On New Year’s Eve I taught Grace how to make the empanadas my Puerto Rican abuela used to make for me. This is a special treat that takes a lot of time, love, and patience. Grace likes to help me in the kitchen, so I thought the time had arrived for her to learn one of my favorite family recipes.
Dishes that remind us of our loved ones are like a thread that ties the generations together. The aromas and flavors of family dishes evoke childhood memories filled with the same love and “sabor” that they were made with. I have many memories of my abuela in the kitchen preparing a buffet of Spanish food:arroz con gondules (Puerto Rican rice with pigeon peas), sorullos (deep fried corn sticks), platanos maduros (sweet plantains). She made everything with love and would sit back and smile when she would see everyone savoring her food.
I remember her hands always smelled of Spanish herbs and garlic when she hugged me or rubbed my head, and there was such a comfort in that for me. I hope to pass down that love and those kinds of memories to Grace. I hope she remembers being with me in these simple ways, more then she remembers the toys she got for Christmas.
After teaching Grace how to seal the beef turnovers with a fork, we very delicately placed them in the pan, so as not to break them. My husband loves empanadas, and waits all year for his favorite treat. As soon as we were done frying them, he savored 3 in less then 10 minutes!
I’m keeping the recipe close to heart. But here is a good one you can try: Food Network Empanadas And yes, there are about 20 ingredients and the cooking time is lengthy, but so worth it. And no, these are not whole 30 or paleo approved in any way. They are simply one of the best indulgences to enjoy with family.