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Abuela's Empanadas (or grandmother's meat turnovers)


Filling:

1 lb hamburger
1 lb pork sausage
1/2 cup (+/-) of raisins
1/2 cup (+/-) of pimento stuffed olives (aka Spanish olives)
2 to 3 cloves garlic
1 large onion
some oregano
salt and pepper to taste

And here is the secret ingredient - a couple of pinches of asafetida. It is a fairly obscure (in the US) condiment that is derived from a tree sap. In small amounts it acts as a flavor enhancer without the side effects of MSG. Don't go by its smell otherwise you will never use it.

Brown the burger and sausage. Saute the onion and garlic in the grease left over in the frying pan until translucent. Put the meat back in with the remaining ingredients and mix well. Let that sit while you make the crust. The traditional crust is doughy but something a little flakier is preferable. Frozen phyllo dough works well or frozen crescent role dough. If you want to be more authentic use calzone or bread type dough.

Now that your dough is ready you are all set to make your meat turnovers. Roll out a circle of dough 4 to 6 inches across, put approximately a golf ball size amount of meat off to one side and fold it over and pinch it together. Ta da!!! If you want to get fancy and pretty you can brush them with egg so they come out all brown and shiny. Remember, the stuffing is already cooked so they only need to be in long enough to cook the dough.

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