Empanada from Spain and empanada from Latin and South America are similar in concept in that they are both filled-pastries. Where they differ is size. In Spain, empanada is made the size of a cookie sheet or large pizza pan and is meant to be apportioned out. South of the border, they’re made to be eaten individually. You wouldn’t want to share one!
Being half Spanish, I grew up eating the Spanish version…Empanada Gallega with a bacalao (codfish) filling. As an adult, living and traveling in NY, FL, PR and South America, I became very familiar with the handheld version usually filled with ground beef.
Here’s what happened when I melded the 2 traditions — the Spanish filling with the
convenience fun of a bite-size treat.
Cooking the cod with peppers and onions and those beautiful saffrón threads.
* You can make your own pastry shell or you can buy ‘mini’ pre-made shells in the Latin frozen food section of your supermarket. If you can’t find the mini size (about 2″ in diameter), you can trim the standard size which is about an inch or inch-and-a-half larger.
Note: They freeze well so make a batch and have them on hand.