Empanadas Nicas

Prep Time: 45 Minutes
10 Empanadas

To celebrate mother's day, members of the WAFB channel 9 Baton Rouge news team are sharing some of their favorite "Mom's recipes" during the month of May. WAFB Anchor Cheryl Mercedes loves this recipe from her mom, Nora Fatzer of Metairie, Louisiana. Nora grew up in Estele, Nicaragua and she loves to cook food native to her country, such as empanadas. Empanadas are deep-fried turnovers of various sizes, usually filled with meat, vegetables or even a sweet filling. They are part of many South and Central American cuisines.


1 and 1/2 pounds eye of round roast (ground only once)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 and 1/2 tsps white vinegar
1 and 1/2 tsps lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1 and 1/2 tsps TABASCO
2 tsps salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
granulated garlic to taste
canola oil
1 pack tortilla Cubanitas, thawed


In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute beef until golden brown and all liquid has evaporated, stirring constantly. Add onion, bell peppers, minced garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, TABASCO, salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Cook 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place tortillas on wax paper and brush with water to soften. Spoon a generous portion of cooked meat mixture in the center of each tortilla, fold over and press the edges with a fork similar to an apple turnover. In a large pot, heat 1 inch canola oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking and fry meat pies 1 minute on each side, turning once. Remove meat pies and place on paper towels to drain. Serve as an appetizer or entree.