Colombian Corn Dough Empanadas

As I have been focusing on South American cooking this month we have been enjoying Colombian and Peruvian food. This led to a happy accident, I had some roasted pork leftover and need a way to use it up, which is why the directions call for pre-cooked meat. If you want to try the recipe out and don't have that leftover I've included directions for that as well. Either way, you don't be worry you made this awesome recipe loosely adapted from My Colombian Cooking.

The dough is super easy to work with and is delicious when fried. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, they are a great addition to any meal or a great lunch on their own.

1 1/2 c. masarepas flour
2 c. water, really warm
2 packets Goya sazon con azafran
1/2 tsp. adobo seasoning
1 Tbsp. oil

2 Tbsp. oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. potatoes, minced
4 green onions, sliced
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. adobo seasoning
1 Tbsp. aji amarillo paste (optional)
2 c. cooked pork or chicken, chopped fine 
       OR 1 lb. ground meat (Beef, pork, or turkey all work)

Oil for frying

Mix together the masarepas flour, sazon, and adobo. Add the warm water and oil. Mix really well to combine. Keep mixing until the the color is distributed evenly. Cover and set aside. 

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion. Cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and potatoes and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the water and adobo seasoning and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender and most of the liquid is gone. 

Add the chopped meat, aji paste if using, green onions, and cilantro. Stir to combine. 

If using ground meat: After the potatoes and tomato paste have cooked for 2-3 minutes and before adding the water, add the ground meat with an additional 1/2 tsp. adobo seasoning. Cook and crumble until the meat is 75% cooked. Add the water and continue with the recipe as directed above.

Heat the oil for frying. 

Divide the dough in to 12 balls. 

Spread your work surface with a piece of plastic wrap at least 12 inches long. Spread one of the balls of dough out about 1/4 inch thick. Top with 3 tablespoons of the meat filling. Using the plastic wrap fold the pastry in half over the top and press around the edges to seal. With the sealed empanada still encased in the plastic wrap use a small bowl to cut the dough in to a neat half circle. Remove from the plastic wrap to a tray and repeat with remaining dough and filling. 

Once all the empanadas are formed add a few at a time to the hot oil and fry until crispy, about 5 minutes each. 

Remove to a wire rack to cool. 

Serve with aji verde to dip.


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