We all hear "home cooked meal" and immediately have a very specific dish come to mind. It may be a classic dish, it may be an entirely new dish created by someone dear to you, it may taste amazing or it may not even taste that good, but they all have something in common; it tastes like home. You know when you bring something up casually in conversation and theres a sudden lull and everyone around you is looking around like a bobble head wondering what in the world you're talking about? This happens a lot with the wacky names of dishes that I have only recently realized aren't internationally known (this goes for an assortment of other hand crafted phrases and words as well). One being tuna wiggle- one of my closest baby doll's go to meals growing up. It's basically just a tuna casserole, but with a little pizazz, a little tszuj if you will. In other words, you add peas.
My classic home cooked meal would be carmen's pasta, which we can just go ahead and call Alfredo pasta with onions and hot dogs. This is comical to me because my father is an amazing cook, and my mother has a couple dishes she has nailed down but she doesn't stretch too far out of her box. With all of the delicious meals I've had growing up, the most basic, borderline gross slop dish is the one I remember the most and still think about occasionally as my mouth waters. Or maybe it's just when I'm feeling homesick. I'm also going to give a bonus shout out to eggs in a basket; a thick slice of white toast with the center cut out and an egg cracked right in the middle. I can't help but smile every time I eat this, and I don't care if it's a meal fit for a ten year old.
My Colombian queen, Andrea, shared her Aunt Marlene's empanada recipe and we should all bow down to her -
As a Colombian living in the states, the thing I miss most is not even the main courses of Colombian foods but the snacks. Colombians are big on snacks, especially savory and fried ones. These empanadas are my super duper favorites, because they don’t have any meat in them, they’re called “empanadas de iglesia” which means church empanadas, because they’re tiny and you buy them at church! That’s how they raise funds for church. Even if you go to a snackerie of some sort you’ll find them labeled as church empanadas.
First you get the potatoes boiling, almost to mashed potato point but don’t mash them! While they boil you make the Hogao sauce, it’s a Colombian sauce used for EVERYTHING you can put it on rice, plantain, on anything and it’s always good.
For the Hogao you chop up those tomatoes into medium cubes and the onions into small cubes and throw them in a saucepan with a little bit of your favorite oil, some salt and cook until onion is transparent and tomatoes are falling apart, add chopped chives and salt and cook a little longer and it should look like this. Oh and maybe sprinkle a little sugar for contrast, but just a pinch.
Then get working on the dough. You put a cup of the flour in a mixing bowl with a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste, and start adding warm water slowly until it becomes a workable dough. Get the potatoes out and mix them with the hogao. If they get a little mashed it's even better! Put a small ball of dough in a plastic bag or in between two pieces of plastic food wrap. Start smashing it with a small cutting board, plate or any other flat surface nearby to make circles (about 3 to 4 inch diameter). Then put a little spoonful of the potato mix in the middle and fold them closed to make the empanadas.
Deep fry in hot oil until crunchy and delicious. Serve with limes and a side of hogao, guacamole or spicy salsa. Voila! You have made Colombian church empanadas and you’re on your way to start dancing to some cumbia and drink aguardiente!
what you need~
Precooked cornmeal (Goya’s masarepa for example)
About 4 tomatoes
1 big onion
Spring onions if you like (not a requisite)
Turmeric (also not a requisite)
A LOT OF OIL (for deep frying)
Limes (optional as well)
2 or 3 potatoes