Empanadas are popular in Southwest America, Latin America, and Latin Europe. The word stems from the Spanish “empanar,” which means “to bake in pastry.” This Spanish and Mexican specialty is like a turnover with pastry crusts stuffed with meat and vegetables. Less often, empanadas are filled with fruit for dessert.
If you can make your own salsa, we suggest our Papalote-Inspired Salsa recipe. The shredded Mexican cheese required in this recipe is up for interpretation, but if you want to stay true to the cuisine as much as possible, choose a Mexican-originated cheese, such as asadero, a mild-tasting fresh cheese that melts wonderfully. Substitutions would be domestic Muenster or provolone. Or, try Chihuahua, named for the Mexican state from which it originates. Also called queso menonita for the Mennonite farmers who first made this cheese, Chihuahua tastes and feels like mild cheddar when fresh, and a bit more tangy when aged. It’s good for grating and stuffing. Mild cheddar and Monterey Jack are good substitutes.
Round out this special breakfast or brunch with a Tomato, Tomatillo, and Corn Salad with Avocado Dressing, some smoky Black Beans (Frijoles Negros), and Mexican Hot Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts with Marshmallow Filling.