What’s your tailgate, movie night or ordinary Tuesday missing? A Guatemalan-turned-Minnesotan chef says empanadas. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make them.

How to Make Empanadas

Midwest Living magazine, Sept/Oct 2019

Long before her master’s degree in business and international banking and her Le Cordon Bleu education, Amalia Moreno-Damgaard learned all she needed to know as a mesmerized child in her grandmother’s Guatemalan kitchen. Bread, cheese … her abuela made everything from scratch with a focus on healthy, fresh ingredients influenced by Mayan and Spanish flavors. Amalia bundled up that deep-baked passion and cultural pride and carried it with her to Minnesota, where today the cookbook author and teacher aims to inspire curiosity in Latin cooking beyond familiar Mexican dishes.

Empanadas serve as the perfect ambassadors—crisp pastry filled with delicious, gooey insides, and nearly infinite flavor possibilities. The half-moon pockets can be savory or sweet, casual or formal, fried or baked, full- or bite-size, meaty or vegan. This winning chicken-and-cheese combo is a crowd-pleaser, but don’t be afraid to riff with roasted pork, browned ground beef or canned beans. “Empanadas are simple, easy to make and open to interpretation by anybody,” Amalia says. “People flock to them.” In other words: Nachos, watch out.

Click here for the recipe at Midwest Living magazine

—Maggie Ginsberg is an award-winning freelance writer in Madison, Wisconsin

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