Thursday, August 9, 2018

Empanadas Stuffed with Picadillo #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Just in case you missed it, DEATH ON THE MENU is in bookstores now! To help us celebrate here at MLK, Hayley's stepfather, Sam, offered to share his recipe for picadillo-stuffed empanadas. These are served as hors d'oeuvres at the opening party, but they also make a meal for 4 to 6 people. Or you can freeze leftovers and enjoy later.

The recipe may look a little complicated, but the results are to die for--not literally of course! This is not a last-minute dinner. The dough requires an hour and a half to rise, but you can make the filling while that happens.

For the cornmeal dough:

2 and 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup milk, heated to lukewarm

1 large whole egg, beaten lightly

1 large egg yolk, beaten lightly

1/3 cup sour cream

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the yeast, sugar, and half of the warm milk in your Kitchenaid or other mixer until foamy, about 5 minutes. Then beat in the rest of the milk, the eggs, the sour cream, and the butter until well combined. Stir the dry ingredients together and beat into the milk mixture until well combined. Knead, using the dough hook or by hand, for about five minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Add a little flour if needed to keep it from sticking. Remove the dough to an oiled bowl and let rise, covered by a damp cloth. When the filling is ready and the dough risen, punch it down.

For the picadillo filling:

1 1/4 cups finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons drained bottled pickled, candied jalapeño chilies

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano

1 and 1/4 pound ground chuck

1/4 cup tomato paste, if needed to thicken

28-ounce can plum tomatoes including the juice, chopped

1/3 cup raisins

10 or so sliced green olives

2 chopped pimentos

fresh cilantro, chopped

dried hot red pepper flakes or other hot condiment to taste

Cook's notes: For the picadillo, I eliminated the cloves and cinnamon suggested in some recipes, which I don’t care for in savory dishes, and replaced some of the salty olives with jarred pimientos. For the jalapenos, I used my standby, pickled sweet jalapenos from the Backyard Food Company. After tasting the mixture, I added in about ¼ cup of the juice from the jalapenos for spice. I found I did not need the tomato paste.

Brown the beef, drain the grease, and set the beef aside. In the same pan, sauté onions and garlic with the spices for a few minutes until soft. And the beef and other ingredients back in and simmer about half an hour until the sauce thickens.

Punch the dough down and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each out on a floured surface. Place 1/3 cup cooled meat sauce toward the bottom of the dough, and fold the top over and crimp closed with a fork.

Bake at 450 for 10 to 15 minutes or until crust is browned. Serve with sour cream and salsa and maybe some guacamole on the side.

Death on the Menu, the 8th Key West food critic mystery, hit bookstores on August 7 from Crooked Lane Books! 

Here's a pre-order the book link from Amazon--and here's a link to preorder a hard copy from RJ Julia in CT, where you'll be able to get a signed copy. OR COME TO THE BOOK LAUNCH PARTY ON AUGUST 9 AT 7PM in Madison CT

Or you can order it from Books and Books in Key West, or call Suzanne Orchard at Key West Island Bookstore ((305) 294-2904)--she'll be delighted to order you a copy! 

Or really, wherever books are sold...


  1. such a pretty cover. what was the idea that came to you that made you have to write this story?
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  2. What fun! Love these Cubano recipes.
    Have you tried any Cuban/Chinese dishes?

  3. Yum. I especially like that these can be frozen.

    1. oh yes, then hub and I fought over who'd get them for lunch!

  4. Candied jalapenos are my favorite! Congrats on the new release! I love your books and have been anxiously awaiting this one!

  5. We're on the same wavelength! thanks so much...