In a population where low-fat, gluten-free, vegan, low-carb, juicing, paleo recipes come abundantly and are so coveted these days, I often have to take a step back from all the gobbledygook and remind myself that moderation is key and indulging in yummy food (yes I said it), you know, the stuff with real butter or sugar is okay sometimes!
Just don’t overdue it, okay? Summer’s not too far away and you’ve got that cute beach-wear to prepare for.
Back to the appetizing stuff!
I am health-conscious. I do strive to keep a well-balanced diet and set a good example for my children. But I also L-O-V-E my chewy breads!
One food in particular I always crave and have loved since childhood are empanadas — tasty and so convenient in a busy home.
An empanada also called pastel in Brazilian Portuguese and pate in Haitian Creole is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Latin Europe, Latin America, the Southwestern United States, and parts of Southeast Asia. The name comes from the Galician, Portuguese, and Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.
Empanadas are made by folding dough or bread with stuffing consisting with a variety of meat, cheese, huitlacoche, vegetables, fruits, and others.
The Filipino empanadas I grew up delighting in are usually made with either ground pork, chicken or beef and veggies with sweet raisins.
The sweetness is key!
With little ones, little bite-sized foods seem to be more welcome and for us adults, makes us feel a little less guilty in enjoying more than one. Unless you devour the entire plate, than consider yourself on an all-juice diet next week, my friend. Plus an extra hour on the treadmill.
I’m kidding. Enjoy a plate if you want! This recipe I have will tempt you too, trust me.
Using ready-made pizza dough (my kids love the chewy pizza dough), ground beef and Pulo Cuisine’s mango chili marinade with brown sugar as the main ingredients, you and your family will enjoy these little morsels of meaty and doughy goodness.
- - Ready-made pizza dough (or you can make your own if you want but I much prefer to buy the ready-made variety so it's a lot quicker!)
- - 1 lb ground beef
- - 1/4 cup of carrot, corn, peas (frozen variety, defrosted)
- - 2 tbsp of raisins (feel free to omit if you don't like raisins)
- - 1 tsp of garlic powder
- - 1 tsp of cumin powder
- - salt and pepper to taste
- - Canola Oil for frying
- - 1 cup of Pulo cuisine Mango Chili Marinade
- - 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- Prepare Sauce first. Heat Pulo Cuisine Mango Chili on medium heat with brown sugar until sugar melts. Stir and lower heat to low heat and let bubble for 5-10 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool. The sauce will thicken like a chutney.
- Cook your ground beef on medium-high heat until browned (remove any scum/fat), add veggies, raisins and seasonings plus 2 tablespoons of the sweet mango chili sauce, stir and cook together. Once done, set aside to let cool.
- As the meat and sauce cools, heat oil in a sauce pan for frying.
- Spread some flour on the table you will be prepping your pizza dough and some on your hands. This is important as pizza dough gets sticky and won't spread well without some flour.
- Spread out pizza dough with hands and use rolling pin to create a 1/8" thick rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into small squares.
- Spoon some meat into each square and fold over then shape into balls. Add 3-5 at a time to fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Let cool on paper towel to remove some oil then enjoy with the sweet mango chili sauce!
- Tip: You don't want the oil too hot as it will cook the pizza dough on the outside too quickly and you will have uncooked pizza dough from the inside.
- The 1/8" thickness of the dough is key in ensuring they will cook inside well.