All Easy Recipes. Cook all that you can cook. Fried Beef - Filled Turnovers
(Empanadas Fritas)
What You Need:            (To Make: 12 turnovers)
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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pound ground sirloin steak or top round
  • cup coarsely chopped onions
  • 1/8 teaspoon finely chopped garlic 1 pequin chili, crumbled
  • teaspoon ground cumin seeds
  • teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoon salt
  • cup lard and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, combined and heated to lukewarm
  • cup milk and cup water, combined and heated to lukewarm
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, cut lengthwise into 6 wedges each
  • 12 pitted ripe black olives
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying

  • How To Cook:
    1. In a heavy 8- to 10-inch skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over high heat, tipping the skillet to coat the bottom evenly. Add the beef and cook for 4 or 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a fork and breaking up any lumps that form.

    2. When the beef is lightly browned, add the onions, garlic, chili, cumin, salt and a few grindings of pepper, and cook, stirring, for another 2 or 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the filling cool.

    1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the lukewarm lard and oil mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, alternately with a few tablespoons of the milk and water mixture. Stir well after each addition.

    2. Then, with your fingers, knead the dough until it is very smooth and can be gathered easily into a compact ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large circle about 1/8 inch thick, turning it clockwise a few inches after each roll to keep it even.

    3. Using a small bowl or plate as a pattern, cut the dough into 5-inch rounds with a pastry wheel or sharp knife. Gather the scraps into a small' ball, reroll, and cut into similar rounds, continuing the process until all the dough has been used.

    4. Place a tablespoon of filling, a piece of the hard-cooked egg and an olive in the center of each round of dough. Moisten the edges of the round with a finger dipped in water, fold the dough in half, and press the edges firmly shut with your finger. Then seal them further by pressing the outside edges with the tines of a table fork.

    5. Pour enough vegetable oil into a deep-fat fryer or large, heavy saucepan to fill the pan to a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil until it reaches a temperature of 375 on a deep-frying thermometer, or until it is very hot but not smoking.

    6. Fry the "empanadas" 3 or 4 at a time, turning them about in the fat with a slotted spoon to prevent them from sticking to one another. When they are golden brown on both sides, drain the "empanadas" on a double thickness of paper towels. Serve hot.

    NOTE: If you prefer, "empanadas" can be made in a smaller size suitable for cocktail accompaniments. Cut the dough into 3-inch rounds, and allow about 1 teaspoon of filling for each "empanada".

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