A holiday recipe from Martin Pierce

Can you believe it?  Christmas is literally just around the corner.  And that means plenty of opportunities to gather with friends and enjoy some delicious food and perhaps a glass of wine or two.

One of my favorite dishes to bring to any holiday gathering is this simple yet delicious empanada recipe from Epicurious.com.  Empanadas are a latin american pastry that consists of individual dough "pockets" filled with a variety of spices, meats and seasonsings.  They look much harder to prepare than they are so your guests will certainly be impressed with your presentation as well as the flavor.

Ingredients (serves 10)

  • 2 hard-boiled large eggs cut into slices
  • 1 tablespoon of pine nuts dry roasted in heavy bottom fry pan over low heat until golden brown
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2  to 1 or more teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 to 1 lb ground beef chuck
  • Red pepper flakes OR substitute with paprika and a touch of chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, reserving 2 tablespoons juice, and chopped turn this into sauce 
  • Pastry--treat yourself and remove the stress of trying to create the perfect pie crust by purchasing ready made puff pastry or frozen empanada rounds.


  • Cook onion in olive oil until softened  
  • Stir together the cumin, garlic and oregano 
  • Add beef and cook until no longer pink, about 4 minutes
  • Add the raisins, olives, sal pepper and tomatoes, including the reserved juice and cook until the mixture is reduced but still moist, about 5 minutes.
  • Cut your rounds or use the thawed frozen rounds using a 6" pastry cutter.  Spoon a tablespoon of the fiiling and top with an egg slice.  Close the edges and crimp tightly to keep the mixture in place.  Glaze with an egg wash to brown and puncture the top with a small vent hole to avoid "exploding" empanadas in your over.  These can be deep fried but I prefer to bake them in a 425 degree overn for 20 minutes.

Tip:  leftover sauce can be used as a hot sauce by adding a touch of vinegar.

Do you have a favorite holiday recipe?

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