Taco empanadas with taco dipping sauce

An empanada is a delicious thing. There are many variations on filling all over the world. The originated from the Ilberian peninsula in the middle ages during the time of the Moor invasion. I have a favorite, and that’s Taco Empanadas.

30 cups of all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 3/4 lb of unsalted butter cut into 120 pieces, fresh out of the fridge
20 eggs (reserve half for the egg wash)
2 1/2 to 3 cups of water
Egg wash: 10 egg whisked with 10 tablespoon milk

Add flour and salt into a bowl and mix by hand. Add eggs, butter, and water and if you wish it some seasoning, I add cayenne or dried pablano pepper powder and begin mixing until a ball of dough forms. You don’t need to knead. Roll this spiced dough out flat and cut into 200 (yes 200) small circles using a small plate. I refrigerate these stacking them with wax paper between them. Now we make the filling.

5 pounds shredded lettuce
7 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 1/2 pounds chorizo sausage
4 cans of refried beans
10 white onions diced
20 tablespoons paprika
10 tablespoons cumin
5 tablespoons black pepper
10 tablespoons hot sauce (I use this stuff Red Lightning Hot Sauce)
10 tablespoons olive oil

To make the filling get a 20 inch campfire skillet screaming hot and add the oil, ground beef, chorizo, onions, paprika, cumin, black pepper, hot sauce, and let cook 10 minutes stirring, then add in the refried beans and lettuce and stir another 10 minutes until well blended. Remove from heat and let’s fill our empanadas.

Once the mix is cooled we’re ready to start. Spoon some of the mix in the middle of the dough, and fold over pressing out air pockets and brush the edges with the egg wash. Crimp the edges with a fork, I find 1-2 tablespoons of mixture works. Repeat this until you got 200 filled empanadas and no more mixture left over, it’s fine if you do reward yourself. Then we make our dipping sauce before we fry them.

To make our dipping sauce we need: 2 tubs of sour cream, and 4 jars of salsa. The salsa I use can be found here Smoky salsa. Just mix the sour cream into the salsa until well blended with a spoon, leave the spoon on a plate next to the dip, it’s usually a bit too thick for dipping so it’s more of a topping but yummy none the less, it should be deep pinkish red in color.

Now we fry our empanadas. Fry in oil until brown in batches of 5 at a time. Remove once golden with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels. Absolutely delicious.


beer battered catfish tacos my way

For the avocados and catfish:

2 hass avocados
4 cup flour
4 cup guiness draught
4 teaspoon hot sauce (I use sriracha)
about 2 pounds of catfish fillets

For the spicy mayonnaise:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
a large bunch cilantro
the juice of 2 limes
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper

Other ingredients:

4 – 6 cups oil for frying
flour or corn tortillas
corn and tomato salsa 

Ok…I do this with catfish but you can use any white fish you want…cod…haddock….pollock…summer flounder…lemon fish…mmm all good choices. No fish is wrong here, however…it should be deboned…if not deboned bit of a choking hazard in this recipe…

Preheat oil for frying to 375°. It’s ready when you stick a wooden chopstick in the oil and it fries. Do not fill a pan more then half full of oil, the oil will expand and more then half full will cause a grease fire. These are awesome tacos, but not good enough to burn the house down.  Combine flour, beer and hot sauce in a large bowl. Whisk well and set aside.

Combine all ingredients for spicy mayonnaise in a food processor and blend until cilantro is very fine. Set aside.

Dip avocado slices in batter and drop in hot oil to fry. Fry at 375° for 2 – 3 minutes, turning once. Avocados should be golden brown. Now dip the catfish in remaining batter and fry for 2-3 minutes turning once. You want a nice golden brown catfish.

Serve corn salsa in tortillas topped with fried avocados, fried catfish and spicy mayonnaise. You get this, sweetness from the avacado, the tangy of the corn salsa, the lovely catfish and the mayonnaise, and it’s just an all around wonderful dish, all tied together with spicy flavors.

If you want, you could even deep fry some corn flour tortillas into taco shells similar to jack in the box. Absolutely delicious!