Sunday, August 29, 2010

Beef Empanadas Recipe

Empanadas filling from Julia and Julieta on Vimeo.

Beef Empanadas Filling

Beef empanadas are the most traditional variation. Depending on the area, you can find some recipes with raisins, potatoes, tomatoes, with ground beef or with hand cut beef.
A few tips:
  • Make sure you don’t overcook the beef. It can get dry.
  • Always let the filling chill in the fridge before assembling. Otherwise it’ll melt your dough and have too much juice (that you’ll end up eliminating, making very dry empanadas as a result).
  • Cumin and oregano are essential! You won’t get the traditional delicious taste if you don’t use them.

1 pound ground beef or sirloin or skirt steak (or any tender cut - it needs to be good)
3 medium onions
4 green onions
½ red pepper
2 to 4 cloves of garlic
2 hard boiled eggs
Fresh oregano
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes


We recommend start prepping first, getting a nice mice-en-place before starting to cook. It makes things easier and cleaner.
Chop the onions, garlic, pepper, and beef if you’re doing it by hand.
Boil the 2 eggs in the meantime.
Start with the onions, pepper and garlic, then add the beef and the spices.
Try to use a very large pan, so as to make sure that you cook the beef quickly and thoroughly.
Once it’s ¾ cooked, turn off the heat and add the chopped eggs and olives. Make sure you seasoned accordingly, and take it to the fridge for at least an hour before assembling.

Learn here how to make gluten free empanadas dough and how to shape them!

Gluten Free Empanadas Dough

Empanadas dough from Julia and Julieta on Vimeo.

Empanadas are a traditional dish from Argentina. They are also big in other countries in South America, with slightly variations.
Today we’ll show you how to make traditional beef empanadas, with gluten free dough (quite an adventure…!).
Now, we tested a few recipes, and not all of them worked out great. So here goes the one that worked best. In the video you’ll learn proper preparation, but we think that the following recipe makes a better dough (the one in the video came out a little dry).

Gluten Free Empanada Dough:


2 cups gluten free flour mix
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup of water

The best way to make a perfect dough is to use a food processor and work as fast as you can. You want to avoid the butter to get warm and to change the texture of your dough. If you work the dough and get your butter warm, your dough will get greasy and shapeless. A big disaster!
But very easy to avoid.

Make sure you keep the butter in the fridge until the very last minute. Get iced cold water.
Place gluten free flour mix, 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum, the water, the butter cut in cubes and salt in the food processor. Make it work until it takes the shape of a ball. Or until you see that a big ball of dough gets rounded and spins as a ball all together. Stop in immediately, get it out of the machine, cover it with film and to the fridge for at least 30 minutes - better if you wait 1 hour.

Once your dough is well rested and cold, sprinkle some gluten free flour on your kitchen table and work it a little bit. Don’t work it too much.
Now you have 2 options: either you use a rolling pan, get it thin and cut perfect discs with a mold (a tea plate or dessert plate will help), or you get balls and make them into circles with the rolling pan. We find the latest the easiest. But maybe you like your food to look pretty and perfect… so you have the option.

To make the empanadas, place a disc on your left hand, and moist your index finger with water. Wet half of the border of your disc. Then place the filling in the middle. Close it, press the border, and pinch it to close it better and give it the nice empanada shape. You’ll see us doing it on the video, it’s actually not difficult at all, but it takes practice.

Cook them on a 350 degree preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

In Argentina you typically find tons of different fillings and flavors. We even make sweet ones for dessert or for the afternoon mate, with quince paste or sweet potato paste.
Some of the most traditional fillings you’ll find are beef, ham and cheese, corn, spinach, tomato cheese and basil, tuna, and chicken.
Check here our recipe for beef empanadas.
There’s an empanada store almost in any block! And they all offer about 20 to 30 different fillings. Ordering empanadas on the phone is the easiest and most common thing to do in Argentina whenever you have friends over, or are just tired after work and want something easy and tasty. We definitely miss them!

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee from Julia and Julieta on Vimeo.

Crème brulée is nothing but a crème anglaise made with cream and half the amount of sugar. While you learn to make crème brulée, you may as well learn how to make Floating Island (ile flottante) so you don’t waste egg whites.
What makes the crème brulee special is definitely the butano torch. They are very inexpensive, and totally worth having. We bought ours at, and we love it. You can also use it for lemon pie, onion soup, huevos rancheros, and plenty of other preparations.
You’ll get the best flavor if you use real vanilla bean (it’s way better… no joking). But if you don’t have it, or you find it very expensive, just make sure you add vanilla essence after you cooked the crème brulée (otherwise you’ll lose flavor while cooking).

Our Creme Brulee!

1 cup and 2/3 heavy cream
4 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, or vanilla essence.

You can do it by hand, but it’s pretty easy to do it with an electric mixer.
First make a cut on the vanilla bean. Place it with the cream on a (sauce?) pan over medium heat.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until white. You’ll know they’re ready when you can draw letter’s or a “ribbon” with it.
Once the cream is hot, pour it slowly onto the egg mix, while beating. Once you integrated the mix, place everything back to the pan.
Over very low heat, stir it with a wooden spoon until the mix thickens. Now, the final consistency you’re looking for on a crème bruleé will come after you let it cool in the fridge for an hour or two, so make sure you don’t overcook it!
Place it on nice pots, cover them with film (to avoid other flavors from your fridge to get into the crème bruleé!) and wait an hour or two.
Once you’re ready to serve (you had 2 hours to make dinner, cooked, ate and ready for dessert!) sprinkle some sugar and burn it with the torch.

We hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


We're super excited that our fun cooking project is coming to life!
It all started with our passion for cooking and experimenting new things. So why not... a video blog?

The idea is to cook with seasonal ingredients, to experiment new recipes, to bring good guests and also interview some interesting characters. We try to get most of our produce from our nearest Farmer's Market here in San Francisco, and we hope to inspire you to eat healthy, to cook more and eat less processed food.

We're both home-cookers, and we won't be making anything complicated or use expensive or exotic ingredients.

So here it is, we hope you enjoy it!

Julia & Julieta
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