Back in the day when it was just Jo and me with no kids, Corey and I would take one or two days’ trip to DC or Baltimore. Corey is like a human Google Maps, he knows all the ins and outs of different areas around the city. His sense of direction and memory of street names, intersections, one-way streets and such is like no other. As much as I tried to keep up with the turns, entering and exiting different neighborhoods, I eventually just gave up and decided to enjoy the ride, trusting the man behind the wheel. Even walking was an adventure.
One night, after we’d gone to a club and danced our butts off, Corey suggested we go to Julia’s empanadas. We jumped to the dancehall beats so much, when we walked outside all we had was a buzz and a stomach growling for fuel. DC is filled with life all night long, especially around the Georgetown University area, so walking towards our late-night food destination was a fun journey. I remember we had stopped at a convenience store and grabbed water and tea. Back then I was addicted to sweet tea. When we finally made it we realized there was a line around the corner so we got in line and patiently waited as if we had just gotten into a bumper to bumper around the 495 Inner Loop or the I-66. Back then cell phones didn’t have all the social media apps that keep us staring down instead of looking up and enjoying the world around us. There were a few people that looked too drunk to stand on their own being helped by their not-so-drunk friends. The scenery and interesting interactions were not scarce. Finally, the moment of calming the ferocious stomach was near and I got a glimpse into my dinner and into the future. By the time it was my go at choosing what empanadas I was going to devour, I had commented to Corey how busy that place was and that I was beginning to consider opening an empanada shop back in Harrisonburg. The late-night eating and waiting in line outside a place that has 3-4 options of food reminded me of the Euro Gordas en Saltillo, but that is a story for another book.
Without further ado, I give you my beef empanadas recipe:
4 Shallots (peeled & thinly sliced)
2 tbsp Evoo (as needed)
8 tbsp Shredded mozzarella
8 Empanada discs (write me an email for recipe)
1 lb Previously cooked beef (write me an email for recipe)
1 Egg (beaten w/1 tbsp of water)
Gently saute sliced shallots in an oiled pan over medium heat till tender & golden. Set aside to cool.
Portion & roll out empanada discs on a flour-dusted surface. Place 1 tbsp of mozzarella on each disc.
Divide beef equally & portion out onto the 8 empanada discs, on top of the cheese, finish with the sauteed shallots.
Fold disc in half to make a half-moon shape. Using your thumb & forefinger, press around the edges to seal well.
With a fork, press & pull the round sealed edges of the empanadas, creating a ¼ inch crust.
Lightly brush all prepared empanadas with egg wash, then make a few scores or slits on top to vent.
Arrange & bake on a paper-lined baking sheet in a 450ºF preheated oven till golden brown, 8-10 mins.
Remove from the oven & plate 2 per person. Serve with chimichurri by Chef Oz™ in a ramekin on the side.