December 3, 2022

April 8 is Nationwide Empanada Day – the very best excuse for this savory recipe for Cuban-Taste Picadillo Empanadas, shared with “Sunday Morning” readers by means of Nashville-based chef Rita Martinez, a.ok.a “The Salty Cubana.”

A primary-generation Cuban American, Martinez was once raised in Miami, Florida, within the center of Little Havana. She informed “CBS Sunday Morning,” “I used to be so lucky to be surrounded by means of my tradition rising up; it is one thing I am very pleased with. In case you sought after a snack there have been at all times empanadas round.

“I realized to make empanadas with my grandmothers. Home made empanadas had been a unprecedented instance as a result of they had been a hard work of affection. As a kid, empanadas, to me, they take me house – the crunch, the savoriness, the saltiness of all of it. It simply provides you with that feeling of convenience of house.”

To look at Martinez’s directions on getting ready Cuban-Taste Picadillo Empanadas, click on at the video participant beneath: 

Cuban-Taste Picadillo Empanadas from The Salty Cubana by means of
CBS Sunday Morning on

“Cuban empanadas start with a dough that is similar to its Galician grandpa. We’ve an array of fillings. The entirety from spinach and cheese to seafood to ham and, after all, our take at the almighty picadillo – a stewed flooring red meat filling cooked up with bell peppers, onions, copious quantities of garlic, and a sprinkle of raisins.”

She notes:

  • At all times make your filling prior to the dough, ideally the day prior to. Chilled fillings are more straightforward to care for. As soon as the filling chills, it is going to congeal, which can make it neater to make use of as neatly.
  • It is best initially much less filling in order that the empanadas may not explode. You’ll recuperate at stuffing them with time and follow.
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Cuban-Taste Picadillo Empanadas from Nashville-based chef Rita Martinez, “The Salty Cubana.”

The Salty Cubana

Cuban-Taste Picadillo Empanadas

What You’ll be able to Want:

Kitchen Scale
Measuring cups & spoons
Bowls for blending and water
Stand mixer with the dough paddle in case you have one
Plastic wrap, huge ziplock bag or hermetic bowl
Rolling pin & bench scraper
Massive 5-6″ cookie cutter
Deep forged iron skillet
Frying thermometer
Paper towels for draining.


For the Dough:

890g all-purpose flour
25g baking powder
20g salt
35g cane sugar
110g (more or less 8 Tbsps. or 1 stick) unsalted butter
380g water
2 cups vegetable oil for frying in skillet (ideally canola)

For Picadillo Filling:

40ml more virgin olive oil
200g huge yellow onion, peeled and diced
160g purple bell pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
20g salt
3.5g black pepper
16 ounces. pound flooring red meat
2 bay leaves
56g tomato paste
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon flooring cumin
1/2 teaspoon flooring cinnamon
¼ teaspoon flooring nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon purple wine vinegar
2 huge tomatoes, coarsely diced
50g capers with ¼ cup of juice
½ cup pimento, diced
75g dried raisins


For Filling:

  1. Put the olive oil in a big, heavy pan set over a medium-high flame, and warmth till it starts to shimmer. Upload onions, bell pepper, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Sauté till onion is translucent.
  2. Lift warmth to medium-high and upload the bottom red meat, and make allowance it to brown, crumbling the beef with because it does. Upload tomato puree, vinegar, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, bay leaves, and nutmeg. Stir to mix. Stir in diced tomatoes, capers, pimentos and raisins. Decrease the warmth, and let the stew simmer, lined, for about quarter-hour.
  3. Discover the pan and upload the raisins and the capers. Permit the stew to cook dinner for some other quarter-hour
  4. Modify seasonings to style and let cool to room temperature. Make the filling as much as 2 days forward and stay in an hermetic container within the fridge.

The Salty Cubana

For the Dough:

  1. Soften the butter and put aside. Position flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a big bowl and whisk to combine neatly.
  2. Create a neatly within the heart of the dry elements, pour the butter in and incorporate it with the flour till it resembles coarse oatmeal. Now, slowly pour the water and start to shape the dough. [IF USING A STAND MIXER: Mix the dry ingredients straight in the mixer bowl with a whisk.] Protected the bowl and the use of the dough hook, slowly upload the melted butter, then upload the water. [Pro Tip: Remember not all all-purpose flour is equal. Flour can vary from brand to brand and may absorb water differently. The amount of humidity in the air that day can also play a role. Too much water in your dough is no bueno.]
  3. Position the dough on a floured paintings floor. Knead the dough till it’s comfortable and easy.
  4. Put the dough again within the bowl and canopy with plastic wrap. Let the dough leisure for a minimum of half-hour. This resting time will unlock the gluten that can assist you roll the dough simply.


  1. After resting, lower the dough ball in 1/2. Quilt one 1/2 with the plastic wrap when you roll the opposite 1/2 out. Calmly mud your paintings floor and rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough out till it’s about 1/8″ thick
  2. Position a big spherical cookie cutter (ideally 5-6 inches in diameter) over the already-rolled dough, then gently press it down to chop the dough right into a circle.
  3. As soon as you may have shaped the disk, position 2-3 tablespoons of picadillo within the heart and use your finger or a small kitchen brush to very calmly moisten 1/2 of the threshold with water. [Pro Tip: I like using a small spray bottle to mist the disk before sealing them instead.]
  4. Fold the dough and ensure the threshold of the highest phase will likely be a couple of centimeter at the back of the bottom edge.
  5. Now, pinch and fold the sides into half-inch sections in opposition to the middle, the use of your thumb and your center and index palms, overlapping each and every fold till you end on the different finish of the empanada. [Pro Tip: Use your finger as a guide for the dough. Don’t pinch on the groove; pinch next to the groove.]   
  6. Position the empanada over on a flat floor and canopy with a humid paper towel, then continue to shape the remainder of the empanadas. We quilt it to forestall the dough from drying out.
  7. The usage of your thermometer, warmth the oil in a big frying pan over medium-high warmth till it’s 350 °F. Fry the empanadas, turning as soon as, 2-3 mins in step with facet till they’re deep golden. [***Do not overcrowd your frying pan; for a 12-inch pan, fry 3 or 4 at a time, giving them enough room to turn them when ready.  Remember, the oil is very hot, so be careful.***]
  8. As soon as able, position them over a paper towel coated plate to empty or over a baking rack. Serve sizzling.

The Salty Cubana

Carrot Vegetables Chimichurri

Makes about 2 cups


½ cup minced yellow onion
½ cup chopped carrot vegetables (or flat-leaf parsley)
1 Tablespoon chopped oregano
½ Tablespoon finely grated or minced garlic
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon flooring black pepper
½ teaspoon purple pepper flakes
½ cup rice vinegar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Set oil and vinegar apart. In a medium bowl or jar, mix all different elements. 
  2. Upload the oil and vinegar. Combine neatly.
  3. Can also be saved lined for a few days. I in my opinion love to make a double batch and stay the leftovers within the refrigerator for chimichurri rice in a while that week.

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