When I returned back to Sumpango after Field Based Training, my 12 year old host sister had volunteered to make dinner based on a recipe she had learned at school earlier that week. Since my parents were heading out on an errand, I jumped in to help in the assembly line of making them. Although a labor and time intensive process, we got our reward when the younger brothers nominated us to continue cooking the rest of the meals this week.
The basic pattern of this meal matches that of a lot of meals I’ve had here; make a dough (usually corn based), make a filling, tortillar (verb meaning to make into tortillas), combine, fry. Here’s the step by step with a little more detail:
Chicken breasts on the bone (boil, then disminusar by picking meat off bones and shredding)
Bell pepper (chopped finely)
Onion (shredded or chopped finely)
Mayonese (just enough to moisten the other ingredients)
Masa or Dough:
White flour (one cup)
Milk (one cup)
Margarine (one stick)
Salt (just a pinch)
Baking Powder (one teaspoon)
Directions: Combine ingredients for dough and knead. When it has achieved a good consistency, pull out balls of dough and roll with a rolling pin into a thin tortilla a little bigger than your palm. Fill the tortilla with a tablespoon full of filling. Fold over the dough, pinch it shut and seal it with the tines of a fork. Fry the empanada on both sides in vegetable oil until golden brown. Serve hot, with tomatillo sauce (optional).