Happy National Empanada Day! If these flakey, delicious pastries aren’t already on your weekly repertoire, you’re doing it wrong. A typical Iberian-turned-Latin American dish, the rich, half-moon shaped pies can be made big or small, sweet or savory, baked or fried. Since they’re self-contained, empanadas work just as well as fancy hors d’oeuvres as they do a kid-friendly dinner. And no matter who you’re cooking for, you’re looking at minimal to no cleanup for a spread that takes a mere 20 minutes to put together.
Empanadas’ insides can be as sophisticated or uncomplicated as you want them to be. If you’re going the traditional route, a filling of ground beef, onion, egg and olives is the Argentinian go-to. Serving a table of picky eaters? Keep your recipe really basic—shredded chicken, jack cheese and perhaps some mushroom if you’re feeling bold. Personally, we love the following recipe by celebrity restaurateur Eva Longoria. The actress-slash-foodie is a whiz in the kitchen, a skill that comes in handy as owner and overseer of Beso in Hollywood and SHe in Las Vegas. She’s also authored a cookbook entitled Eva’s Kitchen: Cooking With Love for Friends and Family.
Longoria’s passion for food doesn’t stop at eateries and recipes. The newly minted executive producer recently co-funded the documentary Food Chains. Directed by Sanjay Rawal and produced by Smriti Keshari, the film follows a group of southern Floridian farm workers and their battle against the global supermarket industry. Their story shines the spotlight on the exploitation and abuse of farm laborers in the United States, and will once again have you questioning the origins of your food.
Food Chains, which debuted at the Berlin Film Festival, is set for release later this year. In the meantime, though, we’ll let empanadas have their day.
Eva Longoria’s Crab Empanadas
6 ounces crab meat
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup diced green onions
Salt and pepper to taste
1 box puff pastry
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine crabmeat, sour cream, mustard and onions in a medium-size bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and lay one sheet of puff pastry on top. Store the rest in the fridge until you are ready to use.
4. Use a 3” round cookie cutter (or an upside down mug) to cut out pieces of puff pastry. One box will make 18 to 24.
5. Fill each piece with 1 teaspoon of crab mixture; then fold each piece in half. Use the back of a fork to seal the edges.
6. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray surface with a layer of cooking spray. Place empanadas approximately 2 inches apart.
7. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.