Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy National Empanada Day

The word empanada comes from the verb empanar, meaning "to wrap or coat in bread." Empanadas are a stuffed bread or pastry that is made by folding the dough or bread around the stuffing. They are then baked or fried. As the illegible ink family found out tonight, the stuffings can consist of a variety of meats, vegetables and sometimes even fruits and nuts.

So, yesterday we were researching empanadas and were totally prepared to make our own this evening until we remembered hearing about Max's Empanadas in Little Italy. Max's was a 2010 Best of Baltimore winner for Best Casual Lunch so we knew it was well worth blowing our week's Food Holiday budget to try their empanadas. And based on the photo below, I think you would agree we chose wisely!

Max's Empanadas are traditional (and delicious) Argentine cuisine.
On tonight's menu, we enjoyed one of each of Max's signature empanadas: beef (ground beef, onions, olives, bell peppers, boiled egg and cheddar cheese), chicken (hand cut chicken, onions, olives, bell peppers, boiled egg and cheddar cheese), ham and cheese (cooked ham and cheddar cheese with green olives), spinach (spinach, artichoke, mushroom, bell peppers, cream cheese and mozzarella cheese), mixed vegetable (corn, green beans, peas, carrots, bell peppers, onions and mozzarella - and I thought I saw a lima bean or two as well?) and chorizo (sausage, sun dried tomato, walnut and mozzarella). Mr. ink also splurged and got a buffalo chicken empanada. Fair to say, for $19.50, even though we devoured their Tiramisu with Dulce de Leche afterwards, we were stuffed like an empanada!

Interesting empanada fact: typically, when several types of empanadas are served, a repulgue (or pattern), is added to the pastry fold. These patterns indicate the filling. I am sort of glad I didn't realize that until after we ate all six of these golden, baked gems. It meant each one was another surprise!

Three cheers for National Empanada Day and Max's Empanadas. We're thinking illegible ink will celebrate an Empanada Day every month!

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