Empanadas consist of turnovers stuffed with a meat, chicken, etc. mixture. They originated in Spain and are popular in many Spanish-speaking countries, especially in Argentina.
The whole family will love them. Here’s a recipe given to me by a woman from Argentina. You’ll need to make or buy the dough. If you live in an area with a large Hispanic population, you can find the dough shells in supermarkets or bakeries. I found them in the freezer section of my supermarket. There are recipes online for making the dough yourself.
My middle school students made these, with parental supervision, every year. Parents will have to make these for younger children, but they are ¡riquísimas!
EMPANADAS A LA NELLY
The recipe makes 20 empanadas.
1.Chop up an onion, sauté with some olive oil in a frying pan until golden.
2.Add 1 pound of chopped meat, and cook until brown.
3.Add a tablespoon of tomato paste.
4.Let the mixture cool a little, and mix in: a chopped hard-boiled egg; chopped green olives
5.Season with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and a pinch of sugar.
6.Place two tablespoons of the mixture in the empanada rounds, fold over, and press to close with fingers or a fork.
7.Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes until pastry is golden.
Enjoy! ¡Buen Provecho! And remember that this is a great chance to practice your Spanish. Scroll down to the recipe for chocolate for words and phrases.
MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE
Warm up a cold day and engage the kids with this child-friendly recipe. It’s a great way to use some of the Spanish that you’ll see (or have learned!) in ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish.
Click here for the recipe. When you get to the page, scroll down to get to the ingredients and directions.
But come back, por favor, to get hints on how to practice Spanish!
Now, let’s add a little ambiance to our activity. Play some Mexican music, use some of the Spanish that you learned, and soak up the warmth!
While you’re making the recipe:
¡Es fácil! It’s easy! ¡No es fácil! It’s not easy!
While you’re having the chocolate:
¡Está riquísimo! It’s delicious!
¡Me gusta! I like it! ¡Me gusta mucho! I like it a lot!
¡No me gusta! I don’t like it!
The Spanish word for both chocolate and hot chocolate is just chocolate. Click here for the pronunciation.
FYO:Chocolate was known in Mexico and Central America for several centuries before the arrival of the Spaniards. It was considered to be the gift of the god Quetzalcoatl. It was served as a bitter drink with spices added.
The Spaniards brought chocolate back to Europe, where sugar was added, and it has been popular ever since.
Nowadays, Mexican cooking uses chocolate as an ingredient in many dishes, in its sweetened or unsweetened form
Before eating, Spanish speaking people wish each other Buen provecho. For the pronunciation click here, scroll down to Bon appetit (the French equivalent), and click...you'll hear the Spanish!
La tortilla española
Parents, here’s a recipe you’ll have to cook yourselves, but the kids can help getting the ingredients out, peeling the potatoes, and of course eating.
The Spanish tortilla is an everyday dish that kids and people of all ages can take on a picnic. It is served everywhere in restaurants and as tapas, or early evening appetizers in cafés, and is commonly eaten for the traditional late-night supper.
Here’s my recipe for the basic tortilla: You can make this smaller or larger. I learned this from my mother-in-law in northern Spain.
1 onion, sliced
2 Idaho potatoes, peeled, cut in cubes
1.Pour some olive oil in a frying pan. When heated, sauté the onion. Remove with a slotted spoon to a big bowl
2. Add more olive oil if necessary. Sauté the potatoes until soft, add some salt just before removing with the slotted spoon. Place in the bowl with the onion.
3.Crack the eggs, mix with a fork, and add to the bowl with potatoes and onions. Stir until all is mixed. Add some chopped parsley.
4. Add some more olive oil to the frying pan if necessary. Heat it up, and add the egg mixture. Cook until the bottom is well set and most of the tortilla is cooked.
5.Place a dish over the frying pan and turn it over. Have another dish underneath to catch any liquid that spills. Put the turned over tortilla and any spillings back in the frying pan for a short time until the other side is cooked.
Serve the tortilla, warm or at room temperature. Slice it into wedges. Spaniards like to add other ingredients like chorizo, or Spanish sausage. Vegetables are often added.
Click here for the pronunciation of tortilla.
Enjoy and use the Spanish that you and the children have learned (see above) while you're having a good time.