Ya’ll are such party poopers. Not one single person commented on my brilliant kale post, except a guy in Reno who saw it on my Facebook page and simply wrote: “Kale? Your Southern roots die hard.”
“Well, that kale post won’t go down in history as your greatest,” Mark said supportively. Thank you, dear. How kind of you. That’s alright. More kale for me.
Now then, how about a lovely pocket of dough stuffed with ground beef, raisins and olives? What do you think about that? Not displaying my Southern roots? How about the fact that empanadas come from South America. And the first time I ever had them was in Charlotte, North Carolina, while I was renovating my kitchen. What an ordeal that was.
So I bought my first house, a 1929 bungalow, in Charlotte. The former owners were taxidermists. You don’t want to know, but it took three weeks to fumigate the house. The kitchen was a disaster. And so I decided to renovate it. I hired a construction company that said it would take about four weeks. The first day of demolition I came home to the construction foreman who offered that we had a little problem. “What?” I say. “Look up,” he says. I look up. The entire ceiling is gone. When the workmen started removing the cabinets, the ceiling fell in. Four weeks became three months. Three months of me keeping all my food in a cooler. Since wine took up about three fourths of the space, I had to get take-out a lot. Which is why I found empanadas at a gourmet take-out place nearby.
If you think the combination of ground meat, cinnamon, raisins and olives is strange, just give it a chance. It’s a standard flavor combination in much of the world. Don’t like green olives? Use black ones or leave them out entirely. I don’t care, you kale haters. Your taste is already questionable to me.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ pound ground chuck
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/3 cup chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped green olives
1 ball pizza dough
1 egg, beaten
Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic and cinnamon. Cook for about a minute, and then add the ground chuck and salt. Saute until the meat is browned. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, raisins, and olives. Combine thoroughly, reserve and let cool completely.
Divide the pizza dough into four equal portions. Roll each into a circle. Fill half the circle with ¼ of the filling. Brush the edges of each circle with the beaten egg. Fold and crimp the edges to seal in the filling.
Put the empanadas on a baking sheet and brush tops with remaining beaten egg. Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes or until the empanadas are golden brown.