Here is a great recipe for empanadas, a traditional food throughout much of Central America and Mexico. Special thanks to Arnold Arreola, student at Woodside High School in Redwood City, CA for this recipe.

Empanadas Recipe

Pastry: Combine flour and salt. Cut in lard (or shortening). Combine water with lemon juice and yolks and mix well. Add to flour and with your hands form into a ball and chill for 30 minutes. Cut ball in half and roll into large thin 16x20in. rectangle, cut into 4x4in. squares and chill until filling is ready.

Filling: Filling: Heat oil in large skillet and brown beef well 1/3 at a time. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste and remove from pan. Saute onions, garlic, pepper, and chile until soft. Return meat and any juices to pan. Add tomatoes, raisins, and vinegar. Cook until meat is very tender (30-45 min). Stir in olives and cook for another 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Assembly: Fill 4x4 squares with filling and form into squares or triangles. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated 375 oven for 15 minutes until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.