Empanadas Arabes

Empanadas Arabes

Arab empanadas, also known as fatay in Argentina. (Origins? Yes I know about sambusac) These flavorful treats hardly resemble their more famous half-moon shaped cousins, nor do they receive even a fraction of exposure. Quite a few pizza joints in Tierra Del Fuego bake them up but one place in particular, Expo Pizza in Rio Grande, does them really well (pictured). Although, they were much better (less bready) years ago when I first visited. Hopefully someone can chip in on where the good ones can be found elsewhere in Argentina. I do remember a few shawarma stands had them for sale in Buenos Aires but those always tasted as if they were made a week before.

I haven’t been too pleased with many of the recipes out there, so I’m trying to perfect one that at least equals or improves upon my local favorite. Will post when I do. Basically what you do is mix ground beef with minced onions, red bell peppers, and tomatoes. Then add salt, pepper, cumin. Finally, the key ingredient, freshly squeezed lemon juice. You let that sit for an hour or two in the fridge–some say for half a day or overnight, then you have a sort of beef ceviche that you wrap up in basic bread/pizza dough; triangular-shaped as pictured. Cook in the oven for about the same time and temp as pizza.

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