January 19, 2012

Taco Empanadas

Here is a simple, semi-healthy and kid-friendly (sorry don’t have any kids to be critics so I am assuming here) meal. I got the idea from Chef Aaron McCargo’s recent appearance on the Nate Berkus Show where he made Pepperoni-Cheeseburger Turnovers. They looked really good so I tried to come up with a way for them to be a little healthier.

The recipe
Serves: 4
Cook & prep time – approximately 35 minutes

Ingredients –
Tube of pizza dough (I couldn’t find whole grain or I would have used it)
Ground beef meat – 1 lb (I recommend 90% lean, put in a little olive oil so it doesn't dry out when you cook it)
Small can of corn
Small red bell pepper
Small green bell pepper
Olive oil
Taco seasoning
Minced onion (only because I hate cutting up onions so you can use a real one if you want)
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions -
1. Brown hamburger meat in a skillet, season to your liking – I used about a half packet of taco seasoning, a couple teaspoons of minced onion and some shakes of salt and pepper
2. Cut the bell peppers into small pieces – hint, if you have to buy the bell peppers a few days before using them, cut them up and freeze them in baggies so they don’t go bad (also a good idea so you don’t have to take more time on the weekdays when you are in a rush)
3. Sauté the bell peppers in a smaller skillet with olive oil
4. Add the can of drained corn to the ground beef and turn on low
5. Mix the sautéed peppers into the corn and beef skillet and turn heat off
6. Break up the tube of pizza dough into 4 sections. Use a handful of flour and roll the dough in it to make it more manageable. Flatten the dough into a 5-6 inch diameter circle.
7. Put a few spoonfuls of mixture into each circle of dough.
8. Fold the dough over the filling to a semi-circle and pinch the edges with a fork to seal it in good.
9. Use a knife to cut a few small slits into the top of the roll.
10. Bake at 375 for 15 – 20 minutes 
Some suggestions: We dipped ours into a queso because we thought it was a little dry so next time I am going to try using enchilada sauce for the mixture in the middle.
Also, I had about half of the beef and veggies left so I plan on using them tomorrow on a salad to make taco salad - bonus!
The review: The husband gave it 2 ½ stars out of 3! He even said they reminded him of empanadas he ate in Argentina (hence the recipe name).

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