It is said that empanadas first appeared in Portugal, around the time of the establishments of trade routes to India, which some may believe they were influenced by the Indian samosas. Could be true, if you think about it, they are very similar in taste, just different fillings. In Galicia and Portugal, empanadas are prepared similar to a large pie which is then cut into pieces to make it a portable and hearty meal for people at work. The fillings for the Galician and Portuguese empanadas are usually either with tuna, sardines, or chorizo, but can also contain pork. The meat or fish is mixed with a sauce made of tomato, garlic, and onion. When the Portuguese colonization began in Brazil and a large number of Galician immigrants came to Latin America, the empanadas also become popular in those areas.
Not only were empanadas introduced to Brazil and Indonesia by the Portuguese, it was also introduced to Hispanic America and the Philippines by the Spanish colonizers. However, empanadas in Latin America, the Philippines, and Indonesia have various fillings. For example, Mexican empanadas can be a dessert or breakfast treat, and tend to contain a variety of sweetened fillings which change drastically from region to region; these include pumpkin, yams, sweet potato, and cream, as well as a wide variety of fruit fillings. Meat, cheese, and vegetable fillings are less common in some states, but still well-known and eaten fairly regularly. Depending on local preferences and particular recipes, the dough can also vary.
Since it’s the season to eat, I thought I would share one of my favorite empanada recipes with you. Depending on how you like your spice level, I added extra jalapenos to my chorizo and queso recipe topped with a jalapeno sauce. If you’re not a fan of spice, then I would recommend a mild chorizo and don’t add the jalapenos to the filling. Either way, you’ll fall in love with this easy recipe.
Wine Pairing: Grand Cuvee Brut Rose