beaten egg over the empanadas once they're filled and sealed

A glass with beaten egg used to brush over the empanadas

A glass of water  to wet the edges of the tapas right as they are being filled to seal the edges of the dough

A floured pan to place the filled empanadas on

I find that the empanada-making process is quicker and easier with everything set up together on one surface, like a little empanada factory.  Since I'm the one making the emapandas, this is a station for one, but with more than one, the filling set-up could be in the center while the individul tapas are at each chair.  My two-year-old helps to paint the egg on the filled empanadas.   As he gets older, I hope we can do the whole process together.

How do you pronounce Empanada? 

em-pah-NA-dah.  The NA is a flat N, not an Ñ, so there's no rolling sound.

What type of tapas do you use? 

As for premade tapas, I use the La Salteña brand.  I buy them at a Latin market here in Denver that has many Argentinean and South American goods, like yerba mate, dulce de leche, and the other products La Salteña makes, like tapas for Pastelitos and Raviolis.  If you can't find this brand, that's fine, Goya, among others, makes one, too.

Are pre-made tapas Vegetarian?

These are not vegetarian!  The second ingredient is beef fat (seriously) and so if you are going for a totally veg empanada, make your own tapas. 

Can I freeze Empanadas?

Yes!  I recommend preparing and baking the empanadas before freezing.  They can then be re-heated in small quantities in the microwave, or by the dozen in the oven.  If your aim is making several dozen (for a party or other event)' bake then freeze' is the best way to ensure everything  is thoroughly cooked.  To reheat, set the oven temp to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake for about 15 minutes, until the filling is heated through.

What's the difference between the different types of tapas?

I've found 3 types of La Salteña tapas in the store.  'Para Horno' means 'for baking'.  'Para Freir' means 'for frying,' and 'Hojaldre' means 'puff pastry'.  The horno style and the hojaldre style are both for baking.  The horno style is a pie-crusty type of dough, whereas the hojaldre will give a delicate, flaky pastry-style crust.  The fried style lends itself well to seafood or vegetable empanadas, and is more typical in the Buenos Aires area.  Of the other brands I've used, the dough style is most like the 'horno' style.

Below are photos of the packaging of both the Horno and Hojaldre-style tapas…

DSC01670 Criollas para Horno means 'Spanish-style (or Creole-style) for the Oven' and 'Bien Sequitas' means 'Very Dry'


'Hojaldradas para Horno' means Puff Pastry style for the oven' and 'Bien Sabrosas' means 'Very Tasty'

And they are!  My next post will address how to make tapas from scratch.  Please feel free to leave additional questions about empanadas in the comments section.

Find me on facebook:  Rebecca Caro or Fans of From Argentina With Love  and on Twitter: @RebeccaCaro or send me an email to get my monthly newsletter: rebeccatcaro@hotmail.com


Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c05/h03/mnt/79130/domains/fromargentinawithlove.com/html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 399

8 Responses to “Empanadas 101–Pre-madeTapas and FAQ”

  1. Delicious! How lucky you are that you can get the “tapas” ready-made. Here in Holland we have to make them ourselves. The first time we made them, I think it took us an entire day hehehe We’ve tried using puff pastry from local brands (not meant for empanadas, really) and we find them too buttery, the taste is not quite the same.
    We always joke with my husband that we’re going to put up a stall in the market here and start competing with the vietnamese springrolls :o)

  2. Rebecca,
    this entry is the real empanadas for dummies, hahaha! 😉
    Lately my wife has been making empanadas using puff pastry and they are really good, but by favorite combination is with the horno style dough.
    The only additional ingredient that she likes to add are raisins in the filling, something i’ve seen also in the Chilean version of empanadas.
    As usual, thanks for the insights into the Argentinian culinary traditions!

  3. It was fun meeting you in SF! I look forward to reading your blog!

  4. riquisimas! un saludo desde bowen mendoza .

  5. Hi Rebecca,
    I’m so excited to have rediscovered your blog!
    I did a post for National Empanada Day back in April. I sure could use your link of expertise to make my post complete. Would you mind if I included it? I’m also doing a post on Argentine food for United Nations Day on the 24th. I think I better email you about that:)
    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderfully delicious post Rebecca.

  6. Hola
    Muy bueno tu sitio. Lo acabo de descubrir.
    Te cuento que hago empanadas de vez en cuando, pero no uso tapas compradas, sino que hago la masa de las tapas, todo casero :).
    Ví el video del repulgue: hasta ahora he visto que todos los que hacen el repulgue lo hacen con la empanada sobre la mesada. A mi, de esa forma ni me sale, lo hago con la empanada sostenida en una mano. Como detalle aparte, la masa la hago con yemas de huevo, por lo tanto sobra la clara. Con esa clara hago merengue. No pinto con huevo la empanada, sino que cuando la empanada está casi horneada, la saco del horno y le coloco una cucharada de merenge arriba y luego la termino de hornear. Queda una combinación salada y dulce que a muchos le gusta. Te mando fotos de las empanadas con merengue terminadas si querés.
    Bueno, todo un hallazgo para mi este sitio, muy bueno.
    Carlos desde Mendoza y San Rafael.

  7. It’s so nice to have found your lovely blog! I have very much enjoyed reading. I went to Argentina on my honeymoon this past September, and since then, cannot stop dreaming about all of the amazing food that I ate there. I am bookmarking a lot of recipes :)

  8. Hi Rebecca: Where do you buy the empanada tapa dough? I ususally make my own and it’s delicious but if I can find it in the US or by mail order to save work and time I would love it. Thanks much for these recipes. I will try the tuna recipe you have posted next.

Leave a Reply