Venezuelan Empanadas


These last few days being stuck at home have been a little rough on me. I am the kind of person that enjoys going outside, moving from here and there, making things happen, and so on. My boyfriend likes to make fun of me say that I like do STUFF and more STUFF even when I have a limited schedule. 

 

In the past few months I’ve had to slow down my pace a little to refocus, reenergize, and reflect. This alarming and imposed upon quarantine has also brought into perspective for me a few things that I have not been paying attention to. One of them being that I LOVE to cook. I really do! I also love to try new recipes. 

Although I myself am not Venezuelan (I am Bolivian), my boyfriend planted the idea of these empanadas. At first he thought I was kidding because we had just made arepas for breakfast but I jumped right into making this empanada recipe I have never tried before! This is crazy because I love making empanadas and I have actually never tried it this way- using harina P.A.N. which is usually used for arepas. 

This recipe is pretty simple but produces amazing results! If you find yourself going to the grocery store and not seeing many things left in the aisles- see if you can purchase a few bags of P.A.N. in the “Hispanic Food” section. You can also order it online and have it sent to you directly (probably the best option for now). That way you can save yourself some money from buying plain old bread and make yummy gluten-free empanadas instead. 

 

Enough of my rambling. Here is the recipe we found that worked best. I included the original video as well. 

Ingredients

  •  2 Cups of White Corn Flour- P.A.N. (as needed)
  • 2 Cups of Water (as needed)
  • 1 tbsp Wheat Flour
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • Venezuelan Cheese* (see footer on where to get this)

 

Venezuelan Cheese Empanadas

  1. Mix warm water, sugar and salt together and slowly add flours while mixing with your fingers. Adjust the amount of corn flour until you get should get a soft dough.
  2. Let rest for about 5 minutes then knead again. Divide in egg-sized balls.
  3. Heat up about 4 cups of vegetable oil in a pan or deep fryer on medium high until a wooden spoon bubbles in it. The oil should never smoke or else it will burn the empanadas.
  4. Flatten a ball of dough on a piece of plastic wrap. Make sure to wet your hands in water whenever handling the dough to prevent cracks.
  5. Put two spoonful of filling in the middle of the dough and use the plastic to fold it in half, giving the empanada its iconic half-moon shape.
  6. Seal edges by pressing down with your fingers, using either a bowl or a fork.
  7. Slide into hot oil and fry for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown
  8. Place on a strainer over paper towel and let cool for five minutes before serving.

more info & Resources

Where to buy products?


Shop Local! Can’t say this enough. If you are able to purchase products from your local Latino/Hispanic food store please do. 

Once this quarantine is over and you are able to travel freely- pay a visit to “Antojitos de Tu País”,  grocery store located in Fairfax, VA.

Open 8:30am-3pm weekdays only

3160 Spring St unit b, Fairfax, VA 22031

Buy the Queso Duro Venezuelan we used in this recipe. I took a picture of the label here:

 

Gala

 

See footage from the Inaugural Roots & Raíces Gala that featured live performances, Somos Migrantes Film Premiere, and dinner served by Mera Kitchen Collective. Guest speaker: Artist- Lizania Cruz. This Gala was held at Creative Alliance.

The theme for the night was Amazonian Paradise in honor of the Amazon Forest. We will be donated a portion of the proceeds to organizations that help fight deforestation and protect the Indigenous communities of the Amazonian region.

 

Music Festival & Art Market

The second day of the festival was held on Saturday, September 14- Music & Art Festival Day at the venue Le Mondo in the Bromo Arts District of Baltimore City. This event consisted of various music and dance performances, poetry, and will feature various works by local immigrant visual artists throughout the venue.

The first half of the event was free and open to public event from 6-9pm that included our El Mercado Art & Food Market. This event featured food vendors, artists, artisanal makers, non-profits, and community organizations that are either immigrant run or support immigrants and refugees.

This event was in collaboration with the non-profit Nuestras Raíces that aims to support the Latinx community of Baltimore City through art and culture. At night there was an afterparty in collaboration with Latin Fluff that featured guest immigrant/ POC musicians and artists from across the nation and from Baltimore City.