While I was in Mexico I wanted to try something new. I wanted to make Empanadas & Tamales!! What better way to learn how to make empanadas & tamales than in MEXICO!! The beautiful resort of Las Ventanas had cooking activity that was offered for couples, and once I saw it, I jumped right on it!! Upon entering my private class, I was nervous because my personality is very strong. I like what I like, and when it comes to the kitchen, my pallet is very particular. I was unsure of how the chef and I would mesh being that we are both passionate about our kitchen and our taste buds but we ended up having a blast! He was very impressed at my skills and my ability to season and dice to perfection without any school experience. Not to mention, I was able to decorate our plates to perfection! It even came to a point where he asked me for taste and what I was doing or what I would add differently. Once he explained where everything was, he literally gave me the recipes and I did my THANGGG with minimal help! I was so proud of myself and EVERYONE LOVED it down to the photographer!! I’m going to start cooking every vacation if possible to learn how to authentically make different dishes from around the world.
Below are the recipes! I hope that you enjoy!!
Cooking in Mexico there was no real measurements. We literally eyeballed everything and seasoned to taste. So please bare with me 🙂
It’s all about the sauce!! I made a red and green sauce that complimented my items but could also be used as a sauce for enchiladas as well!
What I Did
I chopped up about 4-5 small green tomatoes,1 onions, 2 garlic cloves, 2 jalapeño peppers, 2 habanero peppers left whole, a stalk of cilantro, salt & pepper and I chopped a 3-4 red tomatoes. On a stove griddle/grill we let our veggies cook down until they were soft and well done. Next we separated the well done tomatoes into two bowls ( one for red and one for green) and evenly distributed the onions and peppers to taste.
Next we put the green tomato bowl in the blender until we received a nice green sauce puree. We tasted, seasoned, and then added a little cilantro, and then blended it one more time. We did the same thing for the red tomatoes.
Thats the sauce!! Now Time For The Empanadas!
Niqs Empanadas xoxo
I thought it would be extremely hard to make empanadas but it wasn’t. I would say we used 3 1/2 cups of MASECA and put it into a bowl. Next we took chicken stock and poured 1 1/2 cup of chicken stock slowly until we got a nice dough like substance. It was almost like making pie crust. Next we took table spoons of the mix and rolled them into balls.
Preparing The Meat
My meat of choice for my empanadas was pork! Thats right, I like some oink oink! Do I eat it everyday? No! However, I do love it!
I sautéed chopped pork in olive oil with some seasoning (your choice of seasoning). Remember, pork is already naturally salty so you don’t need too much while cooking it. Next I added a half of cup of the red sauce that we prepared earlier and added it to my pork and then cooked it until it’s done.
Putting It All Together
Lined plate: means using non stick cooking paper
Using a lined plate or tortilla compressor we flattened out our masa ball. We then added a teaspoon of our pork mix to the center of the masa (short for maseca mix/maseca). Bringing both ends together with the paper, we lightly pressed the edges together forming our empanada. We removed our non-stick paper and then we fried it in cooking oil until they were golden brown. After frying any item, I always put my food on a paper towel to drain any extra oil.
And whalaaaaa!! There you have your empanada!
I eat my empanadas with extra sauce, sour cream and guacamole! It was a very fun item to make!
Being in Mexico, we used fresh green banana papers (at least thats what he called it) to wrap our tamales in.
Taking each wrap over the stove, we warmed each side for about 5-10 seconds each until it was smooth.
I would say we used 3 1/2 cups of MASECA and put it into a bowl. Next we took chicken stock and poured 1/2 cup by 1/2 cup until we got a nice dough like substance.
We then sautéed and seasoned our chicken to taste in a pan, lightly oiled with olive oil. Next we added a half of cup green sauce and added it to our chicken. Cooking it until the sauce is warmed and of course the chicken is done.
I then took a banana leaf, took 3 tablespoons of our masa mix and put it into the middle of the banana leaf. Next we added two tablespoons of our chicken mix and sprinkled cheese to the middle as well. The we carefully and tightly fold our banana leaf into four folds. Lastly we put it into our steamer to cook and let it cook for 25-30 minutes.
Here in the states we use corn husk with ties on the ends which is easier 🙂
Once they are done, you can open it up and eat and add whatever you want for decor or taste!!
See guys, the recipe is definitely not that hard!! I had such an amazing time learning all of this and I hope you love the recipes as well. If you have any questions comment below and I will help walk you through the process.