Monday, October 6, 2014

Taco Empanadas
Not to worry folks, this one is short and sweet.  No long drawn-out novels and stories.  Just a sweet, simple and delicious pantry meal. Your family will love you for providing them with a new (well, not-so-new, I borrowed it from a crescent roll commercial) way to eat tacos.  And a lot of them!  Let's get started. 
 1 tube crescent rolls
1 pound ground beef, lean 
Your favorite cheese.  My mom had grated sharp cheddar, pictured. 
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
Spice mix:  2 tablespoons smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon pasilla or chipotle powder, 1 teaspoon granulated garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin seed or ground cumin, 1 teaspoon granulated onion, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, salt and pepper, two tablespoons vegetable oil.

Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil to a skillet over medium high heat. When the oil ripples, coat the pan well and add the onions and saute for about three minutes.  Add the grated garlic, afterward and saute another minute.  Spread the onion and garlic to the sides of the skillet and add the ground beef.  Brown and incorporate the onions and garlic into the beef.  Add the spice mix evenly around the skillet and incorporate well. 
Next, on a cutting board, dust with flour, add a little flour to the top and spread around gently.  Roll the dough out to about 1/8 or so of an inch thick.  Use a small bowl, about 3 inches in diameter.  Use a paring knife to cut around the bowl.  Remove the extra dough and save it for something else later. 
Once the ground beef has thoroughly cooked, remove the mixture from the heat and set aside to cool by a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.  The directions say you do not have to spray, depending on the brand, but I do, anyway.  
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Middle rack.  
Use a teaspoon or regular place setting spoon and add a scoop of cheese, followed by an equal scoop of the beef mixture to the center of the disc.  Roll one side to the other, and, using your fingers as a guard to keep the mixture inside.  Using a fork, use the prongs to press the crescent closed (like pies).  You may need to pinch, also like pies, if the disc is overstuffed.  I even had to patchwork some of them.  You can tell from the photo.  
 Not pretty, I know, but TASTY!!!!
When you have finished making the empanadas (I also call them Taco Pockets) brush them lightly with butter or vegetable oil and place in the preheated oven.  Bake until golden.  Your nose will tell you, but set your timer for 13 - 18 minutes, depending on your oven.  
Serve with whatever toppings you wish.  I simply sprinkled cheese and taco sauce over the top.  Again, this was a pantry meal.  Simple but delicious.  You can doctor it up (as i like to say) however elegantly, or not, you would like.  
Hope you enjoy!!!!