By Kelly Bogard
Here in Texas, we take a lot of pride in everything we do. From our families to our homes, the saying “everything is bigger in Texas” truly fits. I sometimes want to change one key word, though. Let’s change the word “bigger” to “better.”
This is definitely what I think when it comes to Mexican food in Texas. As a matter of fact, everyone simply calls our version Tex-Mex. Have you ever heard of any other state with so much pride in its Mexican food? You don’t hear other states talking about their Mexican food and incorporating their state name into it. It would just sound funny.
This week, I decided to share one of my favorite Tex-Mex recipes, Beef & Cheese Empanadas, just in time for the Cinco De Mayo holiday on Saturday.
For Beef & Cheese Empanadas, you will need…
1 lb. ground beef, 85% lean
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup Colby Jack cheese, shredded
2 cans refrigerated biscuits, jumbo size
2 tbsp. chili powder
1-1/2 tbsp. paprika
1-1/2 tbsp. cumin
2-1/2 tsp. onion powder
2-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup salsa
vegetable oil for frying
The best part of this dish is it can be used as an appetizer or a meal. They are about as big as your fist when cooked and make a perfect evening snack or weekend meal with friends.
First things first. In a small bowl, combine all of the dry spices. Then add them to the ground meat in a large skillet and brown over medium heat. Make sure to combine the spices with the meat well so it will cook evenly.
Once the beef starts to brown, add in your chopped onion and mix well. Finish cooking the meat and set aside to cool. Because you are using a leaner meat, there won’t be any fat to drain, in most cases.
For the sauce, simply combine the sour cream and salsa in a small bowl and chill.
On a floured board, start rolling out your biscuits. You want to roll them out to 5-6 inches in diameter so you can fit about a tablespoon of the meat mixture into them.
To assemble, place a spoon of meat onto one side of the rolled biscuit and top with cheese.
Then, fold it over to cover the filling, and press the edges together, using a fork to seal.
Fill a large frying pan halfway up with vegetable oil, and heat for frying. Once your oil is hot enough, reduce to medium heat and place the sealed pies in the oil. As they begin to brown on one side, flip them to the other side to cook. This is a fast process, so be ready to move quickly.
As a big fan of Tex-Mex, this is one of my favorites. They are crispy on the outside and warm and melty on the inside—with just the perfect amount of spice. Combine that with a cream sauce and some fresh sliced avocado, and I’m a happy girl.
I hope you celebrate with a Cinco de Mayo fiesta and a great Tex-Mex meal this weekend. From all of us at Texas Table Top, enjoy!
Recipe: Beef & Cheese Empanadas
Summary: A warm, crispy, spicy Tex-Mex favorite
- 1 lb. ground beef, 85% lean
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup Colby Jack cheese, shredded
- 2 cans refrigerated biscuits, jumbo size
- 2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1-1/2 tbsp. paprika
- 1-1/2 tbsp. cumin
- 2-1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 2-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 8 oz. sour cream
- 1/2 cup salsa
- vegetable oil for frying
- Mix together all spices and combine with ground meat in a large skillet.
- While meat is browning, add in chopped onions and stir to combine.
- Let meat continue to cook until browned.
- Combine sour cream and salsa in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Roll out biscuits on a floured sheet to approximately 5-6 inches in diameter.
- Place one tablespoon of the meat mixture on half of the biscuit.
- Top the meat with cheese.
- Fold the remaining half of the biscuit onto the meat mixture.
- Use a fork to close the pie, pressing together the edges of the biscuit.
- Fry in a pan with heated oil over medium heat, flipping once while cooking to brown both sides.
- Serve warm with salsa cream dipping sauce.
Cooking time (duration): 30 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 6-12