I made empanadas today for the first time. I know I can buy them made by people who know what they are doing, but I wanted to try making them myself to get a feel for the food of the country we live in.
So I bought a bag of Masa Rica corn flour (harina de maiz) and used the recipe Corn Flour Empanadas from the great little cookbook, Gallito Pinto, Traditional Recipes from Costa Rica, author Andrea Corrales. If you see this cookbook, buy it. She explains the history behind the dishes.
I made a picadillo with carrots, onions, garlic, red bell pepper, fresh cilantro, and Complete Seasoning. This, along with refried black beans, made up the filling. There was enough picadillo left over to have on the side at lunch.
Making up corn flour dough is completely different from using white flour. I needed to add a lot more water to the corn flour then the recipe calls for, in order to make a workable dough. Some time ago, I had bought a wooden press so it was easy to put small fist size pieces of dough into the press to make pancake type empanadas. In went the filling, not too much. Some of the empanadas broke up a bit when I was trying to shape them. We like spicy food, so I added some hot peppers to the mix.
We ate them for snacks around 10:00 am and had the rest of them for lunch .... so I think they were a success and I learned something about the country we currently live in.